Geosystems An Introduction to Physical Geography, Global Edition
Book PrefaceGeosystems An Introduction to Physical Geography, Global Edition
New to the Ninth Edition
Nearly every page of Geosystems, Ninth Edition, presents updated material, new content in text and figures, and new features. A sampling of new features includes:
• A new chapter on climate change. Although climate change science affects all systems and is discussed to some extent in every chapter of Geosystems, we now present a stand-alone chapter covering this topic— Chapter 11, Climate Change. This chapter covers paleoclimatology and mechanisms for past climatic change (expanding on topics covered in Chapter 17 in previous editions), climate feedbacks and the global carbon budget, the evidence and causes of present climate change, climate models and projections, and actions that we can take to moderate Earth’s changing climate. This new Chapter 11 expands on the climate change discussion that was formerly part of Chapter 10, Climate Systems and Climate Change, in previous editions.
• A new Geosystems in Action feature focusing on key topics, processes, systems, or human–Earth connections. In every chapter, Geosystems in Action is a one- to two-page highly visual presentation of a topic central to the chapter, with active learning questions as well as a GeoQuiz to aid student learning. Throughout each part of the Geosystems in Action figure, students are asked to analyze, explain, infer, or predict based on the information presented. Topics include Earth–Sun Relations (Chapter 2), Air Pollution (Chapter 3), Earth– Atmosphere Energy Balance (Chapter 4), The Global Carbon Budget (Chapter 11), Glaciers as Dynamic Systems (Chapter 17), and Biological Activity in Soils (Chapter 18).
• A new feature, The Human Denominator, that links chapter topics to human examples and applications. At the end of Chapters 2 through 20, this new feature includes maps, photos, graphs, and other diagrams to provide visual examples of many human–Earth interactions.
This feature replaces and expands on the former Chapter 21 in previous Geosystems editions, called Earth and the Human Denominator.
• New and revised illustrations and maps to improve student learning. More than 250 new photos and images bring real-world scenes into the classroom. Our photo and remote sensing program, updated for this edition, exceeds 500 items, integrated throughout the text.
• New images and photos for the 20 chapter openers, and redesigned schematics and photos for the 4 part openers. Continuing in the Ninth Edition
• Twenty Focus Studies, with either updated or new content, explore relevant applied topics in greater depth and are a popular feature of the Geosystems texts. In the Ninth Edition, these features are grouped by topic into five categories: Pollution, Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Sustainable Resources, and Environmental Restoration. Nine new Focus Study topics include: Heat Waves (Chapter 5) Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy: Storm Development and Links to Climate Change (Chapter 8) Thawing Methane Hydrates—Another Arctic Methane Concern (Chapter 11) Earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan: A Comparative Analysis (Chapter 13) Stream Restoration: Merging Science and Practice (Chapter 15) The 2011 Japan Tsunami (Chapter 16) Snow Avalanches (Chapter 17) Wildfire and Fire Ecology (Chapter 19) Global Conservation Strategies (Chapter 20)
• The chapter-opening Geosystems Now case study feature presents current issues in geography and Earth systems science. These original, unique essays, updated for the Ninth Edition, immediately engage readers into the chapter with relevant, real-world examples of physical geography. New Geosystems Now topics in the Ninth Edition include shale gas as an energy resource in the United States (Chapter 1), coastal redwood trees and declining summer moisture in California (Chapter 7), the effects of proposed dams on rivers in China (Chapter 15), and coastal erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy (Chapter 16). Many of these features emphasize linkages across chapters and Earth systems, exemplifying the Geosystems approach.
• Geo Reports continue to describe timely and relevant events or facts related to the discussion in the chapter, provide student action items, and offer new sources of information. The 75 Geo Reports in the Ninth Edition, placed along the bottom of pages, are updated, with many new to this edition. Example topics include: Did light refraction sink the Titanic? (Chapter 4) The hottest temperature on Earth (Chapter 5) Storm causes Hawai’i hailstorm and tornado (Chapter 8) Satellite GRACE enables groundwater measurements (Chapter 9) Tropical climate zones advance to higher latitudes (Chapter 10) Surprise waves flood a cruise ship (Chapter 16) Greenland ice sheet melting (Chapter 17) Overgrazing effects on Argentina’s grasslands (Chapter 18)
• Critical Thinking exercises are integrated throughout the chapters. These carefully crafted action items bridge students to the next level of learning, placing students in charge of further inquiry. Example topics include:
Applying Energy-Balance Principles to a Solar Cooker What Causes the North Australian Monsoon? Identify Two Kinds of Fog Analyzing a Weather Map Allocating Responsibility and Cost for Coastal Hazards Tropical Forests: A Global or Local Resource?
• The Geosystems Connection feature at the end of each chapter provides a preview “bridge” between chapters, reinforcing connections between chapter topics.
• Key Learning Concepts appear at the outset of each chapter, many rewritten for clarity. Each chapter concludes with Key Learning Concepts Review, which summarizes the chapter using the opening objectives.
• Geosystems continues to embed Internet URLs within the text. More than 200 appear in this edition. These allow students to pursue topics of interest to greater depth, or to obtain the latest information about weather and climate, tectonic events, floods, and the myriad other subjects covered in the book.
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