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Physical Geography : The Global Environment,9780199859610
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Physical Geography : The Global Environment

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Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA

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Customer Reviews

Straight to the point  October 8, 2014

"Physical Geography is a good text to learn from because it makes the concepts and point you wan to learn compact and to-the-point. Unlike many textbooks that try to cover 10-15 concepts in a long chapter, Physical Geography focuses on a few concepts over the course of 50 chapters and professors tend to assign ones on the concepts they want you to learn rather than making you guess which areas are the ones you need to focus on for the class. While the support packet isn't necessary, it includes information that makes the text easier to digest."

Interesting Read  July 31, 2014

So happy this book was easy to read. My professor wasn't particularly interesting, but this book definitely helped me through the class.

Physical Geography : The Global Environment: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 2 user reviews.


Build the courseyouwant to teach. Well known for its flexibility, clarity of presentation, and graphic excellence,Physical Geography: The Global Environment,Fourth Edition, provides a thorough, scientifically authoritative, accessible, and geographic view into Earth''s physical systems. DISTINCTIVE FEATURES Flexible structure: Fifty short, self-contained units make the material in the text easier for students to understand and provide instructors with maximum flexibility in assigning readings, rearranging the order in which materials are taught, and customizing content. Accessible presentation:Written by four scholars--each with decades of successful teaching and writing experience--the book presents complex topics in clear, student-friendly language. Affordable price:Oxford University Press USA, a department of the University of Oxford, is a not-for-profit publisher devoted to furthering the university''s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education. Since accessible materials clearly support this mission, OUP USA uses a combination of not-for-profit status and financial discipline to offer course materials that generally cost students significantly less than those offered by commercial publishers. NEW TO THIS EDITION New authors--James E. Burt and Joseph A. Mason: As practicing teachers and researchers with decades of experience in the classroom and in the field, this new author team draws on deep, personal experience and expertise in all aspects of physical geography teaching, research, and authorship. New units on climate change:This edition features completely revamped coverage of climate change, with Unit18 covering natural change and Unit19 focusing on human-induced change. Updated science:Descriptions and explanations have been methodically evaluated for accuracy, completeness, and currency. There is also expanded coverage of the science behind the greenhouse effect, the global carbon cycle, and other key topics. SUPPORT PACKAGE ( Physical Geography,Fourth Edition, is supported by an extensive and carefully produced supplements program, providing everything instructors need to prepare, present, and assess progress in their course in one easy-to-use package.The package includes: Oxford University Press Animation Series:The authors have worked with leading animators to produce clear, dramatic, and illustrative animations and visualizations of some of the most important concepts in physical geography. Digital Images and PowerPoint Presentations:All of the animations from the Oxford University Press Animation Series, all of the images from the text, and several animations and visualizations from other sources are available to instructors, pre-inserted into PowerPoint. In addition, our ancillary author team has created lecture outlines, arranged by unit, in PowerPoint. Test Questions and Testing Software:Written by experienced professors and answerable directly from the text, these test questions provide instructors with a useful tool for creating and administering tests. Animation and Visualization Exercises:Fun and interactive, these computer-graded exercises allow students to explore physical geography through a series of engaging, hands-on activities. Review Questions:Available for each unitof the book, these computer-graded review questions can be assigned as homework--or used by students for self-review. Lab Manual:Specifically designed to accompany the textbook, this affordable resource includes twenty concise labs. (978-0-19-985962-7) Oxford Homework Online:Simple, intuitive, and mobile, this online resource puts the entire teaching and learning package in one place.* With assignment and assessment results flowing into a straightforward, interactive gradebook, the nationally hosted online learning course gives instructors a clear view into students'' progress. And the system works on every major platform and device--including mobile devices! ( * Website does not include the Lab Manual.

Author Biography

H. J. de Blij
John A. Hannah Professor of Geography, Michigan State University
An undergraduate course in physical geography was Harm de Blij's eye-opener. As a graduate student, he conducted field research in the Swaziland (Africa) Lowveld, working on the hypothesis that this 120-kilometer-long, steep-sided valley might be a southern spur of the great East African rift valley system (PhD, Northwestern University). Since then he has addressed topics ranging from continental drift to climate change and from heat summation in viticulture to rogue waves in oceans. His more than thirty books include technical, text, and trade titles and have been translated into Chinese, Russian, Italian, and other languages. In the media he vigorously promotes geography as indispensable to education, decision-making, and domestic and foreign policy formulation.

Peter O. Muller
Professor of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Miami
Peter O. Muller's many works include The World Today: Concepts and Regions in Geography, Sixth Edition (2012); Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts, Fifteenth Edition (2011); and Economic Geography, Third Edition (1998). Dr. Muller's articles have appeared in numerous journals including The Professional Geographer, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and American Quarterly. His research interests focus on the changing geography of the United States, particularly new forms of suburbanization. He is coeditor of the journal Urban Geography, and has also served as academic production consultant for the original Annenberg/Corporation of Public Broadcasting video series, The Power of Place.

James E. Burt
Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The author of two textbooks--Understanding Weather and Climate, Sixth Edition (2012), and Elementary Statistics for Geographers, Third Edition (2009)--James E. Burt is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching, textbook authorship, and courseware development. Dr. Burt's graduate training was in climatology and quantitative spatial analysis, and he has long had research interests located at the intersection of physical geography and geographic information science. His current research projects revolve around expert systems modeling of the physical environment and knowledge discovery methods for geospatial data.

Joseph A. Mason
Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Joseph A. Mason has published dozens of publications and reports both as a faculty member and as a member of Nebraska's Conservation and Survey Division. An active teacher, he has taught a broad array of courses at the college and graduate level. Dr. Mason's research centers on eolian and hillslope geomorphology; loess stratigraphy/ sedimentology; pedology and soil geomorphology; paleopedology; Quaternary landscape evolution; and geomorphic response to Quaternary climate change, with a geographic focus on the Great Plains, northern China, the central Rocky Mountains, and the Upper Mississippi Valley.

Table of Contents

Unit 1. Introducing Physical Geography
Physical Geography and the Scientific Method
Systems and Models in Physical Geography
Geographic Magnitude
Unit 2. The Planet Earth
Earth Shape and Size
Spheres of the Earth System
Continents and Oceans
The Ocean Basins
Unit 3. Mapping the Earth's Surface
Location on Earth
Depicting Earth: Map Projections
Map Interpretation: Isolines
Evolving Cartographic Technology
Unit 4. Earth-Sun Relationships
Earth's Planetary Motions
Insolation and Its Variation
Unit 5. Radiation and the Heat Balance of Planet Earth
Energy and Heat Transfer
Global Energy Balance
Making Sense of Global Energetics
Unit 6. Composition and Structure of the Atmosphere
Inventory and Overview of Atmospheric Constituents
The Origin, Evolution, and Maintenance of the Atmosphere
Contents and Arrangement of the Atmosphere
The Layered Structure of the Atmosphere
Unit 7. Temperatures of the Lower Atmosphere
What Is Temperature?
Temperature in the Troposphere
The Horizontal Distribution of Temperature
Unit 8. Air Pressure and Winds
Atmospheric Pressure
Air Movement in the Atmosphere
Large-Scale Wind Systems
Small-Scale Wind Systems
Unit 9. Circulation Patterns of the Atmosphere
A Model of the Surface Circulation
The Actual Surface Circulation Pattern
The Aleutian, Icelandic, and Southern Hemisphere Subpolar Lows
Secondary Surface Circulation: Monsoonal Windflows
Circulation of the Upper Atmosphere
Unit 10. Circulation of the World Ocean
The Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere System
Generation of Ocean Currents
Flow Behavior of Ocean Currents
Deep-Sea Currents
El Nio-Southern Oscillation
Unit 11. Atmospheric Moisture and the Water Balance
The Physical Properties of Water
Measuring Water Vapor
The Hydrologic Cycle
Condensation and Clouds
The Surface Water Balance
Unit 12. Precipitation, Air Masses, and Fronts
Air Masses in the Atmosphere
Lifting Mechanisms That Produce Precipitation
Convergent-Lifting Precipitation
Frontal Precipitation
Convectional Precipitation
Orographic Precipitation
Unit 13. Weather Systems
Low-Latitude Weather Systems
Weather Systems of the Middle and Higher Latitudes
Energy and Moisture Within Weather Systems
Unit 14. Climate Classification and Regionalization
Classifying Climates
The Kppen Climate Classification System
The Regional Distribution of Climate Types
Extent and Boundaries of Climate Regions
Unit 15. Tropical (A) and Arid (B) Climates
The Major Tropical (A) Climates
The Major Arid (B) Climates
Unit 16. Mild Midlatitude (C) Climates
The Perpetually Moist (Cf) Climates
The Dry-Summer (Cs) Climates
The Dry-Winter (Cw) Climates
Unit 17. Higher Latitude (D, E) and High-Altitude (H) Climates
The Major Severe Midlatitude (D) Climates
The Polar (E) Climates
High-Altitude (H) Climates
Unit 18. Natural Climate Change
The Nature of Climatic Change
Climate Indicators
Climate Change Mechanisms and Feedbacks
Earth's Climate History
Unit 19. Human Impacts on Climate
Human Impact on Climate: Processes
Global Warming Observed: Temperature Change in the Industrial Period
Implicating Humans in Observed Global Warming
Future Human Impacts on Climate
Unit 20. Climate, Soil, Plants, and Animals
Natural Geography
Conservation and the Biosphere
The Biosphere and the Global Cycle of Carbon
Unit 21. Formation of Soils
The Formation of Soil
Soil Profiles
Soil Regimes
Unit 22. Properties of Soil
Sol and Ped
Physical Properties of Soil
Chemical Properties of Soil
Soils of Hills and Valleys
Development of the Soil System
Unit 23. Classification and Mapping of Soils
Classifying Soils
Soil Taxonomy
Unit 24. Biogeographic Processes
Dynamics of the Biosphere
Plant Succession
Geographic Dispersal
Unit 25. The Global Distribution of Plants
Principal Terrestrial Biomes
Unit 26. Zoogeography: Spatial Aspects of Animal Populations
Range, Habitat, and Niche
Processes of Evolution
Emergence of Zoogeography
Earth's Zoogeographic Realms
Ecological Zoogeography and Conservation
Unit 27. Planet Earth in Profile: The Layered Interior
Evidence of Earth's Internal Structure
Earth's Internal Layers
Earth's Outer Layer
The Crustal Surface
Unit 28. Minerals and Igneous Rocks
Classification of Rock Types
Igneous Rocks
Unit 29. Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks
Sedimentary Rocks
Metamorphic Rocks
The Rock Cycle
Unit 30. Plates of the Lithosphere
Wegener's Hypothesis
Plate Tectonics
Movement of Plates
Unit 31. Plate Movement: Causes and Effects
The Mechanism of Plate Motion
Evolution of the Continents
Unit 32. Volcanism and Its Landforms
Distribution of Volcanic Activity
Properties of Magma
Volcanic Landforms
Volcanoes and Human History
Landscapes of Volcanism
Unit 33. Earthquakes and Landscapes
What Produces Earthquakes?
Earthquake Damage
Earthquake Distribution
Earthquakes and Landscapes
Unit 34. Faults, Folds, and Landscapes
Terminology of Structure
Fold Structures
Regional Deformation
Unit 35. The Formation of Landforms and Landscapes
Processes That Shape Landforms and Landscapes
Gravity, Slopes, and Relief
Erosion and Tectonics
Regional Landscapes
Unit 36. Weathering Processes
Mechanical Weathering
Chemical Weathering
Biological Weathering
Geography of Weathering
Unit 37. Mass Movements
Slope Stability and Mass Movement
Forms of Mass Movement
The Importance of Mass Movements
Unit 38. Water in the Lithosphere
Water at the Surface
Water Beneath the Surface
Human Use of Groundwater
Unit 39. Slopes and Streams
Erosion of Slopes by Water
Drainage Basins and Sediment Yields
The Work of Streams
The River as a System
Unit 40. Landscapes Shaped by Stream Erosion
Factors Affecting the Patterns of Stream Erosion
Drainage Patterns
Overcoming Geologic Structure
Long-Term Evolution of the Landscape
Unit 41. Landforms of the Fluvial System
Alluvial Fans
Landforms of River Valleys
Unit 42. Karst Processes and Landforms
Karst Processes
Karst Landforms and Landscapes
Karst and Caves
Unit 43. Glacial Erosion and Deposition
Glaciers of the Past
The Glacier as a System
Glacial Movement and Erosion
The Movement of Ice
Unit 44. Landforms and Landscapes of Continental Glaciation
Ice Sheets, Present and Past
North America's Glaciations
Landscapes Shaped by Continental Ice Sheets
The Great Lakes and Their Evolution
Pluvial Lakes
Unit 45. Landforms and Landscapes of Mountain Glaciers
Mountain Glaciers Today
Erosional Landforms of Mountain Glaciers
Depositional Landforms of Mountain Glaciers
Unit 46. Periglacial Environments and Landscapes
Geomorphic Processes in Periglacial Environments
Landforms of Periglacial Regions
Understanding Periglacial Environments
Unit 47. Wind as a Geomorphic Agent
Wind Erosion
Wind Transportation
Landforms Shaped by Wind
Unit 48. Coastal Processes
Erosion and Transportation of Sediment by Wave Action
Storms and Crustal Movements
Unit 49. Coastal Landforms and Landscapes
Depositional Landforms
Erosional Landforms
Coastal Landscapes
Living Shorelines
Unit 50. Physiographic Realms and Regions: The Spatial Variation of Landscapes
Defining Physiographic Realms and Regions
Physiographic Realms and Regions of North America
The Physiographic Imprint
Appendix: SI and Customary Units and Their Conversions
Pronunciation Guide
Glossary of Terms

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