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Price: $27.95

Hardback 256 pp.
7 black and white; 12 colour, 6" x 9"



Publication date:
March 2009

Imprint: OUP Canada

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Our Planet's Ailing Atmosphere

Hans Tammemagi

Climate change is an issue that has taken on great urgency in recent years, but it is not an isolated problem. Hans Tammemagi argues that climate change is but one of the many problems associated with the changing character of one of the most basic components of life: the air we breathe.

Tammemagi's fascinating exploration of air illustrates that it is far from being an empty void; rather, it is a vast ocean of gases that are layered, constantly mixing, generating weather, and providing the basis for life itself. While illustrating the beauty and mystery of air, Tammemagi also examines its declining quality in chapters that discuss smog over cities (and elsewhere), acid rain, the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, and, of course, global warming. As a scientist, writer, and activist, Tammemagi explains the key issues associated with air in a clear, lucid, and compelling style. Air is a vital piece of reading on an issue of rapidly growing urgency.

Containing a wealth of information such as the history and evolution of our atmosphere, biographical notes about key scientists, descriptions of significant inventions, and colour photography, this book presents the great aerial ocean like we have never seen it before.

Readership : This attractively designed book, which gives a general introduction of the history of air from the planet's birth to today, will appeal to general trade. It is in US English, with both metric and imperial units, and takes a largely North American outlook.

1. The Plight of the Atmosphere
2. The Delicate Atmosphere
3. The Ever-Changing Weather
4. Smog: The Deadly Haze
5. Transportation: A Large Environmental Tire Print
6. Acid Rain: The Scourge of the Loons
7. King Coal and Fossil Fuels
8. The Tenuous Ozone Shield
9. The Globe is Heating Up
10. More Signs that the Canary is Choking
11. The Path Forward

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Hans Tammemagi, Ph.D., is a writer and environmental consultant located in Pender Island, British Columbia. He is the environment columnist for the Vancouver Sun and an adjunct professor at the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria.

Parks and Protected Areas in Canada - Edited by Philip Dearden and Rick Rollins

Special Features

  • An accessible and original exploration of the beauty, mystery, and complexity of the air we breathe
  • Text boxes include facts on scientific history and biographical notes
  • Includes figures, tables, black and white photography, plus an 8-page colour insert
  • A compelling introduction to the declining quality of air, this book explores the damage caused by smog, acid rain, and ozone depletion
  • Places the central issue of global warming within the context of the changing properties of our atmosphere