Living on Earth

Living on Earth case studies highlight the many intersections between everyday life and the environment, and emphasize the reasons why the chapter content is important and relevant.

8 06, 2015


By |June 8th, 2015|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

One of the most devastating consequences of subduction is the generation of the massive ocean waves known as tsunamis (from the Japanese for “harbor wave”). Large subduction earthquakes, like the magnitude 9.1 earthquake that occurred [...]

1 05, 2015

The Dilemma of Fracking

By |May 1st, 2015|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a controversial technology used to extract shale gas. By effectively shattering the shale around a drill hole, fracking improves the rock’s permeability so that the gas trapped within the rock [...]

6 04, 2015

The Dust Bowl

By |April 6th, 2015|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

Desertification is the spread of desert conditions into formerly fertile regions. The human and ecological disaster that struck the southwestern Great Plains of the United States in the 1930s and came to be known as [...]

9 03, 2015

The Environmental Impact of Mining

By |March 9th, 2015|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

Exploitation of the world’s mineral deposits has defined human development and lies at the very heart of modern industrial society. But the mining of our mineral deposits has serious environmental consequences. The quest for mineral [...]

12 01, 2015

Volcanoes and the Air We Breathe

By |January 12th, 2015|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

Earth’s atmosphere consists of gases and trace amounts of suspended particles from volcanoes, nuclear explosions, and industrial pollutants. Although atmospheric gases can be detected up to 700 kilometers (435 miles) above Earth’s surface, 99 percent [...]

8 12, 2014

Salt of the Earth

By |December 8th, 2014|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

Precious minerals such as diamond, gold, and silver are glamorous because their worth lies in their appearance as well as their distinctive properties. Many common minerals, however, also have a profound influence on our lives [...]

23 10, 2014

The Food Chain

By |October 23rd, 2014|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

By definition, soil must be capable of supporting life, and so soil is the foundation of how the food chain operates on land. The food chain describes the movement of energy and nutrients through the [...]

22 09, 2014

Radioactivity and Radon Gas

By |September 22nd, 2014|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

Sometimes it seems as people share a general misconception that nature is entirely benevolent and that our environmental problems are all of our own making. This is not completely true. Radon gas is a natural [...]

7 09, 2014

King Coal

By |September 7th, 2014|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

The historical importance of coal cannot be overemphasized. The Industrial Revolution started in England in the late 18th century and by the early 19th century had spread to western Europe and North America. The [...]

16 06, 2014

Origin of the Chemical Elements

By |June 16th, 2014|Living on Earth|0 Comments|

In this chapter, we discuss the various ways in which the chemical elements combine to form minerals, but this leads us to ask a broader question: How do these elements form in the first place? [...]