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Energy in nature and society : general energetics of complex systems

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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A comprehensive, systematic, analytically unified, and interdisciplinary treatment of energy in nature and society, from solar radiation and photosynthesis to our fossil fuelled civilization and its  Read more...

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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Vaclav Smil
ISBN: 9780262693561 0262693569 9780262195652 0262195658
OCLC Number: 80359863
Description: xi, 480 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Contents: 1. The universal link: energetics, energy, and power. Evolution of energetics: from Aristotle to Einstein ; Approaches to understanding: concepts, variables, units --
2. Planetary energetics: hydrosphere, lithosphere. Sun: the star and its radiation ; Energy balance of the Earth: radiation fluxes ; Hydrosphere and atmosphere: thermal and mass fluxes ; Water and air in motion: kinetic fluxes ; Geoenergetics: heat, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes --
3. Photosynthesis: bioenergetics of primary production. Photosynthetic pathways ; Global primary productivity ; Productivities of ecosystems and plants ; Phytomass stores ; Autotrophic scaling --
4. Heterotrophic conversions: consumer bioenergetics. Metabolic capabilities ; Ectotherms and endotherms ; Locomotion ; Biomasses and productivities ; Heterotrophs in ecosystems --
5. Human energetics: people as a simple heterotophs. Energy sources and basal metabolism ; Requirements and uncertainties ; Thermoregulation ; Limits of human performance ; Gathering, hunting and fishing --
Traditional food production: humans as a solar farmers. Extensive practices ; Permanent cropping ; Muscles, implements, machines ; Cropping intensification ; Traditional agricultures --
7. Preindustrial complexification: prime movers and fuels in traditional societies. Animate power: human and animal muscles ; Water and wind: wheels and mills ; Phytomass fuels and metallurgy: wood, charcoal, crop residues ; Construction: methods and structures ; Transportation: roads and ships. 8. Fossil fuels: heat, light and prime movers. Coals: the earliest modern fuels ; Hydrocarbons: crude oils and natural gases ; From extraction to combustion: modern fossil-fuel industries ; Mechanical prime movers: engines and turbines ; Fossil-fueled electricity: generation and transmission --
9. Fossil-fueled civilization: patterns and trends. Fuels ad fossil-fueled electricity : energy production and trade ; Nonfossil contributions: biomass and primary electricity ; Global consumption patterns: growth and inequality ; Qualitative changes: transitions and efficiencies ; Energy conservation: gains and rebounds --
10. Energy costs: valuations and changes. Energy cost of energy: net gains ; Basic materials: from concrete to fertilizers ; Structures and products: from buildings to computers ; Crops and animal foods: subsidized diets ; Modern food system: gains, costs, efficiencies --
11. Environmental consequences: metabolism of fossil-fueled civilization. Power densities: energy and land ; Energy conversions and heat rejection ; Energy and water ; Energy and the atmosphere ; Interference in grand biospheric cycles --
12. Energetic correlates: complexities of high-energy civilization. Energy and the economy ; Energy and value ; Energy and the quality of life ; Energy and war ; Energy and the future --
13. Grand patterns: energetic and other essentials. Energy in the biosphere ; Energy and the civilization ; The challenges ahead.
Responsibility: Vaclav Smil.
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Energy in Nature and Society is filled with facts, measurements, and brief but accurate descriptions of dozens of techniques, which when combined, force facts to make sense.-Alfred W. Crosby, Read more...

 
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