Through the use of satellite and aircraft-acquired images, color photographs, and scientific analysis, Our Changing Planet: The View From Space takes a look at the four components of the Earth system: the atmosphere, the land surface, the oceans, and the cryosphere. The book also highlights signatures of global climate change and human intervention on Earth system variables and processes.
The book begins with a general description of the atmosphere. The structure of clouds, water vapor, rainfall, hurricanes, and lightning and their impacts on global climate are explained. This is followed by an explanation of anthropogenic activity and its impact on the atmosphere, for example, ship and aircraft emissions and atmospheric pollution of ozone, dust, and other aerosols and chlorine compounds. The land surface section of the book first focuses on solid Earth aspects: faults in the Earth's interior and volcanoes. This is followed by a description of extreme events such as floods and outbreaks of epidemics and their links to vegetation and changes in vegetation and glaciers as a reflection of climate change. The section ends with the variables soil moisture and surface temperature.