This book starts by discussing the global flows of energy and materials and changes caused by human activities. It then examines the limitations of anthropogenic energy and material flows and the consequences for the development of human society. Different scenarios for lifestyle patterns are correlated with the future development of the global energy supply and climate. As it provides a process engineering approach to the Earth system and global development, readers should have a basic understanding of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.
This second edition also reflects new developments since the original publication: increases in anthropogenic energy and material flows due to significant economic growth in certain parts of the world, and recent changes in energy policy and technological development countries, such as Germany (the Energiewende, or transition to renewable energy sources), where goals have been defined and measures initiated for a future energy supply without fossil and nuclear sources. As such, it offers a valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate students as well as practicing experts alike.