Landscapes are all around us, but most of us know very little about how they have developed, what goes on in them, and how they react to changing climates, tectonics, and human activities. Examining what landscape is, and how we use a range of ideas and techniques to study it, Andrew Goudie and Heather Viles demonstrate how scientists have built on classic methods--pioneered by the great researchers of the nineteenth century--to shed new light on our planet. Using examples from around the world, including New Zealand, the Tibetan Plateau, and the deserts of the Middle East, they examine some of the key controls on landscape today such as tectonics and climate, as well as humans and the living world. They also discuss some major "landscape detectives" from the past, including Charles Darwin, who did some important, but often overlooked, research on landscape. Concluding with the cultural importance of landscape, and exploring how this has led to the conservation of much "earth
heritage," they delve into the future and look at how we can predict the response of landscapes to the projected climate change.