Public awareness and concern over environmental degradation has reached an all time high, as the effect of man's activities on the global environment grows to greater and greater proportions. To understand the consequences of these activities, it is necessary to understand the fundamental nature of the system that supports life on a planetary scale. This book is the first interdisciplinary text on global ecology and is readable to students with only one to two years of science background. It contains a glossary of specialized terms which will enable students who are traditionally trained in geology, astronomy, and chemistry to understand the ecological topics presented. It places biogeochemical cycles witin a planetary perspective, and ties satellite technology, and applications to the earth sciences. As such, it can be the basis for new courses in planetary ecology, as well as being useful for present day ecology courses and seminars in environmental science.