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Handbook of Energy by Christopher G. Morris, Cutler J. Cleveland

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Section 46

Ecology

The scientific discipline of ecology studies the interactions of organisms with each other and with their environment. In the context of this book, the subject area Ecology deals with the way human energy use affects these interactions. This section also includes significant developments in the science of ecology itself, because this discipline intensively studies the role played by energy in the natural world.

Effects of energy use on the biosphere have been noted since ancient times. About 2,400 years ago, the philosopher Plato observed the absence of trees in large areas of Greece, a result of demand for wood fuel for home heating and cooking and for industrial uses such as smelting and shipbuilding.

The modern ecological ...

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