This book explains how the new Earth System approach to Earth Science is revolutionizing our understanding of Earth processes and changes. Separate chapters cover the Earth's major systems (atmosphere, hydrosphere cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere); the Big Bang theory of the universe's origin; geology and the geologic time scale; plate tectonics and continental drift; weathering and erosion; the world's oceans and atmosphere; environmental considerations; and, much more. Charts, graphs, diagrams, instructive line illustrations, and where appropriate, amusing cartoons help to make learning E-Z. "Barron's E-Z" books are self-teaching manuals designed to improve students' grades in a wide variety of academic and practical subjects. For most subjects, the level of difficulty ranges between senior school and college-101 standards. E-Z books review their subjects in detail, and feature both short quizzes and longer tests with answers to help students gauge their learning progress. All exercises and tests come with answers. Subject heads and key phrases are set in a second color as an easy reference aid.