The Encyclopedia is a five-volume set with an associated website. Originally published in print format in 2002. The Encyclopedia contains: 500 authored articles; 150 definitions; 100 acronyms; 100 biographies of widely recognized contributors to global environmental change. Each article is prefaced by a few paragraphs aimed at the non-specialist level followed by a more rigorous academic review.
The five-volume set is arranged around the following themes: Volume 1: The Earth System: Physical and Chemical Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (including climatology, meteorology, physical oceanography, chemistry and Earth Surface processes) . Volume 2: The Earth System: Biological and Ecological Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (terrestrial aquatic: marine freshwater). Volume 3: Causes and Consequences of Global Environmental Change (including natural as well as human forces). Volume 4: Responding to Global Environmental Change (covering policy and related socioeconomic/ethical questions). Volume 5: Social and Economic Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (covering the biosphere and society and technical/social /engineering solutions).
Taking a thematic approach rather than simply alphabetical, the encyclopedia includes theory, empirical studies and applications, emphasizing the interrrelationship between various disciplines and systems. This structure reflects the current development of environmental research and makes the product useful both as a research reference and as an advanced level teaching tool.
The Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia brings together a group of internationally highly-respected academics under the overall control of the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Ted Munn.