This book is a comprehensive introduction to the physical environment from an Australian perspective. After explaining the disciplinary approaches of geography and environmental sciences, this book examines the physical environment in terms of the three critical focus areas of climatology, geomorphology and biogeography. Hydrological issues are considered alongside all three of these areas. It also seeks to explain the processes and major Australian, and global patterns within and between each of these components. While many of the geographical and environmental features of this continent occur worldwide, Australia, due to its age and its geographical placement, has also developed an environment all its own. Comparative examples from around the world are included to place Australia and its unique environmental characteristics within the global context. Fully illustrated and with case studies clearly linking link the theoretical content to real life issues, this book gives Australian students an understanding of the science of the continent's physical environment which is critical for decision making now, and for the future. The text is supported by an online resource center to complete the teaching and learning experience.