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By Richard Garratt

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The internal combustion engines that drive most of our cars and buses burn fossil fuels and generate a great deal of waste heat that is forced out into the atmosphere in the exhaust fumes. This raises the temperature of our city streets, as do the streetlights that we keep switched on in the city throughout the night. Industrial cities have factories that also lose waste heat to their surroundings. 5°C) over a year and often by around 9°F (5°C) or more on some days. Cities, therefore, have their own microclimates, and the animals and plants that inhabit them often reflect these distinctive microclimates (see “Opportunities in the city,” pages 126–130).

The pyramids of Lower Egypt were built in stone. Not only was their construction an extraordinary feat of engineering, but also the collection of the raw materials must have involved a remarkable degree of effort. Generally, the central burial chamber was constructed of granite slabs, and then the outer mass of the pyramid was built of layers of limestone blocks. The granite slabs for the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza weighed around 50 tons each. 3 million of these were used in the erection of the pyramid.

The water that permeates soil is not pure. Even before landing on the soil surface, rainwater has already been able to dissolve certain materials from the atmosphere. Some of the gases in the atmosphere are soluble, such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and the oxides of nitrogen. 04 percent). When it dissolves in water it forms carbonic acid, a weak acid but one that attacks some of the components of rock and renders them soluble. Carbonic acid can extract elements such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium from rock and form carbonates in the soil, where they are available for uptake by plant roots.

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