Climatic change, now more than ever in this age of global warming, is seen as fundamental to the study of the environment. This text examines the importance of climate as one of the major forcing functions in the global environmental change process. It emphasizes both human-induced climatic change and natural climatic change, providing a comprehensive historical context and important projections for the future. It offers a thorough, up-to-date, critical overview of the physical science behind global warming concerns. *Provides a comprehensive discussion of the components of the climate system and the relationship between climate and weather *Looks at the factors, both natural and anthropogenic, driving climate change *Discusses how climate change will be affected in the future by human activity *Examines the factors involved in projected sea level rise *Case studies and boxed material within chapters illustrate key points *Each chapter begins with a synopsis and ends with a list of topics for discussion and an annotated further reading section *Climate and Global Environmental Change is the second book to be published within the Understanding Global Environmental Change series, des
This volume includes over 30 chapters, written by experts from around the world. It examines numerous management strategies for dealing with drought and scarcity. These strategies include management approaches for different regions, such as coastal, urban, rural, and agricultural areas. It offers multiple strategies for monitoring, assessing, and forcasting drought through the use of remote sensing and GIS tools. It also presents drought mitigation management strategies, such as groundwater management, rainwater harvesting, conservations practices, and more.
Hydrology and Global Environmental Change presents the hydrological contribution to, and consequences of, global environmental change. Assuming little or no prior knowledge on the part of the reader, the book looks at the main processes of global environmental change - global scale processes, large regional processes, repetitive processes - and how the hydrological cycle, processes and regimes impact on GEC and vice-versa.
The global climate changes that led to the expansion and contraction of high latitude ice sheets during the Quaternary period were associated with equally dramatic changes in tropical environments. These included shifts in vegetation zones, changes in the hydrology and ecology of lakes and rivers, and fluctuations in the size of mountain glaciers and sandy deserts. Until recently it was thought that such changes were triggered by fluctuations in the distribution of polar ice cover. Now there is increasing recognition that the tropics themselves have acted as drivers of global climate change over a range of timescales. The aim of Quaternary Environmental Change in the Tropics is to provide a synthesis of the changes that occurred in tropical terrestrial and marine systems during the Pleistocene and Holocene, complementing data-derived reconstructions with output from state-of-the-art climate models. It is targeted at final-year undergraduate students and research specialists, but will provide an introduction to tropical Quaternary research for a variety of other readers.
Biological and Ecological Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
Author: Harold A. Mooney,Josep G. Canadell
Volume 2 of the Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change deals with the fundamental science that underpins the understanding of quantities and processes that control the basic biogeochemical cycles, and the associated changes in ecosystem physiology and structure under current and predicted human-driven global environmental change. These changes also include the dramatic loss of species, and the world's reorganization of biota towards higher homogenization. Main themes covered includes: spatial scales of the biosphere including species, populations, communities, ecosystems, biomes, and the Earth system as a whole a description of the most important efforts of a number of international programs, fundamental in the development of thinking in this new field of science The new understanding provided in this volume forms the basic building blocks allowing: integration of the biospheric processes and quantities with the Earth's physical system into one single Earth system detection of changes in the world's ecosystems' function and structure, both as already visible impacts of global change and also as indicators of change development of the capability to predict impacts on the biosphere brought about by global environmental changes over the next few decades to century. The information within this volume will enable scientists to develop the technical capabilities and policy tools to mitigate and adapt to undesirable changes.
Science by Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change,National Research Council,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Board on Environmental Change and Society
Author: Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change,National Research Council,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Board on Environmental Change and Society
Publisher: National Academies Press
Global environmental change often seems to be the most carefully examined issue of our time. Yet understanding the human side--human causes of and responses to environmental change--has not yet received sustained attention. Global Environmental Change offers a strategy for combining the efforts of natural and social scientists to better understand how our actions influence global change and how global change influences us. The volume is accessible to the nonscientist and provides a wide range of examples and case studies. It explores how the attitudes and actions of individuals, governments, and organizations intertwine to leave their mark on the health of the planet. The book focuses on establishing a framework for this new field of study, identifying problems that must be overcome if we are to deepen our understanding of the human dimensions of global change, presenting conclusions and recommendations.
Environmental Change, Ecosystem Science, Attitudes and Values
Author: Steve Trudgill
Terrestrial Biosphere tries to pose the questions which underlie the many-sided debate of how to respond to and influence change: How should we view nature? What do we do for the best - how should we act - what are we trying to achieve and what should we be guided by?In doing so the book introduces and attempts to analyse not only scientific aspects of the debate but also cultural attitudes and values: the notions of ecosystem stability are now challenged and it is also clear that ecosystems are renewable but not repeatable. It finds that prescriptive 'solutions' based on current constructs may not be adequate. Feeling that analysis should lead to advocacy, the author believes that if we can't improve predictability, we have to increase adaptability which means that ecological and social capacity building should be advocated. This is seen in terms of concepts, institutions, attitudes and values which allow for a plurality of meanings and which can cope with surprise and unforeseen change - and which also facilitates responses to change.
Author: R.E. Munn,J.W.M. la Rivière,N. van Lookeren Campagne
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Technology & Engineering
Major international, interdisciplinary research programmes are now underway to increase our understanding of how the Earth System operates and how it is changing through the effects of human activities. Although understanding and predictive capacity are still limited, scientists already agree that significant global changes must be expected in the next 50 years that will affect the capacity of the Earth to sustain life. Governments, business and industry have, therefore, come to recognize that scientific knowledge about the changing global environment - as yet incomplete but rapidly evolving - is becoming indispensable for wise long-term policy making, the goal being to design preventive, adaptive and remedial measures. Thus global change science and policy making are engaged in a process of forming a new partnership that is taking shape as further insights evolve. Effective continuous interactions between the partners requires mutual understanding: decision-makers need to understand the unique potential but also the limitations of the results of scientific research in progress while scientists must take into account the priorities and constraints of policy-makers in designing and implementing policies that will promote long-term sustainability of life on this planet. This book contributes in a unique manner to this mutual understanding: It gives an overview of the ongoing relevant research focusing on the two major international programmes, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and the World Climate Research Programme. These are described in terms understandable to the interested lay reader. The results of the latest review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are included. This is followed by an analysis of the response process that is in progress with respect to governments - singly and multilaterally - by business and industry and by public interest groups. This process is leading to interactive structures, assessment procedures and legislation, nationally and internationally. Business and industry are changing from mere watchfulness to recognition of new opportunities for products and processes. Six interviews with prominent figures from business and government circles in the Netherlands provide a vivid illustration of the questions at issue. The appendices provide overviews of methods for incorporating the results of global change science into policy-making and development of long lasting projects. Adaptation to climate change serves as an example. Thus, for the first time, one book describes both ongoing research work in global change and the response processes that the research results are evoking. It is of interest to all stake-holders in the scientific community as well as to decision-makers in industry, business and government.
Nature by Alf Hornborg,John Robert McNeill,Juan Martínez Alier
World-system History and Global Environmental Change
Author: Alf Hornborg,John Robert McNeill,Juan Martínez Alier
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
This exciting new reader in environmental history provides a framework for understanding the relations between ecosystems and world systems over time. Alf Hornborg has brought together a group of the foremost writers from the social, historical and geographical sciences to provide an overview of the ecological dimension of global, economic processes, with a long-term, historical perspective. Readers are challenged to integrate studies of the Earth system with studies of the World system, and to reconceptualize human-environmental relations and the challenges of global sustainability. Immanuel Wallerstein, renowned Yale sociologist and originator of the world-system concept, closes the volume with his reflections on the intellectual, moral, and political implications of global environmental change.
The second edition of this best-selling and highly respected textbook provides an accessible and engaging introduction to the major topics within physical geography. An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment is designed with a range of in-text features such as case studies and reflective questions to aid study. As well as this, students have access to a rich and extensive range of online support resources such as extra weblinks, fieldwork worksheets, interactive models and new video clips of physical processes in action, all of which will help them achieve success in their Physical Geography course.
Science by Institute of Medicine,Board on Global Health,Forum on Microbial Threats
Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary
Author: Institute of Medicine,Board on Global Health,Forum on Microbial Threats
Publisher: National Academies Press
Long before the "germ theory" of disease was described, late in the nineteenth century, humans knew that climatic conditions influence the appearance and spread of epidemic diseases. Ancient notions about the effects of weather and climate on disease remain embedded in our collective consciousness-through expressions such as "cold" for rhinovirus infections; "malaria," derived from the Latin for "bad air;" and the common complaint of feeling "under the weather." Today, evidence is mounting that earth's climate is changing at a faster rate than previously appreciated, leading researchers to view the longstanding relationships between climate and disease with new urgency and from a global perspective. On December 4 and 5, 2007, the Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop in Washington, DC to consider the possible infectious disease impacts of global climate change and extreme weather events on human, animal, and plant health, as well as their expected implications for global and national security.
This book addresses civilization ́s most important environmental challenge; climate change. Burning of fossil fuels has greatly increased the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, trapping more of the sun ́s energy near the Earth ́s surface. In response, our planet is warming at an unprecedented rate, and ecosystems are already changing. Climate Change - Causes, Effects, and Solutions, is divided into three main sections; Climate Change; Past, Present, and Future; Ecological Effects of Climate Change; Human Dimensions of Climate Change. It presents an accurate account of what we do and do not know about climate change. Key features of this book include - A comprehensive analysis of both the science and policy issues of climate change. A clear description of the causes of climate change Documentation of the predicted effects of climate change on ecosystems, agriculture, sea level, human health and infrastructure A range of case studies from North America, Europe, Australasia, and elsewhere A discussion of proposed actions at the individual, national and international levels to reduce climate change or its impacts.This book is an ideal text for courses in global climate change, or as a supplement to courses in environmental studies, natural science, climatology, or physical geography. Additionally, it is essential reading for journalists, environmental policymakers, and everyone who seeks to understand the consequences of climate change and the steps we must take to sustain a livable planet.
Nature by Osvaldo E. Sala,Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald,F.S. Iii
Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences
Author: Committee on Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences in the Next Decade,Board on Earth Sciences and Resources,Division on Earth and Life Studies,National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth's surface. With Earth's population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is more important than ever to understand how and where these changes are happening. Innovation in the geographical sciences has the potential to advance knowledge of place-based environmental change, sustainability, and the impacts of a rapidly changing economy and society. Understanding the Changing Planet outlines eleven strategic directions to focus research and leverage new technologies to harness the potential that the geographical sciences offer.
Physical and Chemical Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
Author: Michael C. MacCracken,John S. Perry
Volume One of this Encyclopedia deals with the physical and chemical dimensions of the Earth system, including for example the atmosphere, the oceans, the cryosphere, and those aspects of the land surface particularly relevant to interactions with other components of the Earth system. It focuses on the most dynamic aspects of the system, on the factors and processes that produce change, and on the programs and individual scientists most concerned with measuring and understanding change. The volume begins with a group of extended review essays, followed by shorter articles on various aspects of the history, current state, and possible future states of the Earth system, including the interactions among the components of this system. Expert contributions feature on: * Historical trends in various environmental indicators, both in the past century and extending back through geological time * What we have learned, and the tools used to gain knowledge about the functioning of this complex system, from field programs to model simulations * Effects of human intervention on climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion * Details of organized international observing, data management, and research programs in the Earth sciences * brief biographies of a selection of leading scientists This volume represents a uniquely valuable source of focused, timely, and authoritative information relating to the issues of global environmental change. It has been constructed broad enough in scope to illuminate every corner of the relevant geophysical sciences, while remaining concise and readily usable by the non-specialist.
Science by National Research Council,Policy and Global Affairs,Policy Division,Committee on Global Change Research
Author: National Research Council,Policy and Global Affairs,Policy Division,Committee on Global Change Research
Publisher: National Academies Press
This report is intended to promote a dialogue between the scientific community and the government officials who will lead our nation in the coming years on global change research. The first section of the report is a brief description of the challenges and proposed responses needed from the highest levels of the government and the second provides more detailed discussion and is directed to agency-level issues and responses. The last section is a detailed bibliography that lists many of the specific reports on which the views outlined here are ultimately based.