The global environmental future is a matter of major scientific and public importance. Problems such as deforestation, pollution, the loss of natural habitats, and greenhouse-gas induced global warming have grave and often uncertain implications. But what do these processes involve? What is causing them and what will or might be their consequences? Global warming would, for example, have far-reaching effects on sea levels, rainfall, glacier dynamics, and the distribution of plants and animals, as well as on a wide range of human activities.
The Changing Global Environment provides a clear, well-integrated account by leading scientists of the nature of change in the earth's natural environment in the past, present and future. Taken as a whole, it is distinguished by its concern to understand and to link environmental variations at local, regional and planetary scales, by its clear analyses of human-environment interactions, by its historical perspective, and by an awareness of the social and political causes and consequences of environmental change. The subject is as complex as it is crucial: the authors have aimed not to simplify but to clarify uncertainties, issues and processes.
Written to be accessible to both specialist and non-specialist readers, this book also provides a powerful and stimulating framework for the teaching of environmental issues in higher education.
"Here we have a genuine attempt by the editor and most of the authors to think in terms of truly world-wide processes, such as those to be found in the ocean-atmosphere system, or at least to describe specific local outcomes of global mechanisms. The concepts and technical information are often complex but the language is accessible and the issues tackled are both interesting and very relevant for geography and environmental science courses. Each chapter is well illustrated and has guidance for further reading." International Journal of Environmental Studies
"Aimed largely at an undergraduate audience it would do very well as a source for teachers and senior pupils. This is a good book and I can recommend it as the best available offering of this ilk." Geography
"Considering the enormity of topics implied by the title, The Changing Global Environment does a good job, providing a useful overview of many important issues." Journal of Paleolimnology
List of Contributors.
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms.
Preface and Acknowledgements.
Part I: The Nature of Environmental Change:.
1. The Global Environmental Future: Neil Roberts.
2. Remote Sensing of Environmental Change: Roy Haines-Young.
Part II: Global Climate Change: .
3. Past Climates and Future Greenhouse Warming: F. Alayne Street-Perrott and Neil Roberts.
4. Historic Records and Recent Climatic Change: Mike Hulme.
5. Numerical Modelling of Global Climate: Ann Henderson-Sellers.
Part III: Ice and Ocean:.
6. Global Warming and Periglacial Landscapes: Eduard A. Koster.
7. Ice Volumes and Climate Change: David Sugden and Nick Hulton.
8. Sea-level Response to Climate: Michael J. Tooley.
9. Tropical Coral Islands - An Uncertain Future?: Tom Spencer.
Part IV: The Hydrological System:.
10. Surface Water Acidification: Richard W. Battarbee.
11. Reconstructing the History of Soil Erosion: John Dearing.
12. Large-scale River Regulation: Geoff Petts.
Part V: The Tropics:.
13. Savanna Landscapes and Global Environmental Change: Philip Stott.
14. Tropical Moist Forests - Transformation or Conservation?: Peter A. Furley.
15. Land Degradation in the Humid Tropics: Ian Douglas.
16. Dryland Degradation: Andrew Goudie.
Part VI: Case Studies of Human Impact:.
17. Case 1: Changing Use of the Sahara Desert: Erhard Schulz.
18. Case 2: The Chesapeake Bay Estuarine System: Grace S. Brush.
19. Case 3: China's Yellow River Basin: Edward Derbyshire and Jingtai Wang.
20. Case 4: Deforestation in the Himalaya: Martin J. Haigh.