The book use an approach that explains the mechanisms but is equation-free. It is written from the point of view of a physicist and treats the physical processes in detail providing a deep understanding in particular of the energy balance and the greenhouse effect. It avoids technical jargon and presents the issues in a simple and clear manner. In addition to the fuller explanations, the approach is innovative. The record of past climates is used as a benchmark to assess current climate changes and to apprehend the true magnitude of coming changes that stem from human activity. It is for this reason that such emphasis is given to understanding the mechanisms (Parts 1 and 2) and the lessons from past climates (Part 3). The central subject of the book is thus that of Work Package 1 of IPCC, namely “Climate changes in the past and to come”. Although many topics are covered, the book focuses on the fundamental mechanisms that underlie climate equilibrium. These are discussed in depth and placed in a hierarchy, which provides a better perspective of the different factors, parameters and mechanisms that drive the variations in the average climate. One of its novelties is to present the notion of average climate in terms of energy required to maintain the climate. This allows the reader to understand the basic role of the available energy on the Earth and to generalise the concept of climate on the scale of the whole planet. In this way the fundamental importance of the greenhouse effect is introduced, as well as the average temperature as an indicator of climate change, i.e., the pertinence of the temperature – energy parameter. This is why it describes the average climate in terms of the three key components : temperature, rainfall and wind. Special attention is given to the energy balance of the planet in all its aspects and to understanding clearly the mechanism of the greenhouse effect and the physical notion of temperature. These last two form the basis of the perturbation generated by human activity and the means of quantifying its impact. By presenting the detailed climate archives over the last few million years (Part 3, Lessons of the Past), in particular the glacial - interglacial cycles of the Quaternary era, the mechanism that drives the natural climate changes is revealed, and the lessons to be learnt from the past follow naturally. Emphasis is laid on the means of characterizing and quantifying global climate change: -Global warming is accompanied by an average rise in temperature that increases with latitude. Mean latitudes experience a rise in temperature twice as great as that of the overall average (a finding that is confirmed by the recent warming and which is forecast in the models for the 21st century). -Throughout the whole of the Quaternary era (last few million years) the warm interglacial periods never encountered a rise in the average temperature greater than 2°C beyond the current warm period. This provides a reference for the global warming that is approaching. -Finally, with respect to biodiversity, the glacial - interglacial cycles of the past illustrate how the impact of large temperature changes can affect the biosphere, and promote greater biodiversity at lower latitudes. These points serve to circumscribe the magnitude of the changes, both in the climate and in the biosphere, that are in store in the 21st century. The whole of Part 4 (Recent evolution in the climate) summarizes the consequences of the recent global warming. The interest here is to illustrate the observed impact on the planet of a global climate change. This highlights the predictions of the models, which are entirely consistent with these observations (Part 5).
Explores the role of the ocean in fast climate changes in the past and conceivable future. The first half of the 16 papers present data interpretation, hypotheses based on data analyses, and ideas that shed new light on past climates and their evolution. The remaining papers describe climate system models that focus on the global ocean, starting with simpler, ocean-only models that develop into full, three-dimensional models of entire climate systems. Topics include the key climate transitions during the Quaternary period, stochastic resonance in the North Atlantic, and the relationship between glacial- to-interglacial changes of ocean circulation and eolian sediment transport. No index. c. Book News Inc.
Reconstructing climatic changes in deserts and their margins at a variety of scales in space and time, this book draws upon evidence from land and sea, including desert dunes, wind-blown dust, river and lake sediments, glacial moraines, plant and animal fossils, isotope geochemistry, speleothems, soils, and prehistoric archaeology. The book summarises the Cenozoic evolution of the major deserts of the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Australia and the causes of historic floods and droughts. The book then considers the causes and consequences of desertification and proposes four key conditions for achieving ecologically sustainable use of natural resources in arid and semi-arid areas. Climate Change in Deserts is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students interested in the climate and geomorphology of deserts: geographers, geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, soil scientists, hydrologists, climatologists and natural resource managers.
Tackling the issue of global warming head-on for a teen audience, Bridget Heos examines the science behind it, the history of climate change on our planet, and the ways in which humans have affected the current crisis we face. It’s Getting Hot in Here illustrates how interconnected we are not just with everyone else on the planet, but with the people who came before us and the ones who will inherit the planet after us. This eye-opening approach to one of today’s most pressing issues focuses on the past human influences, the current state of affairs, the grim picture for the future—and how young readers can help to make a positive change.
Glaciers in the Andes are particularly important natural archives of present and past climatic and environmental changes, in significant part because of the N-S trend of this topographic barrier and its influence on the atmospheric circulation of the southern hemisphere. Strong gradients in the seasonality and amount of precipitation exist between the equator and 30° S. Large differences in amount east and west of the Andean divide also occur, as well as a change from tropical summer precipitation (additionally modified by the seasonal shift of the circulation belts) to winter precipitation in the west wind belt (e. g. , Yuille, 1999; Garraud and Aceituno, 2001). The so-called 'dry axis' lies between the tropical and extra tropical precipitation regimes (Figure 1). The high mountain desert within this axis responds most sensitively to the smallest changes in effective moisture. An important hydro-meteorological feature on a seasonal to inter-annual time-scale is the occurrence of EN SO events, which strongly control the mass balance of glaciers in this area (e. g. , Wagnon et ai. , 2001; Francou et ai. , in press). The precipitation pattern is an important factor for the interpretation of climatic and environmental records extracted from ice cores, because much of this information is related to conditions at the actual time of precipitation, and this is especially so for stable isotope records. Several ice cores have recently been drilled to bedrock in this area. From Huascanin (Thompson et ai. , 1995), Sajama (Thompson et ai.
School of Environmental Research - Organized by Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Author: Markus Quante,Ralf Ebinghaus,Götz Flöser
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This book evolved from the 5th School of Environmental Research entitled „Persistent Pollution – Past, Present and Future", which has set a focus on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), heavy metals and aerosols. - reconstruction of past changes based on the scientific analysis of natural archives such as ice cores and peat deposits, - evaluation of the present environmental state by the integration of measurements and modelling and the establishment of cause-effect-patterns, - assessment of possible environmental future scenarios including emission and climate change perspectives.
The new edition of this classic student text provides an up-to-dateand comprehensive view of the major environmental issues facing theworld today, and is an essential introduction to the past, presentand future impact of humans on Earth. Explores the impact of humans upon vegetation, animals, soils,water, landforms, and the atmosphere. Updated extensively, with many new figures and up-to-datestatistics. Four completely new chapters explore the ways in which globalclimate change may have an impact on Earth in the future. A new design makes the text even more accessible and easy touse. Visit www.blackwellpublishing.com/humanimpactto access the artwork from the book.
The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels
Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: A&C Black
The past fifteen thousand years - the entire span of human civilization - have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines. Global sea levels stabilised about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta. So the curve of inexorably rising seas flattened out as urban civilizations developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade. Since 1860, the world has warmed significantly and the ocean's climb has speeded. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end. The Attacking Ocean tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed but little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.
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.
Eldredge Bermingham,Christopher W. Dick,Craig Moritz
Author: Eldredge Bermingham,Christopher W. Dick,Craig Moritz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Synthesizing theoretical and empirical analyses of the processes that help shape these unique ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests looks at the effects of evolutionary histories, past climate change, and ecological dynamics on the origin and maintenance of tropical rainforest communities. Featuring recent advances in paleoecology, climatology, geology, molecular systematics, biogeography, and community ecology, the volume also offers insights from those fields into how rainforests will endure the impact of anthropogenic change. With more than sixty contributors, Tropical Rainforests will be of great interest to students and professionals in tropical ecology and conservation.
Author: Andrey N. Petrov,Shauna BurnSilver,F. Stuart Chapin III,Gail Fondahl,Jessica K. Graybill,Kathrin Keil,Annika E. Nilsson,Rudolf Riedlsperger,Peter Schweitzer
The Arctic is one of the world’s regions most affected by cultural, socio-economic, environmental, and climatic changes. Over the last two decades, scholars, policymakers, extractive industries, governments, intergovernmental forums, and non-governmental organizations have turned their attention to the Arctic, its peoples, resources, and to the challenges and benefits of impending transformations. Arctic sustainability is an issue of increasing concern as well as the resilience and adaptation of Arctic societies to changing conditions. This book offers key insights into the history, current state of knowledge and the future of sustainability, and sustainable development research in the Arctic. Written by an international, interdisciplinary team of experts, it presents a comprehensive progress report on Arctic sustainability research. It identifies key knowledge gaps and provides salient recommendations for prioritizing research in the next decade. Arctic Sustainability Research will appeal to researchers, academics, and policymakers interested in sustainability science and the practices of sustainable development, as well as those working in polar studies, climate change, political geography, and the history of science.
A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future
Author: Robert Meltz
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto. At the threshold of many climate-change-related lawsuits are two barriers—whether the plaintiff has standing to sue and whether the claim being made presents a political question. Both barriers have forced courts to apply amorphous standards in a new and complex context. Efforts to mitigate climate change—that is, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—have spawned a host of legal issues. The Supreme Court resolved a big one in 2007—the Clean Air Act (CAA), it said, does authorize EPA to regulate GHG emissions. Quite recently, a host of issues raised by EPA's efforts to carry out that authority were resolved in the agency's favor by the D.C. Circuit. Another issue is whether EPA's “endangerment finding” for GHG emissions from new motor vehicles will compel EPA to move against GHG emissions under other CAA authorities. Still other mitigation issues are (1) the role of the Endangered Species Act in addressing climate change; (2) how climate change must be considered under the National Environmental Policy Act; (3) liability and other questions raised by carbon capture and sequestration; (4) constitutional constraints on land use regulation and state actions against climate change; and (5) whether the public trust doctrine applies to the atmosphere. Liability for harms allegedly caused by climate change has raised another crop of legal issues. The Supreme Court decision that the CAA bars federal judges from imposing their own limits on GHG emissions from power plants has led observers to ask: Can plaintiffs alleging climate change harms still seek monetary damages, and are state law claims still allowed? The one ruling so far says no to both. Questions of insurance policy coverage are also likely to be litigated. Finally, the applicability of international law principles to climate change has yet to be resolved. Water shortages thought to be induced by climate change likely will lead to litigation over the nature of water rights. Shortages have already prompted several lawsuits over whether cutbacks in water delivered from federal projects effect Fifth Amendment takings or breaches of contract. Sea level rise and extreme precipitation linked to climate change raise questions as to (1) the effect of sea level rise on the beachfront owner's property line; (2) whether public beach access easements migrate with the landward movement of beaches; (3) design and operation of federal levees; and (4) government failure to take preventive measures against climate change harms. Other adaptation responses to climate change raising legal issues, often property rights related, are beach armoring (seawalls, bulkheads, etc.), beach renourishment, and “retreat” measures. Retreat measures seek to move existing development away from areas likely to be affected by floods and sea level rise, and to discourage new development there. Natural disasters to which climate change contributes may prompt questions as to whether response actions taken in an emergency are subject to relaxed requirements and, similarly, as to the rebuilding of structures destroyed by such disasters just as they were before. Finally, immigration and refugee law appear not to cover persons forced to relocate because of climate change impacts such as drought or sea level rise.
The Earth's climate is already warming due to increased concentrations of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the specter of rising sea level is one of global warming's most far-reaching threats. Sea level will keep rising long after greenhouse gas emissions have ceased, because of the delay in penetration of surface warming to the ocean depths and because of the slow dissipation of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. Adopting a long perspective that interprets sea level changes both underway and expected in the near future, Vivien Gornitz completes a highly relevant and necessary study of an unprecedented age in Earth's history. Gornitz consults past climate archives to help better anticipate future developments and prepare for them more effectively. She focuses on several understudied historical events, including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Anomaly, the Messinian salinity crisis, the rapid filling of the Black Sea (which may have inspired the story of Noah's flood), and the Storrega submarine slide, an incident possibly connected to a sea level occurrence roughly 8,000 years old. By examining dramatic variations in past sea level and climate, Gornitz concretizes the potential consequences of rapid, human-induced warming. She builds historical precedent for coastal hazards associated with a higher ocean level, such as increased damage from storm surge flooding, even if storm characteristics remain unchanged. Citing the examples of Rotterdam, London, New York City, and other forward-looking urban centers that are effectively preparing for higher sea level, Gornitz also delineates the difficult economic and political choices of curbing carbon emissions while underscoring, through past geological analysis, the urgent need to do so.
Pradeep K. Aggarwal,Joel R. Gat,Klaus F. Froehlich
Author: Pradeep K. Aggarwal,Joel R. Gat,Klaus F. Froehlich
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Technology & Engineering
Environmental isotope and nuclear techniques provide unmatched insights into the processes governing the water cycle and its variability. This monograph presents state of the art applications and new developments of isotopes in hydrology, environmental disciplines and climate change studies. Coverage ranges from the assessment of groundwater resources in terms of recharge and flow regime to studies of the past and present global environmental and climate changes.