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The Human Impact on the Natural Environment Past, Present, and Future,9781118576588
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The Human Impact on the Natural Environment Past, Present, and Future

by
Edition:
7th
ISBN13:

9781118576588

ISBN10:
1118576586
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
6/10/2013
Publisher(s):
Wiley-Blackwell
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Summary

The seventh edition of this classic student text explores the multitude of impacts that humans have had over time upon vegetation, animals, soils, water, landforms and the atmosphere. It also looks into the future and considers the ways in which climate changes and modifications in land cover may change the environment in coming decades. Extensively re-written, it contains many new statistical tables, figures, and references.  It is essential reading for undergraduates in geography and environmental science, and for those who want a thorough, wide-ranging and balanced overview  of  the impacts of humans upon natural processes and systems from the Stone Age to the Anthropocene and who wish to understand the major environmental issues that concern the human race at the present time.

Additional resources for this book can be found at: www.wiley.com/go/goudiehumanimpact.

Author Biography

Professor Andrew Goudie, Director of the China Centre of the University of Oxford, was formerly head of the School of Geography and the Environment, and Master of St Cross College. He has also been President of the International Association of Geomorphologists.

Table of Contents

PREFACE TO THE SEVENTH EDITION xi

ABOUT THE COMPANION WEBSITE xii

PART I: THE PAST AND PRESENT 1

1 INTRODUCTION 3

Chapter Overview 3

The development of ideas 3

The development of human population and stages of cultural development 7

Hunting and gathering 11

Humans as cultivators, keepers and metal workers 13

Modern industrial and urban civilizations 20

Points for review 25

Guide to reading 25

2 THE HUMAN IMPACT ON VEGETATION 26

Chapter Overview 26

Introduction 26

The use of fire 27

Fires: natural and anthropogenic 29

Some consequences of fi re suppression 30

Some effects of fi re on vegetation 32

The role of grazing 32

Deforestation 34

Secondary rain forest 42

The human role in the creation and maintenance of savanna 43

The spread of desert vegetation on desert margins 46

The maquis of the mediterranean lands 51

The prairies and other mid-latitude and high-altitude grasslands 51

Post-glacial vegetational change in Britain and Europe 53

Lowland heaths 55

Introduction, invasion and explosion 56

Air pollution and its effects on plants 61

Forest decline 63

Miscellaneous causes of plant decline 65

The change in genetic and species diversity 66

Conclusion: threats to plant life 67

Points for review 68

Guide to reading 69

3 HUMAN INFLUENCE ON ANIMALS 70

Chapter Overview 70

Domestication of animals 71

Dispersal and invasions of animals 71

Human influence on the expansion of animal populations 76

Causes of animal contractions and decline: pollution 80

Habitat change and animal decline 83

Other causes of animal decline 86

Animal extinctions in prehistoric times 90

Modern-day extinctions 94

Points for review 101

Guide to reading 102

4 THE HUMAN IMPACT ON THE SOIL 103

Chapter Overview 103

Introduction 103

Salinity: natural sources 104

Human agency and increased salinity 105

Irrigation salinity 105

Dryland salinity 107

Urban salinity 108

Interbasin water transfers 108

Coastal zone salinity 109

Consequences of salinity 110

Reclamation of salt-affected lands 113

Lateritization 113

Accelerated podzolization and acidifi cation 114

Some anthrosols resulting from agriculture and urbanization 115

Soil carbon 116

Soil structure alteration 116

Soil drainage and its impact 118

Soil fertilization 119

Fires and soil quality 120

Soil erosion: general considerations 120

Soil erosion associated with deforestation and agriculture 122

Accelerated wind erosion 126

Soil erosion produced by fi re 128

Soil erosion associated with construction and urbanization 129

Soil conservation 130

Points for review 133

Guide to reading 133

5 THE HUMAN IMPACT ON THE WATERS 134

Chapter Overview 134

Introduction 134

Deliberate modification of rivers 135

Urbanization and its effects on river flow 143

Vegetation modification and its effect on river flow 145

The human impact on lake levels 148

Changes in groundwater conditions 150

Water pollution 155

Chemical pollution by agriculture and other activities 157

Deforestation and its effects on water quality 162

Thermal pollution 164

Pollution with suspended sediments 165

Marine pollution 165

Points for review 168

Guide to reading 168

6 HUMAN AGENCY IN GEOMORPHOLOGY 169

Chapter Overview 169

Introduction 169

Landforms produced by excavation 171

Landforms produced by construction and dumping 173

Sediment transport by rivers 174

Accelerated sedimentation 179

Ground subsidence 184

Arroyo trenching, gullies and peat haggs 187

Accelerated weathering and the tufa decline 191

Accelerated mass movements 192

Deliberate modification of channels 195

Non-deliberate river-channel changes 195

Reactivation and stabilization of sand dunes 201

Accelerated coastal erosion 203

Changing rates of salt marsh accretion 209

The human impact on seismicity and volcanoes 210

Points for review 212

Guide to reading 212

7 THE HUMAN IMPACT ON CLIMATE AND THE ATMOSPHERE 213

Chapter Overview 213

World climates 213

The greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide 214

Other gases 216

Ozone depletion and climate change 220

Aerosols 220

Global dimming and global brightening 222

Vegetation and albedo change 222

Forests, irrigation and climate 224

The possible effects of water diversion schemes 225

Lakes 226

Urban climates 226

Deliberate climatic modification 232

Geoengineering 234

Urban air pollution 234

Air pollution: some further effects 238

Stratospheric ozone depletion 243

Conclusions 247

Points for review 248

Guide to reading 248

PART II: THE FUTURE 249

8 THE FUTURE: INTRODUCTION 251

Chapter Overview 251

Introduction 251

Changes in the biosphere 255

Climate and geomorphology 261

Points for review 265

Guide to reading 265

9 THE FUTURE: COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS 266

Chapter Overview 266

Introduction 266

The steric effect 268

Anthropogenic contribution to sea-level change 268

Reduction in lake-water volumes 268

Water impoundment in reservoirs 268

Groundwater mining 269

Urbanization and runoff 269

Deforestation and runoff 269

Wetland losses 269

Irrigation 269

Synthesis 269

Permafrost degradation 270

Melting of glaciers and sea-level rise 270

Ice sheets and sea-level rise 270

How fast are sea levels rising? 271

The amount of sea-level rise by 2100 271

Land subsidence 271

Coral reefs 272

Salt marshes and mangrove swamps 275

River deltas 277

Estuaries 278

Cliffed coasts 279

Sandy beaches 280

The role of sediment starvation 282

Conclusions 282

Points for review 282

Guide to reading 282

10 THE FUTURE: HYDROLOGICAL AND GEOMORPHOLOGICAL IMPACTS 284

Chapter Overview 284

Introduction 284

Rainfall intensity 285

Changes in tropical cyclones 286

Runoff response 287

Cold regions 289

Changes in runoff in the UK 290

Europe 291

Other examples 291

Geomorphological consequences of hydrological and other changes 293

Weathering 295

Points for review 296

Guide to reading 296

11 THE FUTURE: THE CRYOSPHERE 297

Chapter Overview 297

The nature of the cryosphere 297

The polar ice sheets and ice caps 298

Valley glaciers and small ice caps 300

Predicted rates of glacier retreat and some environmental consequences 304

Sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic 305

Permafrost regions 306

Points for review 310

Guide to reading 310

12 THE FUTURE: DRYLANDS 312

Chapter Overview 312

Introduction 312

Climate changes in the past 314

Future changes in climate in drylands 315

Wind erosivity and erodibility 317

Future dust storm activity 317

Sand dunes 318

Rainfall and runoff 321

Lake levels 322

Sea-level rise and arid zone coastlines 322

Salt weathering 323

Points for review 323

Guide to reading 324

13 CONCLUSION 325

Chapter Overview 325

The power of non-industrial and pre-industrial civilizations 325

The proliferation of impacts 327

Human impacts on the environment in China 330

Are changes reversible? 331

The susceptibility to change 334

Human infl uence or nature? 336

Global warming and other pressures 337

Into the unknown 338

Points for review 339

Guide to reading 339

GLOSSARY 341

REFERENCES 345

INDEX 406

Colour plate section can be found between pages 196–197



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