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1st Edition

Environmental Change in Mountains and Uplands

By Martin Beniston Copyright 2000
    ISBN 9780340706367
    188 Pages
    Published March 27, 2000 by Routledge

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    Mountain environments are often perceived to be austere, isolated, and inhospitable. In fact, these areas are of immense value to mankind, providing direct life support to close to 10 percent of the world's population and sustaining a wide variety of species - many of which are endemic to this environment.

    'Environmental Change in Mountains and Uplands' provides detailed account of the fragile and marginal physical and socio-economic systems which make up the world's mountain regions. Discussing the direct and indirect impacts of human interference on environmental ecosystems, it then turns to the social and economic consequences of such environmental change - both upon the mountain environment itself and upon the populations who depend on mountain resources for their economic sustenance.

    This book includes a review of possible implications for adaption and mitigation strategies in a global context. Working within a broad temporal scale, it draws upon paleoenvironmental records to document past changes which have occured in the absence of major anthropogenic influences, as well as utilising modelling as a means to assessing future environmental change.

    Part 1 - Mountains and uplands an introduction
    Mountain regions of the world
    Importance of mountain regions to humankind
    Current environmental and socio-economic information and statistics
    Environmental stresses: the emergence of the human factor
    Global environmental change: fundamental issues
    Part 2 - Characterization of mountain environments
    Hydrological systems
    Ecological systems and biodiversity
    Human environments
    Data for research on mountain environments
    Part 3 - Past environmental change in mountains and uplands
    Proxy data: reconstructing the past
    Environmental change in the distant past
    Mountain environments during the last major glaciation
    Mountain environments during the Holocene
    Climatic change in the 20th century
    Part 4 - Modelling approaches to assess environmental change
    The significance of modelling
    Spatial and temporal scales
    Global and regional climate models
    Semi-empirical methods and statistical downscaling techniques
    Ecosystem models
    Integrated assessment models (IAM)
    Limits and range of application of models
    Part 5 - Natural forcings
    The causal mechanisms of anthropogenic pressures on the environment
    Environmental pollution
    Land-use changes
    Climatic change
    Part 6 - Impact of environmental change on natural systems
    Challenges for impacts assessments
    Impacts on hydrology
    Impact on mountain cryosphere
    Extreme events and their impacts on geomophologic features


    Professor of Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

    Not only serves as a primary reference and standard concerning mountain research but also transmits the spirit of collective responsibility for a fragile part of our planet.
    Bulletin of the World Meteorological Organization

    Provides some valuable and generally accessible insight into issues related to environmental change in general and mountain environments in particular. it is therefore not only a useful book to complement undergraduate courses addressing environmental change and/or mountain environments, but is also of value to readers with a range of backgrounds who seek an introductory text to these themes, be they environmentalists, people involved in outdoor education or just mountain enthusiasts.
    The Holocene

    ...a broad but interesting book. The author should be pleased to have produced one of few teaching-level texts that will inspire and support students of all abilities and provide the better students with an excellent entry point to the more advanced literature.
    Progress in Physical Geography

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