Download The Earth Transformed: An Introduction to Human Impacts on by Andrew S. Goudie, Heather A. Viles PDF

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By Andrew S. Goudie, Heather A. Viles

The Earth reworked solutions the necessity for a concise, non-technical creation to the ways that the average surroundings has been and is suffering from human actions. it's easily and engagingly written, and illustrated with maps, diagrams, figures and images. one of the matters defined and thought of via the authors are desertification, deforestation, wetland administration, biodiversity, climatic swap, pollution, the influence of towns on weather and hydrology, erosion, salinization, waste disposal, sea point upward thrust, marine pollutants, coral reef degradation and aquaculture. The publication is prepared round forty five case reviews taken from all elements of the globe and selected for his or her intrinsic curiosity and consultant nature. additional positive aspects of the ebook comprise courses to extra studying, feedback for debate and research, and a word list of phrases. The ebook is aimed to satisfy the desires of scholars starting classes on environmental technology and geography.

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Extra resources for The Earth Transformed: An Introduction to Human Impacts on the Environment

Sample text

A great wave of deforestation occurred in western and central Europe in medieval times. As the European empires established themselves from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries onwards, the activities of traders and colonists caused forests to contract in North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, especially in the nineteenth century. Temperate North America, which was wooded from the Atlantic coast as far west as the Mississippi River when the first Europeans arrived, lost more woodland in the following 200 years than Europe had in the previous 2,000.

Pigeons in many British and American dty centres are an example: their droppings arc a great nuisance. Many species arri\'e in cities along rivers and canals. Communications nctworks in general provide a major route for many animals and plants seeking to colonize new areas. In Britain, for example, mink which have escaped from fur farms are now found on urban riverbanks in Oxford. On the other hand, the pollution and dereliction present in many citia deplete the ecology. ill off lichen species growing on tr« bark.

Trees, grassland and the soils in which they grow act as butTers, slowing down the movement of water through a drainage basin. As explained more fully in part IV, section 4, urbanization reduces such butTers. ltes and streamlines the flows of water by reducing the diffuse flow below the land surface and replacing it by flows over the surtacc ;lnd through pipc=s. Species diversity may be increased in cities, despite the great disruption caused by building work. Gardens, parks, ponds and street plantings introduce a range of exotic plants.

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