Climate Change in Deserts: Past, Present and Future

Overview

This book reconstructs climatic changes in deserts and their margins at a variety of scales in space and time. It 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 ...
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Climate Change in Deserts: Past, Present and Future

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Overview

This book reconstructs climatic changes in deserts and their margins at a variety of scales in space and time. It 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107016910
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2014
  • Pages: 616
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Williams is Emeritus Professor at the University of Adelaide, Australia. His particular contribution is the reconstruction of prehistoric environments, ranging from the habitats occupied by early hominids in the Afar Rift of Ethiopia to the Neolithic occupation in the Sahara and the Nile valley to the late Pleistocene wetlands in the arid Flinders Ranges of South Australia, using evidence from a wide variety of disciplines. He is a recipient of the Cuthbert Peek Medal from the Royal Geographical Society, the Sir Joseph Verco Medal from the Royal Society of South Australia, the Distinguished Geomorphologist Medal from the Australia and New Zealand Geomorphology Group, and the Farouk El Baz Award for Desert Research from the Geological Society of America. He is the author of more than two hundred research papers (twelve in Nature) and has edited or authored twelve books, including Landform Evolution in Australasia (with J. L. Davies, 1978), The Sahara and the Nile (with Hugues Faure, 1980), and Quaternary Environments (with David Dunkerley, Patrick De Deckker, Peter Kershaw and John Chappell; 1993, 1998).
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Present-day desert environments; 3. Cenozoic evolution of deserts; 4. Adaptations to life in deserts; 5. Evolution of desert research; 6. Dating desert landforms and sediments; 7. Stable isotope geochemistry; 8. Desert dunes; 9. Desert dust; 10. Desert rivers; 11. Desert lakes; 12. The pluvial debate; 13. Desert glaciation; 14. Speleothems and tufas in arid areas; 15. Desert soils, paleosols and duricrusts; 16. Plant and animal fossils in deserts; 17. Prehistoric occupation of deserts; 18. African and Arabian deserts; 19. Asian deserts; 20. North American deserts; 21. South American deserts; 22. Australian deserts; 23. Historic floods and droughts; 24. Desertification: causes, consequences and solutions; 25. Current climatic trends and possible future changes; 26. Towards sustainable use of deserts.
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