The Earth as Transformed by Human Action: Global and Regional Changes in the Biosphere over the Past 300 Years

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The Earth as Transformed by Human Action is the culmination of a mammoth undertaking involving the examination of the toll our continual strides forward, technical and social, take on our world. The purpose of such a study is to document the changes in the biosphere that have taken place over the last 300 years, to contrast global patterns of change to those appearing on a regional level, and to explain the major human forces that have driven these changes. The first section deals strictly with the major human forces of the past 300 years and the second is a detailed account of the transformations of the global environment wrought by human action. The final section examines a range of perspectives and theories that purport to explain human actions with regard to the biosphere.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Collectively, this is a superb and comprehensive volume.' Geology

' … a landmark study, which will undoubtedly be a valuable reference and source of information for many years to come.' Geophysics

'… an impressive and highly laudable undertaking by geographers to 'put it all together', that is, to establish a theoretical framework for assessing the environmental changes wrought by modern societies in the past three centuries, and to document these changes in detail. As such, the tome will serve as an indispensable reference and resource on global change. It will be used by all scholars, teachers and students concerned with the increasingly pressing issue of the environment and its management - or mismanagement - by humans everywhere on our planet.' Nature

'Despite the large number of authors and the enormous amount of information presented in each chapter, individual chapters read well, and the book as a whole is well-organised. The editors have produced a book with a clear conceptual theme and conformity of style among chapters; the tables and figures are exceptional. An important reference on human ecology that belongs in the library of every environmental scientist …' Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521446303
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 732
  • Product dimensions: 8.27 (w) x 10.98 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; 1. The great transformation; Part I. Changes in Population and Society: 2. Long-term population change; 3. Population; 4. Technological change; 5. Institutions, organizations and cultural values; 6. The increasing separation of production and consumption; 7. Urbanization; 8. Awareness of human impacts: changing attitudes and emphases; Part II. Transformations of the Global Environment: Long-term perspective; 9. Long-term environmental change; Land; 10. Land transformation; 11. Forests; 12. Soils; 13. Sediment transfer and siltation; Water; 14. Use and transformation of terrestrial water systems; 15. Water quality and flows; 16. The coastal zone; Oceans and Atmosphere; 17. Atmospheric trace constituents; 18. Marine environment; 19. Climate; Biota; 20. Terrestrial fauna; 21. Marine biota; 22. Flora; Chemicals and Radiation; 23. Carbon; 24. Sulphur; 25. Nitrogen and phosphorus; 26. Trace pollutants; 27. The ionizing radiations; Part III. Regional Studies of Transformation: Long-term perspective; 28. Huang-Huai-Hai plain; Tropical frontiers; 29. Amazonia; 30. Borneo and Malay peninsular; Highlands; 31. Caucasia; 32. East Africa Highlands; Plains; 33. The Russian plain; 34. The United States great plains; Populous South; 35. The basin of Mexico; 36. Nigeria; Populous North; 37. Sweden; 38. Hudson-Raritan Basin; 39. Switzerland; Part IV. Understanding Transformations: 40. The realm of meaning; 41. The realm of social relations: towards an integrative theory; 42. The realm of cultural ecology: adaptation and change in historical perspective; Postscript.

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