Global Climatology and Ecodynamics: Anthropogenic Changes to Planet Earth

Springer Science & Business Media
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The exclusive role of natural ecosystems is a key factor in the maintenance of the biospheric equilibrium. The current global crisis is largely caused by their dramatic decline by 43% in the past hundred years. Ignoring the immutable laws and limitations which determine the existence of all living things in the biosphere could lead humanity to an ecological catastrophe. This book presents the ecological, demographic, economic and socio-psychological manifestations of the global crisis and outlines the immutable laws and limitations which determine the existence of all living things in the biosphere.

The authors are eminently qualified to write about the problems associated with the global crisis and consider the causes behind humanity's conflict with its environment. V. Danilov-Danilian, Associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russia's former Minister of the Environment, and K. Losev, professor at Moscow State university, are leading Russian ecologists and I. Reyf is a journalist who specializes in ecology and global development. Dr. Danilov-Danilian works on the economics of nature management, economic and mathematical model building, sustainable development theory and ecology. Dr Losev is the chief researcher and head of the division of the VINITI. All the authors have published numerous papers, articles and books on such subjects as glaciology, hydrology, environment studies, global change and sustainable development.

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About the author

Arthur J. Cracknell: In the mid 1970s Prof. Cracknell started to become involved in remote sensing (Earth Observation) work, a field that was then in its infancy. The idea that led him to start remote sensing work in the former Physics Department at Dundee University was to provide a link between the generators of satellite data and the environmental scientists and engineers who would like to use the data. This work on the processing and interpretation of remote sensing data developed by Prof. Cracknell expanded enormously over a period of about 25 years and led to the publication by him and his co-authors of over 200 research papers and about 20 or so books on the subject. The books range from an introductory textbook on the subject, which is about to go into its second edition, to monographs and edited conference and summer school proceedings.

Prof. Vladimir F. Krapivin published numerous papers and a number of books relevant to environmental and global changes studies. Among the latter are:"Ecoinformatics Methods" (with I.I. Potapov), 2002, Moscow (in Russian)."Modelling the Global Carbon Cycle" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev), 2004, Moscow (in Russian)."Global Change of the Environment: Ecoinformatics" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev), St. Petersburg (in Russian)."Perspectives of Civilization Development: Multidimensional Analysis" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev and V.P. Savinikh), 2003, Moscow (in Russian)."Global Environmental Change: Modelling and Monitoring" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev and G.W. Phillips), Springer, 2002, Germany;"Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev and C.A. Varotsos), Springer/Praxis, 2003, U.K.;"Global Ecodynamics: a Multidimensional Analysis" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev, V.P. Savinikh, and C.A. Varotsos), 2004, Springer/Praxis, U.K."Natural Disasters as Interactive Components of Global Ecodynamics" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev and C.A. Varotsos);"Atmospheric Aerosol Properties: Formation, Processes and Impacts" (with K.Ya. Kondratyev, L.S. Ivlev and C.A. Varotsos).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Nov 4, 2008
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Pages
518
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ISBN
9783540782094
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Science / Earth Sciences / General
Science / Earth Sciences / Meteorology & Climatology
Science / Environmental Science
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
Technology & Engineering / Environmental / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Global change due to natural processes and anthropogenic activity as well as the natural variability of the climate system will impact all areas of the globe. However, the impact will not be uniform and different impacts of differing magnitude and nature will be felt in various regions of the globe. The Mediterranean region, like other regions of the world, will face some unique and different impacts.

The uniqueness and difference in the Mediterranean are to be expected given some special dynamical, chemical, biological, and land characteristics of the region. The Mediterranean region is often exposed to multiple stresses, such as a simultaneous water shortage and air pollution. This is a consequence of its unique location and emissions. One of the common stresses in North Africa is water shortage and distribution amongst the seasons. Air pollution can often add to the water stress. Air pollution occurs due to emissions in the region as well as from those transported from other areas and can occur when there is low water availability. Multiple stresses are likely to grow in the future when human induced stress is likely to increase due to the rapid industrialization of the region.

This NATO workshop was set up to discuss these issues in general, and the influence of chemical emissions and transformation in particular. This workshop was "special" because it involved a very large number of scientists (>75%) from the region, either from North Africa or the Mediterranean Europe. Many key issues, some of which are specific to this region, were identified. Details of the finding and suggestions are presented in the articles in this volume. The workshop was held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 23rd to 26th November 2006.

This book opens new approach to the study of global environmental changes having unfourable character for peoples and other living systems. Main advantage of this book consists in the accumulation of knowledge from different sciences to parameterize global biogeochemical cycles in the context of globalization and sustainable development. Basic global problems of the nature-society system dynamics have been considered and the key problems of ensuring its sustainable development have been discussed. An analysis has been made of the present trend in changing ecological systems and characteristics of the present global ecodynamics have been estimated. The emphasis has been placed on the accomplishment of global geoinformation monitoring, which could provide a reliable control of the environmental processes development with further obtaining prognostic estimates of consequences of realization of anthropogenic projects. A new approach to the nature-society system numerical modelling has been proposed and demonstrative results have been given of modelling the dynamics of this system’s characteristics in cases of realization of some scenarios of anthropogenic impact on the biogeochemical cycles. The importance and the need has been emphasized of development of adaptive algorithms of monitoring data processing which make it possible to reduce the economic expenses on its accomplishment and raise the reliability of the obtained estimates of the global ecodynamics characteristics. Perspective approaches have been suggested for the development of technology to estimate the risk of realization of decisions on ecosystems’ management. The realization of this approach allows integration within a complex structure of all international and national means of environmental monitoring and provides a tool for objective evaluation of the environmental quality. The main purpose of this book is to develop an universal information technology to estimate the state of environmental subsystems functioning under various climatic and anthropogenic conditions and to assess the dependence of global bviogeochemical cycles on the globalization processes. Applied mathematicians, geophysicists, hydrologists, socio-economists, statesmans and other researchers of global change will find a wealth of information and ideas in this book.
A characteristic of the present global ecological situation is increasing instability or— put another way—a crisis in the civilization system, the global scale of which is expressed through a deterioration of human and animal habitats. The most sub stantial features of global ecodynamics of the late 20th and early 21st centuries include the rapid increase in world population (mainly in developing countries), increase in the size of the urban population (considerable growth in the number of megalopolises), and increase in the scales of such dangerous diseases as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, etc. With growing population size the problems of providing people with food and improving their living conditions in many regions will not only not be resolved but will become even more urgent. Any possible benefit from decrease in per capita consumption as a result of increased efficiency of technologies will be outweighed by the impact of such a growth in population size. Despite the predom inant increase of population in developing countries, their contribution to the impact on the environment will not necessarily exceed that of developed countries. Key to ensuring sustainable development of the nature/society system (NSS) is the relation ship between production and consumption, as mentioned at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002). As civilization has developed, so the problem of predicting the scale of expected climate change and associated change in human habitats has become more urgent.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf.

That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not.

In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced.

In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss.

Meticulously researched and vividly written, Isaac's Storm is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac's Storm carries a warning for our time.
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