oceans environmental issues global perspectives

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Oceans

Author : James Fargo Balliett
ISBN : 9781317463665
Genre : Nature
File Size : 80. 94 MB
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Covering 71 percent of the planet, these saline bodies of water provided the unique conditions necessary for the building blocks of life to form billions of years ago. This book explains how our oceans continue to support and influence life in important ways: by providing the largest global source of protein in the form of fish populations, by creating and influencing weather systems, and by absorbing waste streams such as airborne carbon. It is shown how oceans have an almost magnetic draw—almost half of the world’s population lives within a few hours of an ocean. Although oceans are vast in size, exceeding 328 million cubic miles (1.37 billion cubic kilometers), they have been influenced by and have influenced humans in numerous ways. The book includes three detailed case studies. The first focuses on the most remote locations along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where new ocean floor is being formed twenty-thousand feet underwater. The second considers the Maldives, a string of islands in the Indian Ocean, where increasing sea levels may force residents to abandon some communities by 2020. The third describes the North Sea at the edge of the Arctic Ocean, where fishing stocks have been dangerously depleted as a result of multiple nations’ unrelenting removal of the smallest and largest species.

Mountains

Author : James Fargo Balliett
ISBN : 9781315496993
Genre : Nature
File Size : 63. 31 MB
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Always awe-inspiring, mountainous areas contain hundreds of millions of years of history, stretching back to the earliest continental landforms. This book shows how mountains are characterized by their distinctive geological, ecological, and biological conditions. Often, they are so large that they create their own weather patterns. They also store nearly one-third of the world’s freshwater—in the form of ice and snow—on their slopes. Despite their daunting size and often formidable climates, mountains are affected by growing local populations, as well as distant influences, such as air pollution and global climate change. Three detailed case studies are presented. The first shows how global warming in East Africa is harming Mount Kenya’s regional population, which relies on mountain runoff to irrigate farms for subsistence crops. The second examines the fragile ecology of the South Island Mountain in New Zealand’s Southern Alps and how development threatens the region’s endemic plant and animal species. The third discusses the impact of mountain use over time in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, where management efforts have been used to limit the growing footprint of millions of annual visitors and alpine trekkers.

Environmental Issues Global Perspectives

Author : James Fargo Balliett
ISBN : LCCN:2010019180
Genre : Environmental degradation
File Size : 78. 1 MB
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Forests

Author : James Fargo Balliett
ISBN : 9781317470328
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 21. 28 MB
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Forests are considered the lungs of the planet, as they consume and store carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. These biomes, defined as ecological communities dominated by long-lived woody vegetation, historically have provided an economic foundation for growing nations, supplying wood for buildings, firewood for fuel, and land for expanding cities and farms. For centuries, industrial nations in Europe and the United States have relied on large tracts of forestland for economic prosperity. The research presented in this book reveals that population pressures are causing considerable environmental distress in even the most remote forest areas. Three detailed case studies are presented. The first provides an assessment of illegal logging deep in South America’s Amazon rain forest, a region closely tied to food and product demands thousands of miles away. The second examines the effect of increased hunting in Central Africa’s Congo forest, which threatens wildlife, especially mammal species with slower reproductive cycles. Finally the third describes encroachment on old-growth tropical forests on the Southern Pacific island of Borneo, which today is better managed thanks to the collective planning and conservation efforts of the governments of Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Wetlands

Author : James Fargo Balliett
ISBN : 0765682265
Genre : Nature
File Size : 32. 15 MB
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Wetlands encompass a diversity of habitats that rely on the presence of water to survive. Over the last two centuries, these hard-to-reach areas have been viewed with disdain or eliminated by a public that saw them only as dangerous and worthless lowlands. Wetlands provides case studies that illuminate our changing perceptions of one of the world's richest and biologically productive biomes, including the Florida Everglades, the Aral Sea in Central Asia, and Lake Poyong in China. It also highlights efforts that have been undertaken to protect many of these areas.

Climate Change Impacts On Ocean And Coastal Law

Author : Randall S. Abate
ISBN : 9780199368747
Genre : Law
File Size : 51. 77 MB
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Ocean and coastal law has grown rapidly in the past three decades as a specialty area within natural resources law and environmental law. This book unites the two worlds of climate change regulation and ocean and coastal management. It raises important questions about whether and how ocean and coastal law will respond to the regulatory challenges that climate change presents to resources in the oceans and coasts of the United States and the world.

Freshwater

Author : James Fargo Balliett
ISBN : 9781317470151
Genre : Nature
File Size : 82. 16 MB
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Freshwater is our planet’s most precious resource, and also the least conserved. Freshwater makes up only 3 percent of the total water on the planet, and yet the majority (1.9 percent) is held in a frozen state in glaciers, icebergs, and polar ice fields. This leaves approximately one-half of 1 percent of the total volume of water on the planet as freshwater available in liquid form. This book traces the complex history of the steady growth of humankind’s water consumption, which today reaches some 9.7 quadrillion gallons per year. Along with a larger population has come the need for more drinking water, larger farms requiring extensive irrigation, and more freshwater to support business and industry. At the same time, such developments have led to increased water pollution. Three detailed case studies are included. The first looks at massive water systems in locations such as New York City and the efforts required to protect and transport such resources. The second shows how growth has affected freshwater quality in the ecologically unique and geographically isolated Lake Baikal region of eastern Russia. The third examines the success story of the privatized freshwater system in Chile and consider how that country’s water sources are threatened by climate change.

Human Impacts On Ancient Marine Ecosystems

Author : Torben C. Rick
ISBN : 0520253434
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 62 MB
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“An excellent volume with mature, sophisticated, comprehensive research by leaders in the fields of archaeology, zooarchaeology, and paleoarchaeology that will be useful to scientists of many interests.”—David Steadman, author of Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds “This volume will make a significant contribution to our understanding of ancient human impacts on marine ecosystems, which will be of interest to all researchers who are concerned about the environment. The editors and contributors are commended for their efforts on this significant research topic.”—Steven R. James, coeditor of The Archaeology of Global Change: The Impact of Humans on Their Environment

Interactions Of Land Ocean And Humans

Author : Chris Maser
ISBN : 9781482226409
Genre : Nature
File Size : 54. 15 MB
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Written by Chris Maser, one of the architects of the sustainability movement, Interactions of Land, Ocean and Humans: A Global Perspective explores a critical number of the myriad aspects that comprise the great, reciprocal feedback loops between the mountain peaks, the deep sea, and everywhere in between. Maser’s exploration of these connections gives us the tools required to open our imaginations and our scientific literacy, offering insights into the relationships between the land, sea, and people that could influence us toward better decisions. The author examines the hydrological cycle, hydrological continuum, and anthropogenic pollution of various kinds from the atmosphere to deep belowground. He also highlights connections by detailing how human behavior changes the atmosphere, which changes the oceans, which alters the climate, which alters the atmosphere and thus the ocean, and so on. The book then explores the biophysical commonalities between landscapes and seascapes, as well as the habitats, in each realm. It covers marine fisheries; marine protected areas; oceans as a commodity, as part of the global commons, as a biophysical living trust for which we are the trustees and the children of today and beyond are the beneficiaries; and more. Can we arrest this deleterious process? Yes, but it will take a dramatic shift in human behavior worldwide. Why? Because, just as the collective human behavior and lack of awareness caused the problems in the first place, the level of consciousness that caused the problem is not the level of consciousness that can fix it. We must shift our thinking from that which is symptomatic to that which is systemic if we are to have a sustainably productive environment through time. Maser gives us the understanding of the biophysical interactions among the lands, oceans, and peoples of the world needed to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

Governmental Response To Environmental Challenges In Global Perspective

Author : Joseph G. Jabbra
ISBN : 9051994117
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 53. 2 MB
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In our drive to improve human standards of living, we have paradoxically paid scant attention to the need for clean air and water; the impact of acid rain on agriculture, lakes and rivers; the effect of pollutants on the ozone layer; the safe disposal of hazardous wastes, and the relationship between population growth and the environment. It seems that every time governments are faced with an apparent choice between economic development and the protection of the environment, priority is always given to the former. Short-term plans -- dictated by canons of political survival and expediency -- always seem to take precedence over long-term strategies, with politicians and decision-makers deftly relegating environmental concerns to the realm of rhetoric. This book is an effort to better understand the problems faced by our global ecosystems. It is also the result of the authors deep commitment to urge both citizens and their leaders the world over to work together for a better protection of the environment so that our planet may be saved for the present and for future generations.

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