Our Earth's Changing Land: An Encyclopedia of Land-use and Land-cover Change

Front Cover
Helmut Geist
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - Science - 715 pages

Scientists predict that the environment over the next 100 years will be threatened by severe challenges--the loss of biodiversity, expected changes in world-wide climate, and decreasing amounts of arable land and potable water for an exploding human population. All of these will greatly impact how the earth will be able to support life in the future. And at the center of these global environmental changes are developments in land use. Over the last 300 years, and in particular the last 50 years, the earth's land has been altered drastically as a result of increasing industrialization and urbanization worldwide, as well as by changes in agricultural techniques in lands under cultivation. These developments raise troubling questions about our future: How will these changes affect the sustainability of certain types of land use? How will they impinge upon critical regions, like rainforests and deserts? Will the earth be able to provide for the basic human needs of food, shelter, and water?

The Earth's Changing Land: An Encyclopedia of Land Use and Land-Cover Change is an A-to-Z encyclopedia that addresses all aspects of the science of land-use change: Evidence of land-use and land-cover change over the last 300 years, and how these changes impact the lives of people today. Discussions of the models and techniques that scientists use to determine how, and how fast, the earth is changing. Entries on the scientists and organizations who study these developments and who attempt to predict what will happen to the earth in the future. Discussions of policies and measures that can be implemented on a local level that will allow a sensible balance between sustainability and development. Written by leading scientists who have spent years studying the phenomena, the encyclopedia hopes to provide a strong foundation for understanding current controversies, and is written on a level that is understandable to scientists and other interested readers alike.

 

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Our earth's changing land: an encyclopedia of land-use and land-cover change

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Society's impact on the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems is an emerging area of public interest and interdisciplinary research. Noted author and researcher Geist (human-environment ... Read full review

Contents

A
1
B
59
C
81
D
155
E
187
F
225
G
251
H
281
M
397
N
443
P
451
R
501
S
521
T
587
U
615
VY
633

I
299
JK
325
List of Entries
vii
Guide to Related Topics
xi
L
333
Selected Bibliography
677
Index
681
List of Contributors
707
About the Editor
717
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Helmut Geist is professor of human-environment interactions at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, United Kingdom. From 2000 until 2005 he was executive director of the IGBP-IHDP Land-Use/Cover Change (LUCC) project at LUCC's International Project Office at the University of Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. His research interests include political ecology, sustainable land use, land-change theory, and human-driven environmental changes such as land degradation, deforestation, desertification, and urbanization. Based at universities the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, and the United States, he was in involved in the World Bank's Human Development Network on tobacco control (1998), in reviews of the European Commission's desertification research (2003), and in the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2004).

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