Evolution of the Atmosphere Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400773323
Format: PDF
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Unique among all creatures, further to the increase in its cranial volume from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens, the use of tools and cultural and scientific creativity, the genus Homo is distinguished by the mastery of fire, which since about two million years ago has become its blueprint. Through the Holocene and culminating in the Anthropocene, the burning of much of the terrestrial vegetation, excavation and combustion of fossil carbon from up to 420 million years-old biospheres, are leading to a global oxidation event on a geological scale, a rise in entropy in nature and the sixth mass extinction of species.

Climate Change and the Health of Nations

Author: Anthony McMichael
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190262966
Format: PDF, ePub
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When we think of "climate change," we think of man-made global warming, caused by greenhouse gas emissions. But natural climate change has occurred throughout human history, and populations have had to adapt to the climate's vicissitudes. Anthony J. McMichael, a renowned epidemiologist and a pioneer in the field of how human health relates to climate change, is the ideal person to tell this story. Climate Change and the Health of Nations shows how the natural environment has vast direct and indirect repercussions for human health and welfare. McMichael takes us on a tour of human history through the lens of major transformations in climate. From the very beginning of our species some five million years ago, human biology has evolved in response to cooling temperatures, new food sources, and changing geography. As societies began to form, they too adapted in relation to their environments, most notably with the development of agriculture eleven thousand years ago. Agricultural civilization was a Faustian bargain, however: the prosperity and comfort that an agrarian society provides relies on the assumption that the environment will largely remain stable. Indeed, for agriculture to succeed, environmental conditions must be just right, which McMichael refers to as the "Goldilocks phenomenon." Global warming is disrupting this balance, just as other climate-related upheavals have tested human societies throughout history. As McMichael shows, the break-up of the Roman Empire, the bubonic Plague of Justinian, and the mysterious collapse of Mayan civilization all have roots in climate change. Why devote so much analysis to the past, when the daunting future of climate change is already here? Because the story of mankindâs previous survival in the face of an unpredictable and unstable climate, and of the terrible toll that climate change can take, could not be more important as we face the realities of a warming planet. This sweeping magnum opus is not only a rigorous, innovative, and fascinating exploration of how the climate affects the human condition, but also an urgent call to recognize our species' utter reliance on the earth as it is.

Climate Fire and Human Evolution

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331922512X
Format: PDF, Docs
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The book outlines principal milestones in the evolution of the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere during the last 4 million years in relation with the evolution from primates to the genus Homo – which uniquely mastered the ignition and transfer of fire. The advent of land plants since about 420 million years ago ensued in flammable carbon-rich biosphere interfaced with an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Born on a flammable Earth surface, under increasingly unstable climates descending from the warmer Pliocene into the deepest ice ages of the Pleistocene, human survival depended on both—biological adaptations and cultural evolution, mastering fire as a necessity. This allowed the genus to increase entropy in nature by orders of magnitude. Gathered around camp fires during long nights for hundreds of thousandth of years, captivated by the flickering life-like dance of the flames, humans developed imagination, insights, cravings, fears, premonitions of death and thereby aspiration for immortality, omniscience, omnipotence and the concept of god. Inherent in pantheism was the reverence of the Earth, its rocks and its living creatures, contrasted by the subsequent rise of monotheistic sky-god creeds which regard Earth as but a corridor to heaven. Once the climate stabilized in the early Holocene, since about ~7000 years-ago production of excess food by Neolithic civilization along the Great River Valleys has allowed human imagination and dreams to express themselves through the construction of monuments to immortality. Further to burning large part of the forests, the discovery of combustion and exhumation of carbon from the Earth’s hundreds of millions of years-old fossil biospheres set the stage for an anthropogenic oxidation event, affecting an abrupt shift in state of the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere system. The consequent ongoing extinction equals the past five great mass extinctions of species—constituting a geological event horizon in the history of planet Earth.

Earth s Early Atmosphere and Oceans and The Origin of Life

Author: George H. Shaw
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319219723
Format: PDF
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This book provides a comprehensive treatment of the chemical nature of the Earth’s early surface environment and how that led to the origin of life. This includes a detailed discussion of the likely process by which life emerged using as much quantitative information as possible. The emergence of life and the prior surface conditions of the Earth have implications for the evolution of Earth’s surface environment over the following 2-2.5 billion years. The last part of the book discusses how these changes took place and the evidence from the geologic record that supports this particular version of early and evolving conditions.

The Great American Biotic Interchange

Author: Alberto Luis Cione
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9401797927
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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South American ecosystems suffered one of the greatest biogeographical events, after the establishment of the Panamian land bridge, called the “Great American Biotic Interchange” (GABI). This refers to the exchange, in several phases, of land mammals between the Americas; this event started during the late Miocene with the appearance of the Holartic Procyonidae (Huayquerian Age) in South America and continues today. The major phases of mammalian dispersal occurred from the Latest Pliocene (Marplatan Age) to the Late Pleistocene (Lujanian Age). The most important and richest localities of Late Miocene-Holocene fossil vertebrates of South America are those of the Pampean region of Argentina. There are also several Late Miocene and Pliocene localities in western Argentina and Bolivia. Other important fossils have been collected in localities of Pleistocene age outside Argentina: Tarija (Bolivia), karstic caves of Lagoa Santa and the recently explored caves of Tocantins (Brasil), Talara (Perú), La Carolina (Ecuador), Muaco (Venezuela), and Cueva del Milodon (Chile), among others. The book discusses basic information for interpreting the GABI such as taxonomic composition (incorporating the latest revisions) at classical and new localities for each stage addressing climate, environments, and time boundaries for each stage. It includes the chronology and dynamics of the GABI, the integration of South American mammalian faunas through time, the Quaternary mammalian extinctions and the composition of recent mammalian fauna of the continent.

The Impact of Climate Change on Our Life

Author: Abdelnaser Omran
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9811077487
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book introduces the highly topical issue from many different angles, sensitizing readers to the various challenges to human life posed by climate change, identifying possible intentional and inadvertent anthropogenic factors and consequences, and seeking socially and environmentally viable solutions. The book begins by examining the impact of the climate change discussion on science, politics, economy and culture – from its historical origin in the first Club of Rome Report and its inclusion in the UN's SDGs to the Paris Agreement and beyond. Comprising 12 chapters, it analyses the factors which caused the catastrophic 2014 Kelantan flood in Malaysia, focusing on the Kuala Krai district and discusses mud architecture in Wadi Hadramout, Yemen and mitigating the expected effects of climate change on this unique architecture and cultural heritage. It also examines the economic costs of climate change on health and the increased burden on individual expenditures and national health systems. The role of climate change in the water-energy nexus and efforts to increase efficiency in energy and water end-use to increase Queensland’s agricultural sector’s resilience in Australia is addressed, as is water security and climate change issues in developing countries and the potential of partnership procurement strategies for managing sustainable urban water supply in Nigerian cities. It also includes a chapter offering a new approach to waste management, exploring to what extent waste can complicate our daily actions and influence environmental decay, and recommending that renewable materials be sorted and separated from other types of materials to avoid cross-contamination, to increase the value of the materials, and to ease the process of manufacturing. Subsequent chapters identify factors sustaining the municipal solid waste management and practices in Ajdabiya city in Libya, and look at accounting disclosure remedies by exploring areas in which sustainability reporting could expand beyond corporate environmental reporting to additional disclosures, curbing recklessness in pursuing merely economic goals. The book shows – from the perspective of agriculture – how human activities can increase the negative impacts of climate change on lifestyle in Malaysia, suggesting alternative lifestyles and encouraging international cooperative efforts. The last chapters evaluate the impacts of various environmental factors on the local tourism sector in Pakistan, and discuss strategies to tackle climate change, focusing on the opportunities and risks of climate engineering. Since these risks encompass inadvertent negative effects and targeted abuse for covert weather warfare and terrorism that violate the UN’s ENMOD convention, the author recommends viable alternatives to deal with climate change.

Climatic and Environmental History of Isla de los Estados Argentina

Author: Juan Federico Ponce
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400743637
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book is the result of ten years’ of scientific research carried out by the authors on Isla de los Estados. The research includes their doctoral thesis and many published scientific papers related to the island. The book is divided into two principal parts. The first part covers different social and natural aspects of this remote island and includes chapters on the scientific and historical background, physiography with topographical and hydrographical descriptions, climate and oceanographic circulation, vegetation and geology (including stratigraphy, structural geology and geological history). The second part comprises a reconstruction of the paleoenvironmental, paleoclimatic and paleogeographic history of the island from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present, correlating with other paleoecological records from the southern part of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. This second part also includes a geomorphological chapter with a characterization of the principal erosive glacial landforms on Isla de los Estados constructed by means of morphometric analysis, inventories, maps, paleogeographic and glacial models, and a paleoecological chapter evaluating the palaeoenvironment and palaeoclimatic conditions that prevailed during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene times based on pollen and diatom analysis from three 14C-dated peat bogs and lakes. Finally, the book concludes with a review of the island’s archaeology and the relationship between the palaeoenvironmental history and human occupation of this island.

Catalogue of Meteorites from South America

Author: Rogelio Daniel Acevedo
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3319019252
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The first Catalogue of Meteorites from South America includes new specimens never previously reported, while doubtful cases and pseudometeorites have been deliberately omitted. The falling of these objects is a random event, but the sites where old meteorites are found tend to be focused in certain areas, e.g. in the deflation surfaces in Chile’s Atacama Desert, due to favorable climate conditions and ablation processes. Our Catalogue provides basic information on each specimen like its provenance and the place where it was discovered (in geographic co-ordinates and with illustrative maps), its official name, its classification type (class, and if applicable, weathering grade and shock stage), if it was seen falling or was found by chance, its total mass or weight, the institution where it is held, and the most important bibliographic references about it.

Environment and Society

Author: Manuel Arias-Maldonado
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319159526
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This short book sets out to explore the concept of nature in the context of a changing reality, in which the extent of our transformation of the environment has become evident: What is nature and to what extent has humanity transformed it? How do nature and society relate to one another? What does the idea of a sustainable society entail and how can nature be understood as a political subject? What is the Anthropocene and how does it affect nature as both an idea and a material entity? Has nature perhaps “ended?” In addressing these questions, the author delivers a concise but meaningful study of contemporary understandings of nature, one that goes beyond the limits posed by a single discipline. Adopting a truly comprehensive perspective, the work incorporates classical disciplines such as philosophy, evolutionary theory and the history of ideas; new and mixed approaches ranging from environmental sociology to neurobiology and ecological economics and the emerging area of the environmental humanities and represents a growing branch of political thought that views nature as a new political subject.

The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution

Author: Andrew Y. Glikson
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 940076328X
Format: PDF, Docs
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When in 1981 Louis and Walter Alvarez, the father and son team, unearthed a tell-tale Iridium-rich sedimentary horizon at the 65 million years-old Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary at Gubbio, Italy, their find heralded a paradigm shift in the study of terrestrial evolution. Since the 1980s the discovery and study of asteroid impact ejecta in the oldest well-preserved terrains of Western Australia and South Africa, by Don Lowe, Gary Byerly, Bruce Simonson, Scott Hassler, the author and others, and the documentation of new exposed and buried impact structures in several continents, have led to a resurgence of the idea of the catastrophism theory of Cuvier, previously largely supplanted by the uniformitarian theory of Hutton and Lyell. Several mass extinction of species events are known to have occurred in temporal proximity to large asteroid impacts, global volcanic eruptions and continental splitting. Likely links are observed between asteroid clusters and the 580 Ma acritarch radiation, end-Devonian extinction, end-Triassic extinction and end-Jurassic extinction. New discoveries of ~3.5 – 3.2 Ga-old impact fallout units in South Africa have led Don Lowe and Gary Byerly to propose a protracted prolongation of the Late Heavy Bombardment (~3.95-3.85 Ga) in the Earth-Moon system. Given the difficulty in identifying asteroid impact ejecta units and buried impact structures, it is likely new discoveries of impact signatures are in store, which would further profoundly alter models of terrestrial evolution. .