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By Ian D. Whyte

Professor Whyte's A Dictionary of Environmental historical past provides in one quantity a finished reference paintings masking the prior 12,000 years of the Earth's environmental heritage. An creation to the self-discipline is via nearly 1,000 entries masking key terminology, occasions, locations, dates, subject matters, in addition to the most important personalities within the background of the self-discipline. Entries diversity from shorter real money owed to monstrous mini-essays on key themes and matters. absolutely cross-referenced with an in depth bibliography, this pioneering paintings presents an authoritative but available source that may shape crucial studying for lecturers, practitioners and scholars of environmental historical past and comparable disciplines.

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By the end of the 1990s over 2 million ha of agricultural land in the Amu Dar’ya delta suffered from desertification and the unique tugai forest ecosystem of the area had been largely destroyed. Within the sea fish stocks have been devastated. Fisheries declined from an annual catch of 48,000 t in 1957 to almost zero in 1980. By 1982 commercial fishing had ceased, local canning plants had closed and fishing villages were abandoned, their boats stranded far from water by the retreating sea. Damage has been especially severe in the delta areas.

It can be passed on to humans by infection via the skin during the butchering and skinning of animals, killing around onefifth of those infected. It can also be transmitted through eating infected meat, with mortality levels being as high as 100%. Inhalation of spores is a third source of infection which, if untreated, can cause heavy mortality. It is thought by some scholars to have been the cause of the Black Death rather than bubonic plague. Until the C20 it killed large numbers of domestic animals and people in Europe, Africa, Asia, N America and Australia before Louis Pasteur developed a vaccine in 1881.

Although the Antarctic was once widely believed to be virtually immune to the impacts of global warming, recent research has demonstrated otherwise. In March 2002 5,500 km2 broke off the Larsen B ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula; only 40% of the ice shelf that existed in 1995 is still there and ice shelves throughout the peninsula have lost 113,500 km2 since 1974. The Antarctic Peninsula is seemingly especially sensitive to climate change. 5– C in the last 50 years, two or three times the global average, but there have not been comparable rises in the main part of Antarctica.

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A Dictionary of Environmental History by Ian D. Whyte

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