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101 Questions and Answers for Understanding the Human Impact on the Global Environment


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B. L. Turner II


Agenda Publishing




B. L. Turner II is Regents' Professor and Gilbert F. White Professor of Environment and Society at Arizona State University. A geographer and human-environmental scientist, he has engaged in research on a wide range of topics across the human–environment relationship and sustainability. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (US), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Assoc...





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The Anthropocene is an authoritative desk-top reference work for students of geography, the environment and sustainability. Through a series of 101 interconnected questions and answers spanning ten thematic sections, the book provides a comprehensive survey of humankind's impact on the global environment from the Late Stone Age to the present day.

Unrivalled in scope, the book distills the latest research findings and scholarship across a remarkable range of topics concerning the evolving human–environment relationship. These include the broad history of human-induced changes in the environmental conditions of the planet; the major human impacts on the Earth and their consequences; and the different causes and rationales applied to understanding these environmental changes. All questions are answered succinctly and rigorously and draw on a wealth of contemporary evidence and scientific theories. The book is colour illustrated throughout, answers are fully cross-referenced and further readings are suggested for those wishing to delve deeper. For anyone seeking to understand the human-induced changes to our planet and the challenges these pose for sustainability, this book is an invaluable resource. It provides a masterly presentation of the human footprint on the Earth system.



Section I The Anthropocene and the Earth System: foundational concepts

Section II The emergence of the Anthropocene

Section III Human changes to the land surface/lithosphere

Section IV Human changes to the hydrosphere

Section V Human changes to the atmosphere

Section VI Human changes to life in the biosphere

Section VII The human causes of the Anthropocene

Section VIII Understanding our relationship with nature

Section IX Sustainability in the Anthropocene


“An encyclopedic tour de force! Turner answers the major questions that educated people wonder about and gives accessible short and long answers to each one of them. Will be immensely useful to students, professionals and the public for years to come.” - Emilio F. Moran, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor, Center for Global Change and Earth Observations and Department of Geography, Michigan State University “This book offers a highly accessible and balanced review of the key facts, concepts and ideas that are essential to understand today's global environmental crisis in all its dimensions. The author, a leading scholar on human–environment interactions, shares his multidisciplinary insights by combining scientific rigour, an engaging style, and didactic figures. This book, full of wi...



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