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Climate Change in Deserts: Past, Present and Future

By: Martin Williams(Author)

450 pages, 147 b/w illustrations, 27 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Oct 2014 | #214975 | ISBN-13: 9781107016910
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £130.00 $169/€148 approx

About this book

Climate Change in Deserts reconstructs climatic changes in deserts and their margins at a variety of scales in space and time. It draws upon evidence from land and sea, including desert dunes, wind-blown dust, river and lake sediments, glacial moraines, plant and animal fossils, isotope geochemistry, speleothems, soils, and prehistoric archaeology. Climate Change in Deserts summarises the Cenozoic evolution of the major deserts of the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Australia and the causes of historic floods and droughts. Climate Change in Deserts then considers the causes and consequences of desertification and proposes four key conditions for achieving ecologically sustainable use of natural resources in arid and semi-arid areas. Climate Change in Deserts is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students interested in the climate and geomorphology of deserts: geographers, geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, soil scientists, hydrologists, climatologists and natural resource managers.


1. Introduction
2. Present-day desert environments
3. Cenozoic evolution of deserts
4. Adaptations to life in deserts
5. Evolution of desert research
6. Dating desert landforms and sediments
7. Stable isotope geochemistry
8. Desert dunes
9. Desert dust
10. Desert rivers
11. Desert lakes
12. The pluvial debate
13. Desert glaciation
14. Speleothems and tufas in arid areas
15. Desert soils, paleosols and duricrusts
16. Plant and animal fossils in deserts
17. Prehistoric occupation of deserts
18. African and Arabian deserts
19. Asian deserts
20. North American deserts
21. South American deserts
22. Australian deserts
23. Historic floods and droughts
24. Desertification: causes, consequences and solutions
25. Current climatic trends and possible future changes
26. Towards sustainable use of deserts

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Martin Williams is Emeritus Professor at the University of Adelaide, Australia. His particular contribution is the reconstruction of prehistoric environments, ranging from the habitats occupied by early hominids in the Afar Rift of Ethiopia to the Neolithic occupation in the Sahara and the Nile valley to the late Pleistocene wetlands in the arid Flinders Ranges of South Australia, using evidence from a wide variety of disciplines. He is a recipient of the Cuthbert Peek Medal from the Royal Geographical Society, the Sir Joseph Verco Medal from the Royal Society of South Australia, the Distinguished Geomorphologist Medal from the Australia and New Zealand Geomorphology Group, and the Farouk El Baz Award for Desert Research from the Geological Society of America. He is the author of more than two hundred research papers (twelve in Nature) and has edited or authored twelve books, including Landform Evolution in Australasia (with J. L. Davies, 1978), The Sahara and the Nile (with Hugues Faure, 1980), and Quaternary Environments (with David Dunkerley, Patrick De Deckker, Peter Kershaw and John Chappell; 1993, 1998).

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