environmental issues

environmental issues

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The second assessment for this module, is a 2500 word report, on ONE of the essay titles below:
Examine how current local and regional anthropogenic environmental change in the developing world could exacerbate predicted future impacts of  climate change on humans in those areas .
(For undertaking literature searches, SCOPUS or Web of Knowledge/Science are the best starting points.)
The essay should talk about climate change

Here is the reading list
Living with environmental change: impacts on ecosystem
services and poverty alleviation in developing countries
Reading List
Adger, W. N., S. Huq, K. Brown, D. Conwaya and M. Hulmea (2003). Adaptation to
climate change in the developing world. Progress in Development Studies 3: 179-195
Aggarwal, R. M. (2006) Globalization, local ecosystems, and the rural poor. World
Development 34(8): 1405-18.
Ahmed, A.U. and Neelormi, S. Livelihoods of coastal fishermen in peril: In search of
early evidence of climate change induced adverse effects in Bangladesh. Available
online: http://www.csrlbd.org/content/climatechange/livelihood-coastal.pdf [Accessed
21Nov 2011]
Atapattu, S. and D. Molden (2006). Achieving food and environmental security: Better
river basin management for healthy coastal zones. Environment and Livelihoods in
Tropical Coastal Zones: Managing Agriculture-Fishery-Aquaculture Conflicts 2: 293-
Bucini, G. and N. P. Hanan (2007). A continental-scale analysis of tree cover in African
savannas. Global Ecology and Biogeography 16: 593-605.
Bunce, M., S. Rosendo and K. Brown Perceptions of climate change, multiple stressors
and livelihoods on marginal African coasts. Environment Development and
Sustainability 12(3): 407-440.
Buytaert, W., R. Celleri, B. De Bievre, F. Cisneros, G. Wyseure, J. Deckers and R.
Hofstede (2006). Human impact on the hydrology of the Andean paramos. Earth-
Science Reviews 79(1-2): 53-72.
Chisholm, R. A. Trade-offs between ecosystem services: Water and carbon in a
biodiversity hotspot. Ecological Economics 69(10): 1973-1987.
Christensen, J. H., B. Hewitson, A. Busuioc, A. Chen, X. Gao, I. Held, R. Jones, R. K.
Kolli, W. T. Kwon, R. Laprise, V. Magaña Rueda, L. Mearns, C. G. Menéndez, J.
Räisänen, A. Rinke, A. Sarr and P. Whetton (2007). Regional Climate Projections.
Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to
the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. S.
Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manninget al. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 847-940.
Cox, P. M., R. A. Betts, M. Collins, P. P. Harris, C. Huntingford and C. D. Jones (2004).
Amazonian forest dieback under climate-carbon cycle projections for the 21st century.
Theoretical and Applied Climatology 78(1-3): 137-156.
Dai, A. G., K. E. Trenberth and T. T. Qian (2004). A global dataset of Palmer Drought
Severity Index for 1870-2002: Relationship with soil moisture and effects of surface
warming. Journal of Hydrometeorology 5(6): 1117-1130.
Dai, A. G., P. J. Lamb, K. E. Trenberth, M. Hulme, P. D. Jones and P. P. Xie (2004).
The recent Sahel drought is real. International Journal of Climatology 24(11): 1323-
Dale, V. H., Joyce, L.A., McNulty, S., Neilson, R.P., Ayres, M.P., Flannigan, M.D.,
Hanson, P.J., Irland, L.C., Lugo, A.E., Peterson, C.J., Simberloff, D., Swanson, F.J.,
Stocks, B.J., Wotton, B.M. (2001). Climate Change and Forest Disturbances.
BioScience 51(723-734).
De Groot, R.S., Wilson, M.A., Boumans, R.M.J. (2002): A typology for the
classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and
services. Ecological Economics 41: 393–40
Delire, C., A. Ngomanda and D. Jolly (2008). Possible impacts of 21st century climate
on vegetation in Central and West Africa. Global and Planetary Change 64(1-2): 3-15.
Dettinger, M. D. (2000). Global Characteristics of Stream Flow Seasonality and
Variability. Journal of Hydrometeorology 1: 289-310.
Dhiman, S.D., Keshari, A.K. (2006) Hydrogeochemical evaluation of high-fluoride
groundwaters: a case study from Mehsana District, Gujarat, India. Hydrological
Sciences Journal-Journal Des Sciences Hydrologiques, 51, 1149-1162.
Doherty, R. M., S. Sitch, B. Smith, S. L. Lewis and P. K. Thornton Implications of future
climate and atmospheric CO2 content for regional biogeochemistry, biogeography and
ecosystem services across East Africa. Global Change Biology 16(2): 617-640.
Du, M. Y., S. Kawashima, S. Yonemura, X. Z. Zhang and S. B. Chen (2004). Mutual
influence between human activities and climate change in the Tibetan Plateau during
recent years. Global and Planetary Change 41: 241-249.
Finlayson, C., M. Bellio and J. Lowry (2005). A conceptual basis for the wise use of
wetlands in northern Australia – linking information needs, integrated analyses, drivers
of change and human well-being. Marine and Freshwater Research 56(3): 269-277.
Foley, J. A., Levis, S., Costa, M.H., Cramer, W., Pollard, D. (2000). Incorporating
dynamic vegetation cover within global climate models. Ecological Applications 10:
Gordon, L.J., Peterson, G.D. and Bennett, E.M. (2007) Agricultural modifications of
hydrological flows create ecological surprises. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23(4):
Gray, L. C. & W. G. Moseley. (2005). A geographical perspective on povertyenvironment
interactions. The Geographical Journal 171: 9-23.
Groffman, P., D. Bain and L. Band (2003). Down by the riverside: urban riparian
ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 1(6): 315-321.
Gupta, S.K., Deshpande, R.D. (1999) Water stress in Gujarat, India: Dimensions,
development plans and peoples’ movement for sustainable growth. Water Resources
Planning and Management, 19-31.
Gurnell, A., H. Moggridge, G. McGregor, S. Gosling and A. Jones (2008). A baseline
appraisal of water-dependant ecosystem services, the roles they play within desakota
livelihood systems and their potential sensitivity to climate change. . Final report for
DFID, ESRC and NERC ‘Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation’ programme,
Available online:
akota%20Part%20II%20C%20Natural%20Science%20Review.pdf [Accessed 14
December 2010].
Haack, B. N. and G. Khatiwada (2007). Rice and bricks: Environmental issues and
mapping of the unusual crop rotation pattern in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.
Environmental Management 39(6): 774-782.
Haines-Young, R. and M. Potschin (2007) The Ecosystem Concept and the
Identification of Ecosystem Goods and Services in the English Policy Context. Review
Paper to Defra, Project Code NR0107.Available online:
[Accessed 22 Nov 2011]
Hely, C., L. Bremond, S. Alleaume, B. Smith, M. T. Sykes and J. Guiot (2006).
Sensitivity of African biomes to changes in the precipitation regime. Global Ecology and
Biogeography 15(3): 258-270.
Higgins, P. A. T. (2007). Biodiversity loss under existing land use and climate change:
an illustration using northern South America. Global Ecology and Biogeography 16(2):
Korsgaard, L. and J. S. Schou Economic valuation of aquatic ecosystem services in
developing countries. Water Policy 12(1): 20-31.
Laurance, W. F. (2004). Forest-climate interactions in fragmented tropical landscapes.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences
359(1443): 345-352.
Lemke, P., J. Ren, R. B. Alley, I. Allison, J. Carrasco, G. Flato, Y. Fujii, G. Kaser, P.
Mote, R. H. Thomas and T. Zhang, Eds. (2007). Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice
and Frozen Ground. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of
Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Luck, G. W., K. M. A. Chan and J. P. Fay (2009). Protecting ecosystem services and
biodiversity in the world’s watersheds. Conservation Letters 2(4): 179-188.
Meehl, G., T. Stocker, W. Collins, P. Friedlingstein, A. Gaye, J. Gregory, A. Kitoh, R.
Knutti, J. Murphy, A. Noda, S. Raper, I. Watterson, A. Weaver and Z.-C. Zhao, Eds.
(2007). Global Climate Projections. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Middleton, N. (2008). The Global Casino. London, Hodder Education.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). Ecosystem Services and Human Well-
Being: Desertification Synthesis. Washington DC, Island Press.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). Ecosystems and Human Well-being:
General Synthesis Washington DC, Island Press.
Mirza, M. M. Q. (2002). Global warming and changes in the probability of occurence of
floods in Bangladesh and implications. Global Environmental Change 12(127-138).
Montoya, J. M. and D. Raffaelli Climate change, biotic interactions and ecosystem
services Introduction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological
Sciences 365(1549): 2013-2018.
O’Farrell, P. J., B. Reyers, D. C. Le Maitre, S. J. Milton, B. Egoh, A. Maherry, C. Colvin,
D. Atkinson, W. De Lange, J. N. Blignaut and R. M. Cowling Multi-functional landscapes
in semi arid environments: implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Landscape Ecology 25(8): 1231-1246.
Parnell, S., D. Simon and C. Vogel (2007). Global environmental change:
conceptualising the growing challenge for cities in poor countries.Area 39(3): 357-369
Parrya, M., N. Arnellb, T. McMichaelc, R. Nichollsd, P. Martense, S. Kovatsc, M.
Livermorea, C. Rosenzweigf, A. Iglesiasg and G. Fischerh (2001). Millions at risk:
defining critical climate change threats and targets.Global Environmental Change
Piao, S. L., P. Friedlingstein, P. Ciais, N. De Noblet-Ducoudre, D. Labat and S. Zaehle
(2007). Changes in climate and land use have a larger direct impact than rising CO2 on
global river runoff trends. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 104(15242-
Ramankutty, N., J. A. Foley, J. Norman and K. McSweeney (2002). The global
distribution of cultivable lands: current patterns and sensitivity to possible climate
change. Global Ecology and Biogeography 11(5): 377-392.
Ray, D. K., R. M. Welch, R. O. Lawton and U. S. Nair (2006). Dry season clouds and
rainfall in northern Central America:implications for the Mesoamerican Biological
Corridor. Global and Planetary Change 54: 150-162.
Rietkerk, M., Dekker, S.C., de Ruiter, P.C., van de Koppel, J. (2004). Self-Organized
Patchiness and Catastrophic Shifts in Ecosystems Science 305: 1926-1929.
Rutkowski, T., L. Raschid-Sally and S. Buechler (2007). Wastewater irrigation in the
developing world – Two case studies from the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Agricultural
Water Management 88(1-3): 83-91.
Sahin, V. and H. M.J. (1996). The effects of afforestation and deforestation on water
yields. Journal of Hydrology 178: 293-309.
Sankaran, M., J. Ratnam and N. P. Hanan (2008). Woody cover in African savannas:
the role of resources, fire and herbivory. Global Ecology and Biogeography 17: 236-245.
Scanlon, B. R., D. G. Levitt, R. C. Reedy, K. E. Keese and M. J. Sully (2005). Ecological
controls on water-cycle response to climate variability in deserts. Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102(17): 6033-6038.
Scanlon, B. R., I. Jolly, M. Sophocleous and L. Zhang (2007). Global impacts of
conversions from natural to agricultural ecosystems on water resources: Quantity
versus quality. Water Resources Research 43(3).
Scheffer, M., M. Holmgren, V. Brovkin and M. Claussen (2005). Synergy between smalland
large-scale feedbacks of vegetation on the water cycle. Global Change Biology
11(7): 1003-1012.
Scholes, R. J. (2009). Syndromes of dryland degradation in southern Africa. African
Journal of Range & Forage Science 26(3): 113-125.
Scholze, M., W. Knorr, N. Arnell and I. Prentice (2006). A climate change risk analysis
for world ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 103: 13116–
Stenseth, N. C., A. Mysterud, G. Ottersen, J. W. Hurrell, K.-S. Chan and M. Lima
(2002). Ecological effects of climate fluctuations. Science 207: 1292-1296
Sternberg, L. d. S. L. (2001). Savanna-forest hysteresis in the tropics. Global Ecology
and Biogeography 10(4): 369-378.
Van Vuuren, D. P., Sala, O. E., Pereira, H. M. (2006). The future of vascular plant
diversity under four global scenarios. Ecology and Society 11(2): 25 [online] URL:
Velarde, S. J., Y. Malhi, D. Moran, J. Wright and S. Hussain (2005). Valuing the impacts
of climate change on protected areas in Africa. Ecological Economics 53(1): 21-33.
Vörösmarty, C. J., Sahagian, D. (2000). Anthropogenic Disturbance of the Terrestrial
Water Cycle. Bioscience 50(9): 753-765.
Yu, L., Cao, M., Li, K. (2006). Climate-induced changes in the vegetation pattern of
China in the 21st century Ecological Research 21 (912–919).
Further Reading list
Here is some further reading for the lecture. Of course you don’t have to read everything, but there are many interesting reports and papers in the areas that I discussed.
The Millennium Ecosystem Services initiative has a dedicated website with lots of good information relating to the lecture (http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.html). Also have a look at the ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB) website (http://www.teebweb.org/) which concentrates on the economic valuations of natures services.
The websites have loads of great information, but also they have freely available reports (as pdfs) that provide a wealth of information in these areas. A good place to start on Ecosystem Services is the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Reports. These are freely available from the MEA website
The TEEB website which also has a number of freely available reports that look at the valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and how these valuations can be incorporated into economic decision making. The reports are available at http://www.teebweb.org/our-publications/. The report called Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature is the shortest but provides lots of good info. The ‘TEEB Interim Report’ is where the TEEB stuff started and is a bit longer but also very informative.
Some of the reports for the MEA and TEEB are very large but there are a number of cut down summary versions that cover the main points. The synthesis and summary reports cover all the main points in a clear concise fashion and are designed to be read by busy people such as policy makers and decision makers (and Masters students!). The main document is the ‘TEEB Ecological and Economic Foundations’ – have a look at chapter 1 which provides a good summary and also tells you what is in the other chapters of the document.
For more information on climate change go to the IPCC website (http://www.ipcc.ch/). The reports here are a bit more technical (particularly the report on the physical science basis). However summaries for policy makers are available, and include reports on impacts and mitigation strategies.
Journal Articles
The journal ‘Ecology and Society’ had a special issue on ecosystem services, and covers a lot of the material in the MEA assessments but in a little more detail. You can access the special issue at http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/issues/view.php?sf=23
This Journal also regularly has articles on the subject of ecosystem services.
For more information of the valuation of ecosystem services (and a more about the classification of them) there is a special issue of Ecological Economics that has a number of interesting papers. The article by de Groot et al is a very comprehensive listing of ecosystem services and their valuation is worth reading. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09218009/41
Another interesting paper is available at the following site
Other useful papers on the environmental degradation and ecosystem damage include the following:
Hughes, L. (2000) Biological consequences of global warming: is the signal already, TREE, 15, 56 – 61
Foley et al., (2005) Global Consequences of Land Use, Science, 309, 570-574
McAlpine, CA., (2010) More than CO2: a broader paradigm for managing climate change and variability to avoid ecosystem collapse. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2, 334-346.
Rockstrom et al., (2009) A safe operating space for humanity, Nature, 461, 472-475
Lambin et al., (2001) The causes of land-use and land-cover change: moving beyond the myths. Global Environmental Change, 11, 261-269
There are obviously many, many, more papers that you could read but those listed above will give you a good grounding in the subject. There is a comprehensive list of further paper on MOLE that was provided by Dr Helen Moggridge.
Although you should concentrate on scientific reports and the technical literature for your studies if you fancy a little bit of lighter reading of friendly but informative books the following are of interest.
‘The God Species’ by Mark Lynas which covers how we are changing the world and how technology may help.
The book ‘Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the World in the 20th Century’ by J.R.Mcneill is very good but out of print, but you can get 2nd hand copies on Amazon.
An easy read on ecosystem services is ‘What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees’ by Tony Juniper.


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