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Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change

  • By: Robin M. Leichenko & Karen L. O'Brien
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Studies of the human dimensions of global environmental change explore the social causes and consequences of large-scale environmental transformations. These include, for example, climate change or global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, land use changes such as wetlands loss and deforestation, biodiversity loss, and changes in the abundance, diversity, and productivity of marine populations. Widespread local-scale changes, such as in water access or water quality, can be considered global environmental problems because of the magnitude of their impacts on society. Human actions are considered to be the central force behind all types of global environmental change, whether it is through population growth, resource extraction, energy consumption, urbanization, technological change, changes in consumer demands, or shifts in attitudes, lifestyles, and beliefs. Central to all ...

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