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Land-use & Land-cover Change

  • Yellow Fever Featured Article Yellow Fever Yellow Fever

    Introduction Centers for Disease Control and Prevention     Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted to humans... More »

  • Agriculture II Featured Photo Gallery Agriculture II Agriculture II

    Humans began to cultivate food crops about 10,000 years ago. Prior to that time, hunter-gatherers secured their food as they traveled in the nearby environment. When they... More »

  • EPA on School Siting Featured Article EPA on School Siting EPA on School Siting

    This article, written by Bob Weinhold*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of... More »

  • Daugava River Featured Article Daugava River Daugava River

    The Daugava River drains portions of the countries of Latvia, Belarus, Estonia and Russia, prior to discharging to the Gulf of Riga. Also known as the West Dvina River, this... More »

  • Overgrazing Featured Article Overgrazing Overgrazing

    Overgrazing is herbivory (animal comsumption of plants) that extracts an unsustainable yield of floral biomass from an ecosystem; however, the term is most often... More »

  • Tokelau Featured Article Tokelau Tokelau

    Tokelau is group of three low-lying coral atolls (Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu) enclosing large lagoons in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New... More »

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Refugia Last Updated on 2013-10-21 15:07:19 Refugia (singular Refugium) are geographical locations where natural environmental conditions have remained relatively constant or stable during times of great environmental change, such as eras of glacial advance and retreat. Refugia protect populations of geographically isolated organisms which may then re-colonize a region when the wider environment returns to levels within the organism's tolerance levels. This idea is commonly referred to as The Refugia Theory. Haffer (1969) first proposed the idea of refugia to explain the high diversity of Amazonian bird species seen today. Haffer (1969) proposed that the Amazon Basin paleoclimate experienced several warm, dry periods during episodes of continental glacier advance in the Pleistocene. These glacially driven periods led to the conversion of forest to savanna, which resulted in the isolation of small fragments of forest... More »
Africover Initiative Last Updated on 2013-10-08 23:04:33 The Africover Project is designed to provide a digital, georeferenced database on land cover—and a geographic information reference point for the whole of Africa. The purpose of the Africover Project is to establish a digital georeferenced database on land cover and a geographic referential for the whole of Africa including: geodetical homogeneous referential toponomy roads hydrography The Multipurpose Africover Database for the Environmental Resources (MADE) is produced at a 1:200,000 scale (1:100,000 for small countries and specific areas). Reinforcing national and sub-regional capacities for the establishment, update and use of the geographic referential and land cover maps and spatial data bases is the core strategy of Africover: this has been the methodology adopted to ensure an operational approach and the sustainability of the initiative. The renewable... More »
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification Last Updated on 2013-09-10 15:53:09 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) certification, which was developed and is administered by the United States Green Buildings Committee (“USGBC”), is an internationally recognized voluntary green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance.[1] The "seal of approval" is aimed at “encourag[ing] and accelerat[ing] global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.”[2] The LEED rating system weighs and considers a building's contribution to energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emission reduction, improvement in indoor environmental quality,... More »
Anthropogenic biomes Last Updated on 2013-09-03 12:25:31 Anthropogenic biomes describe globally-significant ecological patterns within the terrestrial biosphere caused by sustained direct human interaction with ecosystems, including agriculture, urbanization, forestry and other land uses. Conventional biomes, such as tropical rainforests or grasslands, are based on global vegetation patterns related to climate. Now that humans have fundamentally altered global patterns of ecosystem form, process, and biodiversity, anthropogenic biomes provide a contemporary view of the terrestrial biosphere in its human-altered form. Anthropogenic biomes may also be termed "anthromes" to distinguish them from conventional biome systems, or "human biomes" (a simpler but less precise term). Humans are the ultimate ecosystem engineers, routinely reshaping ecosystem form and process using tools and technologies, such as fire, that are... More »
Anthropocene Last Updated on 2013-09-03 12:23:40 The Anthropocene defines Earth's most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans. The word combines the root "anthropo", meaning "human" with the root "-cene", the standard suffix for "epoch" in geologic time. The Anthropocene is distinguished as a new period either after or within the Holocene, the current epoch, which began approximately 10,000 years ago (about 8000 BC) with the end of the last glacial period. Anthropocene is a new term, proposed in 2000 by Nobel Prize winning scientist Paul Crutzen. A similar term, Anthrocene, was coined by Andrew Revkin in his 1992 book Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, but was not adopted by scientists.... More »