Unravelling the past, modelling the future

Ellis, Michael; Balson, Pete; Banks, Vanessa; Bradwell, Tom; Chambers, Jonathan; Cooper, Tony; Gunn, David; Harrison, Anna; Hobbs, Peter; Jackson, Chris; Lee, Jon; Ogilvy, Richard; Rawlins, Barry; Rees, John; Tye, Andy; Vane, Chris ORCID:; Wilkinson, Paul. 2010 Unravelling the past, modelling the future. Earthwise, 26. 56-57.

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Britain’s landscape provides our recreational space, has inspired poets and artists, and has taken up countless hours of BBC TV airtime. It has absorbed the blood of hundreds of battles over thousands of years. It conceals the treasures of our multicultural origins and the spoils of the Industrial Revolution. Now it must support a population of slightly more than 61 million people. For all its long history of human occupation, geologically speaking it is a young landscape, sculpted by the waxing and waning of multiple ice ages and changing sea levels over the past two million years. The last extensive ice cover receded almost 20 000 years ago, leaving in its wake a landscape further sculpted by rising sea levels, deforestation, and the inexorable propagation of urban environments. The pristine and manicured landscape — the British countryside — that we cherish today is a far more dynamic environment than we might at first realise.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Climate Change Science
ISSN: X780667289
Date made live: 21 Mar 2012 15:12 +0 (UTC)

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