A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our Threatened Wildlife by Professor Norman Maclean, Chris Packham

By Professor Norman Maclean, Chris Packham

Disentangling the evidence from the hype, this 'Domesday booklet' of the British and Irish geographical region deals a definitive and up to date survey of the country of our flora and fauna this present day. Norman Maclean, editor of the bestselling Silent summer time, examines the newest findings of england and Ireland's most sensible natural world specialists and translates them for a much broader viewers. each one bankruptcy presents trustworthy estimates of animal populations, displaying which species are thriving and that are in decline. The e-book additionally considers the results of weather swap on our flora and fauna and the way human inhabitants progress is influencing its improvement. fantastically illustrated with color plates and wooden engravings all through, this obtainable and well timed learn unearths simply how quickly our geographical region and its flora and fauna are altering, why we should always be troubled, and what we will do approximately it.

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Sample text

I will return to this crystal-ball gazing in the final chapter of this book. I still believe that it is not too late, although in terms of possible rescue it is just a few minutes before midnight. If governments across the world could come to see wildlife conservation as a top priority and introduce legislation to control human population increase and greenhouse gas emissions, then slowly and patchily the ticking clock could be put back and our planet return to some kind of environmental health.

Perhaps the most serious impact of climate change on ice retreat is the melting of polar ice in Greenland and Antarctica and the effect this is having and will have on sea levels. If all polar ice melted it has been estimated that there would be a world sea-level rise of 70 m. Present change indicates a sea-level rise of about 1 mm per year, contributions from the Arctic and 36 | A LESS GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND Antarctica being about equal, and over the last 120 years sea levels are estimated to have risen by 20 cm, which equates to over 1 mm per year.

A good example of such an arms race was evidenced by the small human community which once survived on the Scottish islands of St Kilda. The islands were routinely isolated by winter storms, and the islanders dreaded the arrival of the first spring boat, since the sailors carried with them new strains of influenza which had evolved over the winter, and to which most mainlanders were already immune. Not so the islanders, who mostly went down with colds or flu a few days after the arrival of the first spring boat.

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