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A Century of British Geography$
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Ron Johnston and Michael Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262863

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

Geographers and environmental change

Geographers and environmental change

(p.504) (p.505) 14 Geographers and environmental change
A Century of British Geography

John B. Thornes

British Academy

Within geography, physical geography is concerned with the characteristics of the natural environment, the atmosphere, the lithosphere and the biosphere; how they influence human activities and how they are affected by them across the face of the globe. It comprises geomorphology, climatology and biogeography, and proceeds by monitoring, modelling and managing environmental change. Geographical research at first concentrated on the direct impacts of glaciation on the geomorphology of Britain, such as the glacial erosion of northern Britain and its indirect impacts, especially the effects of changing sea levels. Physical geographers in the last 100 years have taken some comfort from the knowledge that their skills are applied in matters of public interest and importance. Now the pace of global environmental change is such that these skills will be essential in the next 100 years, in solving some of the great contemporary environmental problems such as global warming, the global disappearance of forests, desertification and water pollution.

Keywords:   Britain, geographers, environmental change, physical geography, geomorphology, climatology, global warming, forests, desertification, water pollution

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