By Aldo Leopold

ISBN-10: 0345345053

ISBN-13: 9780345345059

"We can position this booklet at the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir." San Francisco Chronicle

These remarkable photos of the wildlife discover the breathtaking range of the unspoiled American panorama -- the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. a gorgeous tribute to our land and a daring problem to guard the realm we adore.

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Additional info for A Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)

Sample text

The greenhouse climate has the potential to produce what are called mega-droughts, lasting for a decade or longer. Droughts of a year or two can be endured by relying on stored food and water, but when a drought lasts longer than this, reserves run out. Extended drought changes the vegetation and the soils in ways that tend to “lock in” the drought conditions. Unfortunately it is difficult to forecast droughts reliably, so they are difficult to prepare for. Different climate models may agree about the global average climate changes, but disagree more about regional changes like droughts.

The melting of Arctic sea ice is the clearest example, to my mind, of a tipping point in global warming. Sea level is rising (Figure 4). Two-thirds of the sea level rise today is caused by thermal expansion of the warming ocean. Melting glaciers contribute most of the rest. The major ice sheets WE’VE SEEN IT WITH OUR OWN EYES ■ 37 in Greenland and Antarctica will contribute massive amounts of water to the ocean, eventually, but their contribution to presentday sea level is small (more in Chapter 12).

The sulfur ultimately rains out as sulfuric acid, the main component of acid rain. Aerosols also tend to decrease the droplet size in clouds. Smaller drops may survive longer in the atmosphere before raining out, making the Earth cloudier and therefore cooler. Small drops are also more efficient at scattering incoming sunlight, while large drops tend to absorb the light. This is why dark clouds are the most likely to rain; they are made of larger, heavier drops, while bright clouds are made of smaller drops.

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A Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections) by Aldo Leopold


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