Global change

In Chapter 1 we discussed some of the ways in which global environments have changed over the long timescales involved in continental drift and the shorter timescales of the repeated ice ages. Over these timescales some organisms have failed to accommodate to the changes and have become extinct, others have migrated so that they continue to experience the same conditions but in a different place, and it is probable that others have changed their nature (evolved) and tolerated some of the changes. We now turn to consider global changes that are occurring in our own lifetimes - consequences of our own activities -and that are predicted, in most scenarios, to bring about profound changes in the ecology of the planet.

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