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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 4, No 1 (2011)

GEOGRAPHY

4-11 152
Abstract
Three aspects essential for the paleoclimatic reconstructions are considered: calibration of proxy data on an example of tree-ring width records as the main source of proxy paleoclimatic information; taking into consideration an integral nonstationarity of multiscale climatic variations; and use of the empirical orthogonal function expansion for the goal of the past meteorological field reconstruction.
12-18 132
Abstract
Reacting to reader interest in publications of new types of atlases, many French authors and publishers rushed to occupy an emerging publishing niche and created a real fashion of small atlases attracting ever-greater public attention. The paper describes origins and features of this phenomenon.
19-32 167
Abstract
Different microphysical, optical and radiative properties of aerosol were analyzed according to the 10 years of measurements (2001–2010) at the Meteorological Observatory of Moscow State University within the framework of international AERONET program. Volume aerosol size distribution was shown to have a bimodal character with dominating the fine mode aerosol particles at effective radius of reff-fine=0.15 µm. In smoke conditions reff-fine was shown to increase to 0.25 µm at extremely large aerosol optical thickness (AOT). Real and imaginary parts of refractive index are characterized by REFR=1.45, REFI=0.01 respectively, changing to REFR=1.49, REFI=0.006 for smoke aerosol. AOT seasonal changes are characterized by the increase towards warm period with a local minimum in June. The joint analysis of aerosol characteristics with the NOAA_NCEP_CPC_CAMS_OPI climatology shows the nature of these changes. For typical conditions aerosol single scattering albedo (SSA) is about 0.9 at 675 nm and is characterized by a distinct decrease with wavelength while in forest fires conditions it is significantly higher (SSA=0.95). The interaction between volume aerosol concentration of different aerosol fractions was obtained with a distinct decrease of variation towards large aerosol content.
33-45 104
Abstract

Schematic maps of spatial distribution of seasonal precipitation amounts and average air temperatures were obtained for the areas studied in years with normal and extreme values of annual river runoff. Data on precipitation for January–December (I–XII) and on average air temperatures for June–September (VI–IX) during 1961–1990 collected at 93 meteorological stations located along 30.20°–44.08°N and 67.20°–82.98°E, altitude 122–4 169 m above sea level, were used in the maps’ compilation. For each point-element (i.e. a meteorological station with proper data), the ordinates of an integral empirical function of distribution of probabilities P were calculated from these data for a 30-year sample period and for each year were received average values and standard deviations of P. In characteristic years were revealed, significant differences of spatial distribution of climatic factors and runoff. It was found out also that the spatial distribution of the total volume of glaciers melting is less variable in the years with extreme water yields compared to the average years. This peculiarity is very beneficial for hydropower and agriculture sectors because it provides additional natural ability to stabilize water balance of reservoirs. Piecewise multi-factor linear equations were obtained to calculate the statistical probability of glaciers’ total melting in low and high flow years as a function of geographical coordinates and the average altitude of firn boundary.

ENVIRONMENT

46-58 138
Abstract
Spatial-temporal structure and coenotic diversity of dry steppes of Eastern Mongolia was identified by analyzing characteristics of naturally occurring vegetation connection to the regional landscape structure. Different types of combinations of plant communities (phytocoenochores) were determined in the vegetation structure of the Eastern Steppe Station Tumén-Tsogt (in Sukhebator district). Temporal dynamics of steppe ecosystems was defined from the studies of steppe cover fluctuations in 2008. The coenotic role of eight annual plant species that form synusiae in the steppe communities was shown through analysis of species constancy, projective cover, and activity. Knowledge about the trend of successions and the manifestation of fluctuations in vegetation cover is necessary for the development of science-based system of management options to maintain the number and abundance of different plant groups in plant communities. Monitoring the state of natural ecosystems has a major scientific and practical importance, since steppe ecosystems are the basic component of the pasture’s resources of the country.
59-68 109
Abstract
Catastrophic loss of soils and slope sediments by landslides causes destruction of mountainous environment and outflow of population from affected areas. However, the role of landslides in mountainous regions goes beyond direct destructive activity. The sliding mass expose surfaces for weathering and accumulate loose mineral material, the vital resource for mountain biota and population thus starting new cycles in ecosystems development, forming new habitats for biota and, in some cases, new lands for farming. A chronological sequence of landslides and their adaptation for human needs was studied in Adjara province, the South Caucasus mountainous region, Georgia. As a rule, in 15 years, a thin and compacted soil layer is formed on low and mound surface of a landslide. In 30 years, people start recultivation of the landslide area. After 40–60 years, the landslide area is used as a hayfield. It usually takes 100 years to transform the area into a fully cultivated landscape typical of Mountainous Adjara.
69-85 147
Abstract
This paper presents the results of application of landscape-ecological methods for evaluation of biotic regulation of the carbon cycle in forest ecosystems. Methods for constructing analytical and cartographic empirical-statistical models for identification of forest associations and zonal/regional types of forest formations capable of stabilizing the continental biosphere under changing climate are described. Possible biotic regulation of the carbon cycle under known scenarios of future greenhouse warming is suggested. The maps on the carbon content and its changes in the forests of the Oka river basin are presented.

Sustainability

86-103 137
Abstract
The goal of this paper is to discuss current problems of education for sustainable development, i.e. a global educational innovation that is actively growing in the new century. In Sweden, which has extensive experience in ecological education, education for sustainable development is considered a national model for the creation of the foundation for SD. In Russia, difficulties exist in defining and achieving SD objectives. It has been demonstrated that cooperation between Russia and Sweden in the field of ESD may prove to be very successful. Such cooperation is based on historical, cultural, and geographical factors. Examples of successful cooperation are joint educational projects aimed at improving the ESD framework and its practical implementation. The results of joint projects between the two countries have been analyzed in the context of mutual interests of Russia and Sweden and new goals for cooperation have been outlines.

NEWS AND REVIEWS

64
Abstract
TOURISM AND RECREATION: FUNDAMENTAL AND APPLIED RESEARCH IN RUSSIA


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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)