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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 3, No 2 (2010)

EDITORIAL

4-12 188
Abstract

For three centuries, the main task of geography in Russia was gathering information about the geographical features of the country. The unique image of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS) is largely due to its expeditionary activities. The RGS Kamchatka Complex Expedition of 1908-1910 was to explore and examine the flora and fauna of the Kamchatka peninsula, mainly in the area of volcanoes. The expedition to Kamchatka played a significant role in promoting science in the Russian Far East. Important scientific and public institutions were founded in this region as a result of this endeavor. Two institutions directly associated with the expedition are the Kamchatka branch of the RGS and the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences). These institutions are important members of the Russian scientific community and are well known around the world.

GEOGRAPHY

13-31 175
Abstract
Changes in the area and volume that have been occurring from the middle of the XIX century within the largest in Europe Elbrus glaciation were studied using lichenometry and digital cartography methods. There were cyclical, approximately 55 years long, frontal fluctuations of glaciers Bolshoi Azau (the largest Elbrus glacier) and Dzhankuat (which is representative of all Central Caucasus glaciation).
Quantitative data on changes in the area and volume of the Elbrus glaciation indicated that the greatest rates of its retreat coincided with the 1850–1887 period. Beginning in 1887, the area reduction was occurring practically evenly through time while the decrease in its volume has even slowed down. These facts suggest that global climate warming, which alternated with short-term cooling periods, began in the middle of the XIX century after the end of the Little Ice Age. The warming was most likely due to natural rather than anthropogenic causes.
32-41 196
Abstract
A review of pollen, spores, non-pollen palynomorphs and dinocyst analyses made in the last two decades is proposed here. Building on spare palynological analyses before 1990, a series of new projects have allowed taking cores in the deeper parts of the Caspian Sea, hence providing access to low-stand sediment. However, still nowadays no complete record exists for the Holocene. The first steps towards quantification of the palynological spectra have been taken. Some of the most urgent problems to solve are the uncertainties related to radiocarbon dating, which are especially acute in the Caspian Sea.

42-50 153
Abstract
Results of statistical processing and physical analyses of the historical and recent hydrographic data set are presented. Seasonal thermohaline (hydrographic) variabilities of the Black Sea main baroclinic layer (0–200 m) are considered. In the upper 50-m layer, seasonal thermohaline variability is generated mainly by the heat and freshwater fluxes across the sea surface. In the main pycnocline between depths of 50 and 200 m it is caused by the flux of the wind-stress relative vorticity. Thermohaline effects of these processes are described.

ENVIRONMENT

51-65 324
Abstract
This paper presents qualitative and quantitative assessment of technogenic anomalies of heavy metals in urban soils of Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, and Erdenet (Mongolia), including the assessment of background geochemical conditions of the study area and technological specialization of the cities. The research efforts concentrated on identifying spatial geochemical heterogeneity of urban soils depending upon their functional identity. The ecological status of the urban soils was evaluated based on standards accepted in Mongolia.

66-77 166
Abstract
he paper presents results of eco-biological assessment of Inner Asian ecosystems using the example of Mongolia as a case study. The comprehensive environmental analysis of changes in Mongolia’s environment included approaches based on three principles: (1) formal, (2) administrative division, and (3) landscape-ecological. We analyzed ecosystems that have undergone at last three levels of alterations (moderate, heavy, and very heavy) due to anthropogenic factors. Based on our analysis of degradation processes that result in heavy and very heavy anthropogenic alteration of the natural environment, we isolated 5 groups of hazardous degradation processes: (1) rangeland overgrowth with shrubs, (2) deforestation of forest-steppe ecosystems, (3) desertification of ecosystems on light soils, (4) depletion of ecosystems of hydromorphic landscapes, and (5) narcotization of agrocenoses in modified ecosystems. The comprehensive assessment of adverse changes of natural habitats has enabled a revision of the state policy for the organization of the optimum network of wildlife reserves for conservation of floristic and faunistic diversity.

78-97 284
Abstract
The results of the palynological analysis and 14C dating of the most complete sequences of the Holocene sediments were used for a detailed reconstruction of multi-cyclic alternations of climate phases and zonal and intrazonal plant formations that were taking place the Lower Volga region during the last ten thousand years. Twenty-six phases in evolution of the natural environment during the Holocene were distinguished. Landscape-climatic characteristics and chronological boundaries were identified for these phases. Reconstructed paleoclimatic stages were correlated to the Holocene transgressions and regressions in the Caspian Sea region. The model developed for periodization of climatic events may serve as a climato-stratigraphical framework for future paleogeographical studies of the Holocene in the Northern Caspian region.

SUSTAINABILITY

98-119 191
Abstract
One of the important steps towards sustainable development of territories is the assessment of the reserves and rate of consumption of natural resources. Such assessments are also supported at the international level. The recreational resources represent the most important type of natural resources for the coastal zone of Crimea. They are the basis for recreational tourism and, therefore, determine the economic status of the peninsula as a whole. Currently, however, the coastal zone of Crimea is being developed quite chaotically. The need for a specialized information system capable of timely reflecting natural and manmade changes in the coastal zones is widely recognized.
The paper presents a system that was developed using ESRI ArcGIS formats capable of not only capturing changes occurring in the environment, but to also identifying options for a more efficient use of the recreational resources of the peninsula. The approach and unique algorithms developed by the authors of this paper were applied to four Crimean beaches.

NEWS AND REVIEWS

120-124 127
Abstract
The InterCarto conferences are thematically organized to target one of the most pressing problems of modern geography—creation and use of geographical information systems (GISs) as effective tools for achieving sustainable development of territories. Over the years, from 1994 to 2009, 1872 participants from 51 countries and 156 cities, who made 1494 reports, attended the conferences. There were 1508 participants from 49 regions of Russia making 1340 presentations. The conferences hosted 31 different sections, most popular of which were Environmental GIS-Projects: Development and Experience, Sustainable Development and Innovative Projects, GIS: the Theory and Methodology, Projects for Russia and Regions, and GIS-Technologies and Digital Mapping. The next annual InterCarto-InterGIS conference will take place in December 2011. The Russian component of the conference will be held in the Altay Kray followed by another meeting on Bali, Indonesia
125-128 91
Abstract
On October 14–16, 2010, the Faculty of Geography organized the International Conference on “The Caspian Region: Environmental Consequences of the Climate Change”. Scientists from all countries of the Caspian region—Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, along with Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and Ukraine, participated. Specialists on different areas of expertise—climatologists, hydrologists, oceanographers, marine geologists, geomorphologists, cartographers, paleogeographers, geochemists, biologists and others—addressed fundamental and applied questions associated with sustainable development of the Caspian region. As a whole, approx. 180 participants presented 102 reports. By the beginning of the conference the volume of abstracts “The Caspian Region: Environmental Consequences of the Climate Change” was published. (http://media.geogr.msu.ru/Caspian_2010/caspian_conference_2010.pdf)
129-132 83
Abstract

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF BIOSPHERIC PROCESSES IN ECOTONE ZONE OF SOUTHERN SIBERIA AND CENTRAL ASIA” SEPTEMBER, 6–8, 2010, ULAAN-BAATAR, MONGOLIA



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