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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 3, No 1 (2010)

GEOGRAPHY

4-15 169
Abstract
The palaeo-Volga River valley existed within the present-day Lower Volga region during the last 600–700 ka. Its lower parts periodically transformed into a long and deep ingressional estuary with the apex location controlled by the amplitude of the Caspian Sea level rise. Between the Early Khvalinian highstand of +50 m and the Early Holocene Mangyshlak lowstand at -100 m, the apex of the Volga Delta has wandered 700 km alongstream. The estuarine-marine and alluvial environments in the ingressional estuary in the area between the present-day cities of Volgograd and Astrakhan, were changing throughout the entire Late Pleistocene and Holocene. The associated succession reflects a complex history of the Caspian Sea level oscillations. Only over the last 16 ka, there have been six marine (estuarine) phases within the Volga-Akhtuba valley correspondent to the Late Khvalinian and Novocaspian transgressions. The transgressions alternated with regressive phases associated with the dominance of alluvial environments in the Lower Volga valley. There are pronounced traces of three transgressive-regressive phase alternations of the Late Khvalinian and Novocaspian ages in the modern Volga-Akhtuba floodplain topography, that correlate with four generations of ancient floodplain and delta surfaces distinguished in this study. Surfaces of different age generations differ in absolute and relative heights, morphological types of floodplain topography, and present-day vegetation.

16-24 179
Abstract
In this paper we investigate the spatial and temporal variability of N over the city of Milan, using the historical record of soundings in the period 1991–2007, using 00GMT and 12GMT soundings and performing evaluations at intervals 300–700 m, 800–1800 m, 1500–2500 m, 2500–3500 m, 3000–4000 m, 4000–5000 m and 7000–8000 m.
The values obtained reveal that the Brunt-Vaisala frequency is subject to a moderate change with height over the entire observation period, and once the height is fixed shows only weak seasonal changes. At the height interval 800–1800 m, the maximal values of N are observed between December and January, whereas from April to September smaller values of N represent a flat plateau. These variations generally decrease with increasing height. They are still recognizable in the interval 2500–3500 m, and fully diminish at 7000–8000 m.

25-43 147
Abstract

The long-term series of fluctuation of monthly and annual Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation in non-tropical latitudes from 1899 to 2008 according to Dzerdzeevskii classification have been discussed. The differences in atmospheric circulation between circulation epochs have been identified. The circulation and climatic characteristics of extreme decades of circulation epochs in the Northern Hemisphere and its six sectors—Atlantic, European, Siberian, Far East, Pacific, and American—have been given. The recent, the 1981–2007 period, is characterized by the increase in frequency (number of cases) and duration (number of days) of the southern meridional circulation group.

44-55 264
Abstract
To what extent do the ideas of “edge city”, “post-suburbia” and associated models of urban growth apply in the transition economy case? The paper considers urban development and place-making on the periphery of Moscow, based on the case of Khimki, a former off-limits “satellite city” and more recently a fast-growing area. The forces and ideologies driving the growth on the edge of Moscow and the relationship between different actors are considered. The paper argues that while the Russian case shares some commonalities with the Western models of “edge city” and “growth machine”, growth in Khimki is fuelled by opportunistic profit-making initiatives that are disconnected from “local” city. It is yet to be seen whether a growing demand for new infrastructure, as well as emerging residents’ movements will restructure the modes of governing urban growth more in line with proactive place-focused post-suburban politics.

ENVIRONMENT

56-66 182
Abstract
Many global environmental issues being subject of ambitious international environmental politics could look very different in terms of scientific justification. This was revealed during interviews made by the author with some leading American environmental scientists. All interviewed American scientists granted minor confidence to three environmental issues—deforestation, desertification and biodiversity loss, while two issues—the ozone depletion and climate change—were deserved high degree of confidence. The striking difference in evaluation of the global concepts of environmental issues is discussed in the context of the classical epistemological problem of coexistence of “strong” and “weak” theories in modern science. The normative character of epistemology suggests that some ways of raising scientific credibility of the backward environmental concepts can be proposed. Better justification of these global environmental issues can help to move forward the environmental politics which have shown mere stagnation during the last years.

67-80 276
Abstract
Assessing the complexity of landscapes is one of the top research priorities for Physical Geography and Ecology.
This paper aims at a methodological evaluation of the discrete and analytical mathematical models hitherto available for quantitative assessments of spatial ecological complex systems.
These models are derived from cellular automata and nonlinear dynamics. They describe complex features and processes in landscapes, such as spatial ecological nonlinear interactions, unpredictability and chaos, self-organization and pattern formation.
Beginning with a distinction between two basic types of spatial ecological complexity (structural, functional), and after reviewing the quantitative methods so far available to assess it, the areas where the major challenges (and hence, difficulties) for future research arise are identified. These are: a) to develop measures of structural spatial-ecological complexity, b) to find Lyapunov functions for dynamical systems describing spatial interactions on the landscape (and related attractors), and c) to combine discrete time and continuous spatial data and models.

SUSTAINABILITY

81-90 195
Abstract
Although the overall rate of population growth has recently decreased in developed countries, population in their cities continues to grow. Urban and suburban sprawl may threaten the environment necessary to sustain livable communities. Farm and forest land and open space are important components of human life. However, they may be lost to residential and commercial development. It has become important to develop land-use regulation mechanisms that accommodate economic growth and preservation of the environment. In the United States, land-use planning systems have been employed for a long period of time. Many US States have enacted laws that protect land from uncontrolled urban sprawl. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to facilitate the process of land-use regulation. The goal of this paper is to discuss how technology-aided sustainable land-use policies are utilized in the USA at a county and city wide scale.

NEWS AND REVIEWS

91-92 83
Abstract

THE REPORT ON THE SPECIAL CONGRESS OF THE RUSSIAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY



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