A CLASSIFICATION OF LIVING ANIMALS by LORD ROTHSCHILD

By LORD ROTHSCHILD

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Lidar systems transmit pulses of visible or near-infrared laser light from an aircraft to the surface. By measuring the time it takes for the pulses to be reflected, the elevation of the surface can be calcu- lated. Because the costs are relatively high, most lidar missions cover only relatively small areas, and many regions have not yet been mapped. Nonetheless, the centimeter-scale resolution of lidar offers enormous opportunities in the physical sciences, especially in documenting global sea-level change, erosion and uplift of mountain ranges, agricultural soil erosion, glacial retreat, and postflood stream-channel changes.

The environmental impacts of human activity are expected to increase as the climate continues to warm and as the world becomes progressively more populated, industrialized, and urbanized. Scientific research has generally succeeded in documenting the magnitude of these biophysical changes, including habitat loss and fragmentation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and water depletion and degradation. Yet the exact processes leading to these changes are still not adequately understood and quantified, and we still lack the best methods and techniques for detecting, measuring, and analyzing global change.

Although progress has been made in determining natural rates of earth-surface processes relative to anthropogenic effects, more research is needed across a suite of processes and regions, with greater attention paid to theoretically informed, empirically grounded assessments of the causes and consequences of anthropogenic disturbance. Anthropogenic impacts have been profound across a suite of earth-surface processes. The significance and scope of these impacts is evident in fluvial systems, for example.

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