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    ABSTRACT: Climate change is projected to have a strongly negative effect on water supplies in the arid mountains of South America, significantly impacting millions of people. As one of the poorest countries in the region, Bolivia is particularly vulnerable to such changes due to its limited capacity to adapt. Water security is threatened further by glacial recession with Bolivian glaciers losing nearly half their ice mass over the past 50 years raising serious water management concerns. This review examines current trends in water availability and glacier melt in the Bolivian Andes, assesses the driving factors of reduced water availability and identifies key gaps in our knowledge of the Andean cryosphere. The lack of research regarding permafrost water sources in the Bolivian Andes is addressed, with focus on the potential contribution to mountain water supplies provided by rock glaciers.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · AMBIO A Journal of the Human Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Variations in the abundance of fossil charcoals between rocks and sediments are assumed to reflect changes in fire activity in Earth's past. These variations in fire activity are often considered to be in response to environmental, ecological or climatic changes. The role that fire plays in feedbacks to such changes is becoming increasingly important to understand and highlights the need to create robust estimates of variations in fossil charcoal abundance. The majority of charcoal based fire reconstructions quantify the abundance of charcoal particles and do not consider the changes in the morphology of the individual particles that may have occurred due to fragmentation as part of their transport history. We have developed a novel application of confocal laser scanning microscopy coupled to image processing that enables the 3-dimensional reconstruction of individual charcoal particles. This method is able to measure the volume of both microfossil and mesofossil charcoal particles and allows the abundance of charcoal in a sample to be expressed as total volume of charcoal. The method further measures particle surface area and shape allowing both relationships between different size and shape metrics to be analysed and full consideration of variations in particle size and size sorting between different samples to be studied. We believe application of this new imaging approach could allow significant improvement in our ability to estimate variations in past fire activity using fossil charcoals.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The Baurières plain within the upper Drôme River basin was used to reconstruct recent changes in sediment supply in relation to changes in land use within an alpine catchment. A considerable body of archival information is available. Furthermore, the plain acts as a natural sediment trap and the reach–basin interaction has not been disrupted by human activity. Based on archival data, channel geometry measurements, dendrogeomorphological and radionuclide analysis (Cs137 and unsupported Pb210), the trends in channel change and sediment supply over the past two centuries are assessed and their causes are interpreted.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Catena
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