A World Of Rivers: Environmental Change On Ten Of The World's Great Rivers

Paperback | November 13, 2012

byEllen Wohl

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Far from being the serene, natural streams of yore, modern rivers have been diverted, dammed, dumped in, and dried up, all in efforts to harness their power for human needs. But these rivers have also undergone environmental change. The old adage says you can’t step in the same river twice, and Ellen Wohl would agree—natural and synthetic change are so rapid on the world’s great waterways that rivers are transforming and disappearing right before our eyes.

            A World of Rivers explores the confluence of human and environmental change on ten of the great rivers of the world. Ranging from the Murray-Darling in Australia and the Yellow River in China to Central Europe’s Danube and the United States’ Mississippi, the book journeys down the most important rivers in all corners of the globe. Wohl shows us how pollution, such as in the Ganges and in the Ob of Siberia, has affected biodiversity in the water. But rivers are also resilient, and Wohl stresses the importance of conservation and restoration to help reverse the effects of human carelessness and hubris.

            What all these diverse rivers share is a critical role in shaping surrounding landscapes and biological communities, and Wohl’s book ultimately makes a strong case for the need to steward positive change in the world’s great rivers.

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Far from being the serene, natural streams of yore, modern rivers have been diverted, dammed, dumped in, and dried up, all in efforts to harness their power for human needs. But these rivers have also undergone environmental change. The old adage says you can’t step in the same river twice, and Ellen Wohl would agree—natural and synthe...

Ellen Wohl is professor of geosciences at Colorado State University and the author of, most recently, Of Rock and Rivers: Seeking a Sense of Place in the American West. 

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:November 13, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022600760X

ISBN - 13:9780226007601

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface

1 A Round River 1

2 The Amazon: Rivers of Blushing Dolphins

Interlude

3 The Ob: Killing Grandmother

Interlude

4 The Nile: Lifeline in the Desert

Interlude

5 The Danube: Remnants of Beauty

Interlude

6 The Ganges: Eternally Pure?

Interlude

7 The Mississippi: Once and Future River

Interlude

8 The Murray-Darling: Stumbling in the Waltz

Interlude

9 The Congo: River That Swallows All Rivers

Interlude

10 The Chang Jiang: Bridling a Dragon

Interlude

11 The Mackenzie: River on the Brink

12 An Ebbing Flow

Selected Bibliographic Sources

Index