Late Quaternary Environments of the Soviet Union was first published in 1984. In the late 1970s American and Russian scientists met twice in conferences on Quaternary paleoclimates sponsored by the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Bilateral Agreement on the Environment. The conferees agreed to prepare volumes summarizing the current status of research in the two countries. Late Quaternary Environments of the Soviet Union provides the first comprehensive summary of modern research on virtually all aspects of the Late Quaternary environmental history in the Soviet Union. The Late Quaternary of the Soviet Union includes the last interglacial period - about 125,000 years of geologic time. The pronounced climatic changes of the Late Quaternary brought about not only fluctuations of ice sheets and mountain glaciers but also shifts in the levels of lakes and seas, in the extent of the permafrost and wind-borne deposits, in the distribution of environmentally sensitive plants and animals, and in the development of human cultures. These are some of the research areas covered in this book by Soviet specialists in the earth sciences, paleoecology, and paleoclimatology. Their 30 papers on Late Quaternary environmental history cover the vast territory from the Russian plain to the maritime region of the Soviet Far East, and from the Arctic coast to the Black Sea and the high mountains of Central Asia. Much of this research has been accomplished only within the last three decades, during the exploration and development of the natural resources of the country, especially in distant parts of Siberia. Because the Soviet Union occupies so much of Eurasia’s temperate zone, information on its environmental history not only greatly expands out geological and climatological knowledge of the world but also allows us to make enlightening comparisons with the history of the North American continent. Scientists in all branches of Quaternary studies will find this book a valuable source of data heretofore largely unavailable in the West. Its usefulness is further enhanced by an introduction that synthesizes the volume’s contents, prepared by the English-language editors. The companion volumes of the Late Quaternary in the United States are also published by the University of Minnesota Press.
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