Environmental Change: Key Issues and Alternative Approaches describes and explains the significance of past and contemporary environmental and climatic change. It outlines the conceptual framework for studies of environmental change by posing key questions and presenting the results of relevant research. It provides a non-specialist introduction to models in environmental change research and to the study of past environmental changes. Covering the last 400 000 years, special emphasis is placed on past periods of rapid warming, the nature of climatic variability over the last 1000 years and the dramatic and accelerating changes in the Earth system heralded by the industrial revolution. The book is extensively referenced and illustrated. This book provides a balanced, non-specialist basis for understanding and exploring the scientific issues underlying global change for advanced undergraduates in geography, environmental, earth, biological and ecological sciences.