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The Society’s four leading international journals, Area, Geo: Geography and Environment, The Geographical Journal and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, cover the full spectrum of geographical research. And as the latest issues go to print, here is a preview of some of their content.
Articles in The Geographical Journal offer insight into contemporary issues from across the globe, as well as featuring research that connects physical and human geography. This is exemplified in the current issue by Marion Comptour and her colleagues’ examination of the connection between innovative agricultural practices and environmental change on the flood plains of the Congo River. Those living in the vast wetland of the cuvette centrale region have taken advantage of a shift in the hydrological patterns of the river since the 1980s, adopting the practice of flood recession agriculture on islands within the river channel. The practice takes advantage of a longer period between floods by planting crops after the water has receded and harvesting them prior to the next inundation.
Through interviews with residents in the city of Mossaka, the research team found that there were a number of socio-economic factors that had led to the adoption flood recession agriculture, including it being less labour intensive than other farming practices, providing a source of income for women, and pressures on food stocks during the 1980s. They conclude that adaptation to environmental changes is driven by multiple factors across various scales, and cannot be attributed to a single cause.
The March edition of Area opens with a special section on island geographies, which aims to identify what makes islands geographically unique. The six papers in the section each look at different aspects of islands from their vulnerability and resilience to climate change, and their democracy and governance, to their cultural particularities and the ways tourism is changing them. Alongside the special section, this issue also contains papers on: race in academia, the political geography of language, and rental prices in the English housing market.
Since it was first published in 1935, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers has published some of the most influential papers in geography. The current issue continues that history with a paper that reveals the US military as one of the largest climate polluters, producing more greenhouse gas emissions than most medium-sized countries. Led by Oliver Belcher, the study looked at the carbon ‘boot-print’ of the US Defense Logistics Agency-Energy (DLA-E), the primary buyer of fossil fuels for the US military.
Using Freedom of Information requests, the researchers compiled a database of DLA-E records for all known land, sea and aircraft fuel purchases, as well as fuel contracts made with US operators abroad. The data revealed that the US military purchased over 269,000 barrels of oil a day, making it the single largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels on the globe. If the US military were a country, it would be the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world and comparable to Peru or Portugal in terms of its liquid fuel consumption. The researchers argue that the paper provides a picture of the international organisation of global supply chains that make war possible, and the strain that this places on the climate.
Papers in our open access journal Geo come from across the breadth of geography and environmental research, with a particular emphasis on research that pushes the boundaries of geographical and environmental science. They are published online on a rolling basis and are free for anyone to read. A recently published paper by Josh Lepawsky uses open source data to map the geographical distribution of do-it-yourself computer maintenance and repair activity around the world. This is an important frontier in tackling climate change and environmental breakdown, by promoting the repair of technological goods rather than their replacement.
Blogs on research from all of the journals can be found on Geography Directions.
Don’t forget that Postgraduate Fellows and Young Geographers have digital access to our journals included their memberships, while Fellows of the Society can add on digital access to the journals for just £3 per year.