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Minimized environmental impacts is a bit tricky,...
Figure 5 Comparison between changes in paleo-precipitation and stream channel morphology (figure adapted from Rech et al., 2003).
Clear evidence for dramatic orbital-scale climate change includes the large ice sheets that covered the northern portions of North America and Europe just 20,000 years ago.
Climate, however, can also change on much shorter time scales, over decades, centuries, or millennia, for a wide variety of reasons.
Now, new research shows standing water may have existed in the heart of the Atacama.As you would expect, the rate and nature of geomorphic processes also respond to climate change.For example, if an arid region becomes wetter, the rates of chemical weathering may increase or flash floods may occur more frequently.Authors Teresa Jordan and colleagues clarify the spatial distribution of the Cenozoic sedimentary rocks with properties favorable to function as aquifers and the distribution of water through those rocks.Their results identify where deeply buried aquifers likely exchange water with shallow aquifers or discharge to the surface water system.