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The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change

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An incredible wealth of scientific data on global warming has been collected in the last few decades. The history of the Earth's climate has been probed by drilling into polar ice sheets and sediment layers of the oceans' vast depths, and great advances have been made in computer modeling of our climate. This book provides a concise and accessible overview of what we know An incredible wealth of scientific data on global warming has been collected in the last few decades. The history of the Earth's climate has been probed by drilling into polar ice sheets and sediment layers of the oceans' vast depths, and great advances have been made in computer modeling of our climate. This book provides a concise and accessible overview of what we know about ongoing climate change and its impacts, and what we can do to confront the climate crisis. Using clear and simple graphics in full color, it lucidly highlights information contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and brings the subject completely up-to-date with current science and policy. The book makes essential scientific information on this critical topic accessible to a broad audience. Obtaining sound information is the first step in preventing a serious, long-lasting degradation of our planet's climate, helping to ensure our future survival.


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An incredible wealth of scientific data on global warming has been collected in the last few decades. The history of the Earth's climate has been probed by drilling into polar ice sheets and sediment layers of the oceans' vast depths, and great advances have been made in computer modeling of our climate. This book provides a concise and accessible overview of what we know An incredible wealth of scientific data on global warming has been collected in the last few decades. The history of the Earth's climate has been probed by drilling into polar ice sheets and sediment layers of the oceans' vast depths, and great advances have been made in computer modeling of our climate. This book provides a concise and accessible overview of what we know about ongoing climate change and its impacts, and what we can do to confront the climate crisis. Using clear and simple graphics in full color, it lucidly highlights information contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and brings the subject completely up-to-date with current science and policy. The book makes essential scientific information on this critical topic accessible to a broad audience. Obtaining sound information is the first step in preventing a serious, long-lasting degradation of our planet's climate, helping to ensure our future survival.

30 review for The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    If I had rated this book immediately after reading it, I would likely have rated it higher. I read this book first as part of a two-book point/counter-point argument about Global Warming. It is well-written and well-illustrated, and it seemed at the time of reading like a good summary of the argument for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). However, the counter-point book that I read was an argument for Milankovitch cycles and insolation being the cause of the earth's climate change rather than CO If I had rated this book immediately after reading it, I would likely have rated it higher. I read this book first as part of a two-book point/counter-point argument about Global Warming. It is well-written and well-illustrated, and it seemed at the time of reading like a good summary of the argument for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). However, the counter-point book that I read was an argument for Milankovitch cycles and insolation being the cause of the earth's climate change rather than CO2 levels. After reading that book, I started to think that much of the argument in The Climate Crisis is beside the point. Most of the chapters of the book outline different ways in which the earth is currently changing. But, if we ignore the talk-radio screeds and just focus on the scientific arguments, the fact that the earth is changing, and even the fact that the earth has been warming of late, is not denied by either side. The real questions are around what is causing the change, and where we expect to go in the future. The counter-point book provided a compelling argument against CO2 as a cause of GW, and I would love to have heard a stronger argument for CO2. Unfortunately, The Climate Crisis takes CO2 as such an obvious cause of GW that it barely defends that point. Worse yet, late in the book, the authors basically state that any scientific argument against AGW is essentially junk science and leave it at that. In truth, the other book provided a more compelling scientific explanation of climate change. I would love to read an AGW-based response to that argument, but unfortunately, it's not to be found in this book. Hopefully a future edition will incorporate that discussion. Update: after reading both books, a friend directed me to the website www.skepticalscience.com, which gives extensive discussion to the claims made in the other (anti-AGW) book. So, there are answers out there. This book, therefore, is probably a good introduction to the topic, but if you're already familiar with the issues and want to see the finer points (where the dispute really lies) debated, you won't find that here.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Marchand

    Climate scientists David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf's "The Climate Crisis" is an authoritative introduction to the science behind the theory of climate change. It provides a tutorial on the physics, findings, predictions, and ramifications to the earth and humanity of "BAU" aka "business as usual". Amazon reader David K provides an excellent description of the book in his reader review so I won't attempt to match his outstanding effort. Instead I'll focus on this book's relevancy given it's been Climate scientists David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf's "The Climate Crisis" is an authoritative introduction to the science behind the theory of climate change. It provides a tutorial on the physics, findings, predictions, and ramifications to the earth and humanity of "BAU" aka "business as usual". Amazon reader David K provides an excellent description of the book in his reader review so I won't attempt to match his outstanding effort. Instead I'll focus on this book's relevancy given it's been four years since the last IPCC synthesis report was published which is the dominant basis of the scientific findings and predictions for this book. Obviously the climate science community had to rely on what they'd discovered prior to that year; but they've also made enormous progress since then; so, is there a more relevant tutorial that incorporates findings since 2007? I went through Amazon's top 50 sellers for climatology looking for a more up-to-date tutorial and would argue there is none, this book remains the standard-bearer where only James Hansen's book, "Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity", appears to approach the volume of findings, physics, and explanations contained in this book though at a mere fraction. That's because Dr. Hansen's book also focuses on his own hypotheses that are not [perhaps yet] peer-accepted, e.g., "The Venus Syndrome". He also covers some of the history of the American political debate from his perspective as a primary player and writes about his personal public policy prescriptions. In addition to sticking more with the peer-consensus science, Archer and Rahmstorf published more graphical illustrations, provide a far more comprehensive review of the science, and are far better about citing their assertions. I recommend the Hansen book, but only after the reader first understand the basic physics of the earth's climate and the consensus perspective that is the basis of this subject book. Lastly Archer and Rahmstorf do present some findings published after the 2007 IPCC report and prior to this book's Jan-2010 publication date. One disappointing observation that I find concerning reviewing publications like this book, the IPCC's reports (this book uses the same graphs and illustrations as the IPCC reports), and that of Dr. Hansen's book which mostly come from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science ("GISS"), a leading research center of the climate, is the lack of - and amateurish quality of graphs published by the climate science community. From my perspective the threat of global warming at least equals and perhaps far surpasses the threats to humanity's well-being posed by the Cold War and authoritarian movements of the 20th century. And yet reading the reports out of the leading centers for climate science and the global community's synthesis reports suggests these scientists are operating on shoe-string budgets far below the importance of the subject matter. My observation is especially relevant when it comes to communicating science's predictions of current and projected harm and when illustrated, is done so amateurishly. Any successful top Fortune 50 company does a far better job using graphics and other media beyond text to better communicate and reinforce their message with the public, in spite of the fact none of those companies' criticality even remotely approaches the importance of this issue. I don't expect climate scientists to be graphical artists, I would instead expect our governments to take this seriously enough to adequately fund their ability to effectively communicate to the public where I find this a major failing by policy makers. [A failure that doesn't even remotely approach the rank immorality of American conservatives denying the reality of global warming.] The radiative forcing graph is an example of a good graph, along with color-legend maps of warming anomalies, however the well-done graphs are relatively rare while complex ideas begging for illustrations remain skant. So while I can't help Amazon readers with the lack of quality graphical presentations to better communicate the predicted implications to the earth and humans, I will use the comment section of my review to link to some recent scientific findings that will help bring the reader more up-to-speed to what the climate science community's peer-review findings now explain and predict since the 2007 IPCC report.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    This book is primarily a readable summary of the 2007 4th Assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change. It is important for anyone who wants to know the actual facts of what is and isn't known. Although no specific scientific knowledge is required, it is assumed that the reader is familiar with scientific thinking. If you are put off by graphs, charts and tables of scientific data you may have some difficulty with this book. The last two chapters especially impress on the reade This book is primarily a readable summary of the 2007 4th Assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change. It is important for anyone who wants to know the actual facts of what is and isn't known. Although no specific scientific knowledge is required, it is assumed that the reader is familiar with scientific thinking. If you are put off by graphs, charts and tables of scientific data you may have some difficulty with this book. The last two chapters especially impress on the reader the crucial place society is right now towards this problem. The penultimate chapter "Avoiding Climate Change" shows how technologically and economically it is quite feasible to deal with the problem. The final chapter "Climate Policy" shows the sorry state of mankind's will to face up to this problem to date.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Porter

    It's not much fun to read, frankly, both because of the grim material it covers and because it's written like a textbook. That said, it totally deserves five stars for being accessible, meticulous, elegant, persuasive, thorough, and terrifically informative. It spends more time countering the arguments of climate change deniers than you might feel the need for if you don't have major doubts yourself, but it does make very clear how indefensible that denial is, not to mention unconscionable. An e It's not much fun to read, frankly, both because of the grim material it covers and because it's written like a textbook. That said, it totally deserves five stars for being accessible, meticulous, elegant, persuasive, thorough, and terrifically informative. It spends more time countering the arguments of climate change deniers than you might feel the need for if you don't have major doubts yourself, but it does make very clear how indefensible that denial is, not to mention unconscionable. An excellent overview.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Bingham

    This book is a more readable summary of the main findings of the IPCC's 4th assessment report. It includes the authors' interpretation of the report and some history behind it. The authors do a fine job of presenting the findings in a way that is both technically correct and accessible to a reasonably intelligent and educated person. This book is a more readable summary of the main findings of the IPCC's 4th assessment report. It includes the authors' interpretation of the report and some history behind it. The authors do a fine job of presenting the findings in a way that is both technically correct and accessible to a reasonably intelligent and educated person.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Buddy

    Very good book for a scientifically literate layperson or a scientist looking for more background on the topic. Nobody could read all of the volumes of the last IPCC report, but this summarizes the results nicely.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James

  8. 4 out of 5

    Great Recession

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily Steele

  11. 4 out of 5

    C S

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  13. 5 out of 5

    Todd Albert

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Walker

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lander Gamboa Sanz

  16. 5 out of 5

    Breanna

  17. 4 out of 5

    Steven Leibo

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan23

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephany

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kit

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth H.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jorg

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mir

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shouvik

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Megan Haworth

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Moore

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jim Steele

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