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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. Highly illustrated in full color, it lucidly presents information contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, making essential scientific information on this critical topic available to a broad audience.
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. 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.
''David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf - two outstanding scientists - bring us up-to-date on climate science in this remarkable and very readable book. This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in climate change.'' -Professor Paul Crutzen, Max Plank Institute for Chemistry, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1995, for explaining the ozone hole
''The key findings of the IPCC, written in plain and simple terms. Great value in informing the public at large about the science underlying the growing challenge of climate change.'' -Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC and Director-General of The Energy Resources Institute
''Both scientists contributed to IPCC(1997) Vol. 1, and are well qualified to write on this topic. Neither of them is a sceptic. As the subtitle An introductory Guide implies, the book is suitable for undergraduates and first-year graduate students.'' -CMOS Bulleti
Table of Contents
|Retrospective: what we knew and when we knew it||p. 1|
|Awareness of the past||p. 4|
|Understanding climate||p. 7|
|Finding the smoking gun||p. 11|
|Earth's energy budget||p. 16|
|The concept of radiative forcing||p. 17|
|Greenhouse gases||p. 21|
|Other human-related climate forcings||p. 32|
|Climate forcings that are not our fault||p. 34|
|Climate change so far||p. 39|
|Temperature changes||p. 40|
|Rain and snow||p. 47|
|Clouds and radiation||p. 51|
|Patterns of atmospheric circulation||p. 54|
|Tropical storms||p. 57|
|Causes of the observed climate changes||p. 62|
|Snow and ice||p. 68|
|Ice sheets||p. 69|
|Sea ice||p. 78|
|How the oceans are changing||p. 86|
|The oceans are heating up||p. 87|
|Sweet or salty?||p. 91|
|Are ocean currents changing?||p. 93|
|Sea level rise||p. 94|
|The oceans are turning sour||p. 98|
|The past is the key to the future||p. 105|
|Climate changes over millions of years||p. 106|
|The Paleocene Eocene thermal maximum (PETM)||p. 106|
|Glacial cycles||p. 109|
|Our current interglacial period||p. 118|
|The last 2000 years||p. 119|
|The instrumental period||p. 122|
|What the future holds||p. 125|
|Scenarios or predictions?||p. 126|
|How future climate is computed||p. 127|
|How warm will it get?||p. 129|
|Rainfall changes||p. 135|
|How high will the seas rise?||p. 139|
|Changing ocean currents?||p. 145|
|Ice and snow changes||p. 146|
|How sour will the oceans get?||p. 148|
|Impacts of climate change||p. 151|
|Are plants and animals already feeling the heat?||p. 152|
|The future of nature||p. 160|
|Food, water, health: how global warming will affect us||p. 170|
|Climate impacts by region||p. 178|
|Can we adapt?||p. 187|
|Avoiding climate change||p. 191|
|Energy supply: the present, the forecast, and what can be changed||p. 196|
|Energy consumption||p. 205|
|Other mitigation strategies||p. 210|
|A more optimistic vision||p. 213|
|What it will cost||p. 217|
|Climate policy||p. 221|
|Do we need a climate policy?||p. 222|
|What global policy targets?||p. 224|
|Global conflict, or unprecedented global cooperation?||p. 227|
|Illustration credits||p. 235|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|