Heatstroke : Nature in an Age of Global Warming

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-03-13
  • Publisher: Island Pr
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In 2006, one of the hottest years on record, a pizzly" was discovered near the top of the world. Half polar bear, half grizzly, this never-before-seen animal might be dismissed as a fluke of nature. Anthony Barnosky instead sees it as a harbinger of things to come. In Heatstroke, the renowned paleoecologist shows how global warming is fundamentally changing the natural world and its creatures. While melting ice may have helped produce the pizzly, climate change is more likely to wipe out species than to create them. Plants and animals that have followed the same rhythms for millennia are suddenly being confronted with a world they're unprepared for-and adaptation usually isn't an option. This is not the first time climate change has dramatically transformed Earth. Barnosky draws connections between the coming centuries and the end of the last ice age, when mass extinctions swept the planet. The differences now are that climate change is faster and hotter than past changes, and for the first time humanity is driving it. Which means this time we can work to stop it. No one knows exactly what nature will come to look like in this new age of global warming. But Heatstrokegives us a haunting portrait of what we stand to lose and the vitality of what can be saved.

Author Biography

Since 1990, Anthony D. Barnosky has been on the faculty at the University of California–Berkeley, where he currently holds the posts of professor of Integrative Biology, curator of Fossil Mammals in the Museum of Paleontology, and research paleoecologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

Table of Contents

Dedicationp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Recipe For Disaster?p. 1
The Heat Is On Without realizing it, we've begun to overheat Earth, mostly in a single generationp. 3
Behind Nature's Heartbeat What ecosystems are and why climate change can cause them to suddenly failp. 17
On Our Watch Red flags are going up in all of Earth's ecosystemsp. 33
Witnessing Extinction How climate can killp. 47
No Place to Run To The past's crystal ballp. 59
Normal For Naturep. 73
California Dreaming One hundred years in Yosemite Parkp. 75
Disturbance in Yellowstone Tracking ecosystems through three thousand yearsp. 91
Mountain Time in Colorado Global warming before peoplep. 105
Africa on the Edge Erasing ecological legaciesp. 121
Uncharted Terrainp. 133
Disappearing Act Boiling down biodiversityp. 135
Losing the Parts Why global warming costs us more than individual speciesp. 151
Skeleton Crew What global warming does to evolution and what that means for the future of lifep. 165
Bad Company Global warming, the energy wall, and invadersp. 181
Geography of Hope At stake is what makes us human-and life itself. How do we fix it?p. 193
Appendix. Slowing Down Global Warmingp. 211
Notesp. 215
Indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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