With Speed and Violence

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2008-03-01
  • Publisher: Beacon Press

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Fred Pearce has been writing about climate change for twenty years, and the more he learns, the worse things look. As Pearce began researching this book, numerous scientists sought him out to recount their findings and fears: where once they were concerned about gradual climate change, many now worry that we will soon be experiencing abrupt change resulting from triggering tipping points. With Speed and Violence is the most up-to-date and readable book yet about the constantly accumulating evidence for global warming and the dramatic effects it may unleash. "[Pearce's] grasp of [scientists'] work is exceptional. What's more, he has a talent for explaining science in terms understandable to the nonscientist . . . This enjoyable read was difficult to put down." -Library Journal, starred review "If you want to quickly get up to date on climate change and its consequences, I recommend With Speed and Violence. If you can read only one book on climate change, this is it." -Lester Brown, president, Earth Policy Institute

Author Biography

Fred Pearce is a former news editor at New Scientist. Currently that magazine's environment and development consultant, he has also written for Audubon, Popular Science, Time, the Boston Globe, and Natural History. His books include With Speed and Violence, When the Rivers Run Dry, Keepers of the Spring, Turning Up the Heat, and Deep Jungle. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

Chronology of Climate Changep. xi
The Castp. xv
Preface to the Paperback Editionp. xix
Preface: The Chimneyp. xxiii
Introductionp. xxvii
Welcome to the Anthropocene
The Pioneers: The men who measured the planet's breathp. 3
Turning Up the Heat: A skeptic's guide to climate changep. 10
The Year: How the wild weather of 1998 broke all recordsp. 18
The Anthropocene: A new name for a new geological erap. 21
The Watchtower: Keeping climate vigil on an Arctic islandp. 26
Fault lines in the ice
Ninety Degrees North: Why melting knows no bounds in the far Northp. 35
On the Slippery Slope: Greenland is slumping into the oceanp. 39
The Shelf: Down south, shattering ice uncorks the Antarcticp. 46
The Mercer Legacy: An Achilles heel at the bottom of the worldp. 49
Rising Tides: Saying "toodle-oo" to Tuvalup. 55
Riding the carbon cycle
In The Jungle: Would we notice if the Amazon went up in smoke?p. 63
Wildfires of Borneo: Climate in the mire from burning swampp. 68
Sink to Source: Why the carbon cycle is set for a U-turnp. 71
The Doomsday Device: A lethal secret stirs in the permafrostp. 77
The Acid Bath: What carbon dioxide does to the oceansp. 86
The Winds of Change: Tsunamis, megafarts, and mountains of the deepp. 90
Reflecting on warming
What's Watts?: Planet Earth's energy imbalancep. 101
Clouds From Both Sides: Uncovering flaws in the climate modelsp. 105
A Billion Fires: How brown haze could turn off the monsoonp. 115
Hydroxyl Holiday: The day the planet's cleaner didn't show up for workp. 120
Ice ages and solar pulses
Goldilocks and the Three Planets: Why Earth is "just right" for lifep. 127
The Big Freeze: How a wobble in our orbit triggered the ice agesp. 132
The Ocean Conveyor: The real day after tomorrowp. 141
An Arctic Flower: Clues to a climate switchbackp. 148
The Pulse: How the sun makes climate changep. 155
Tropical heat
The Fall: The end of Africa's golden agep. 167
Seesaw Across the Ocean: How the Sabara Desert greens the Amazonp. 175
Tropical High: Why an ice man is rewriting climate historyp. 178
The Curse of Akkad: The strange revival of environmental determinismp. 185
A Chunk of Coral: Probing the hidden life of El Ninop. 188
Feeding Asia: What happens if the monsoon falters?p. 194
At the millennium
The Heat Wave: The year Europe felt the heat of global warmingp. 201
The Hockey Stick: Why now really is differentp. 204
Hurricane Season: Raising the storm cones after Katrinap. 210
Ozone Holes in the Greenhouse: Why millions face radiation threatp. 217
Inevitable surprises
The Dance: The poles or the tropics? Who leads in the climatic dance?p. 225
New Horizons: Feedbacks from the stratospherep. 229
Conclusion: Another Planetp. 237
The Trillion-Ton Challengep. 241
Glossaryp. 253
Acknowledgmentsp. 259
Notes on the Referencesp. 261
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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