358 pages, 14 figs
How important is a degree of temperature change? A degree or two temperature change is not a trivial number in global terms and it usually takes nature hundreds of thousands of years to bring it about on her own. We may be doing that in decades ...Humans are putting pollutants into the atmosphere at such a rate that we could be changing the climate on a sustained basis some ten to a hundred times faster than nature has since the height of the last ice age. - Stephen H. Schneider This essential book examines the causes of world-wide climatic change - the 'greenhouse effect' - that may raise world temperatures by five degrees Celsius in less than a century. Author Stephen H. Schneider describes the likely consequences - from agricultural changes and rises in sea level to public health issues and social upheaval - and addresses the most important and urgent question that anyone concerned with the fate of our planet must confront: 'What can or should be done about the greenhouse effect?' "Global Warming" offers a prophetic look at a year in the greenhouse century, one of slowly increasing global temperatures (a century that may have already begun). The immediate scenarios are grave: population pressures combined with devastating floods and hurricanes drive millions of 'environmental refugees from South East Asia to find homes in Australia; California smothers under heat, smog, water shortages, and raging forest fires; and New York experiences summer heat waves so intense that hospital emergency rooms are jammed with victims. The outlook for Britain could be equally serious: the UN predicts that global warming may cause severe winter storms, the flooding of coastal defences, and even malaria in Southern England. Dr Schneider provides and authoritative and entertaining look at the science, personalities and politics behind the problem of global warming. He explains in clear, non-technical language what is scientifically well known, what is speculative, and where the major uncertainties lie. He presents an overview of sixty million years of global climate history, explaining the mechanisms that regulate climate, demonstrates how a few degrees variation can precipitate dramatic evens such as the Ice Age, and discusses how predictions are made by computer modelling to anticipate climatic changes into the next century. "Global Warming" provides a revealing inside look at the problems scientists encounter in dealing with other scientists, politicians and the media. Although statesmen have called for a giant international effort to tackle the issue, few concrete measures have been taken so far. Global Warming outlines the ways individuals, governments and businesses can work together to slow down the damage our impact has inflicted on the planet, and help make global development more environmentally sustainable.
A major study. The author's behind-the-scenes experiences of what it is like for a scientist to 'go public' on such a controversial issue gives the book a valuable perspective. His ability to write clearly, engagingly and often with humour, makes this a most readable account. Guernsey Evening Press "An important, informative book." Geoffrey Lean, The Observer "A comprehensive tome aimed at the non-specialist wanting an in-depth analysis of where we are and where we might be going. A well-written account." Times Higher Educational Supplement "Schneider, one of the climatologists at the forefront of the greenhouse debate, provides an entertaining and informative insider's account of the science, politics and personalities behind the issue." The Ecologist "A very comprehensive book covering all aspects of climate change and global warming. Good background reading at a reasonable price for the politician and the layman." Weather, Vol 46, No 6 "An easy read, Schneider provides a useful overview for the uninitiated. For the initiated, his chapter on how the media has railroaded the greenhouse issue is an absolute gem, an any scientist will want to get this book for that chapter alone." Biologist (The Journal of the Institute of Biology), Number 4 "Schneider presents a lucid account of the state of understanding of global warming, of its possible impacts, and of the growing public awareness of the issue. A busy reader in pursuit of one book on the subject need go no further. Best book about the fate of the planet." New Scientist "Dr. Schneider presents scientific facts in accessible terms, building a convincing argument for concern." i to i "Stephen Schneider is uniquely placed to write this most authoritative account of the science and politics behind the problems of global warming. A compelling view of the basic issues and the economic and political implications in easily understood language entertaining and revealing his ability to write clearly, and often with humour, makes this a most readable account." Green Drum
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