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In the last few years global awareness of climate change has grown very rapidly – through the school strikes led by Greta Thunberg, groups like Extinction Rebellion, the IPCC's recent high impact reports, tv documentaries, and declarations from governments around the world that we are in a climate emergency. This awareness is continuing to grow, as the science shows us that our planet and our species are facing a massive crisis, which we ourselves have caused. Climate change is one of the few scientific theories that make us examine the whole basis of modern society. It is a challenge that has politicians arguing, sets nations against each other, queries individual lifestyle choices, and ultimately asks questions about humanity's relationship with the rest of the planet.
This Very Short Introduction draws on the very latest science from the 2021 IPCC Report, examining the evidence that climate change is already happening, and discussing its potential catastrophic impacts in the future. Mark Maslin also explores the geopolitics of climate change and the win-win solutions we can employ to avoid the very worst effects of climate change. Throughout, he demonstrates how we must develop new modes of thinking for the 21st century at individual, corporate, and government levels to collectively tackle the challenge of climate change.
Preface to the fourth edition
List of illustrations
1. What is climate change?
2. The climate change debate
3. Evidence for climate change
4. Modeling future climate
5. Climate change impacts
6. Climate surprises
7. Politics of climate change
9. Envisioning the future
Mark Maslin is Professor of Climatology at University College London. He is currently a Royal Society Industrial Fellow working with Rezatec Ltd, a company he co-founded. He was the former Director of the UCL Environmental Institute and Head of the Department of Geography. He is science advisor to the Global Precious Commodities PLC, Global Cool Foundation, Climatecom Strategies, Steria, Permian Ltd and Carbon Sense Ltd. Maslin is a leading scientist with particular expertise in past global and regional climatic change and has published over 165 papers in journals such as Science, Nature, and The Lancet. He has also written ten popular books, over 50 popular articles, and appeared on both radio and television. His books include The Cradle of Humanity (OUP, 2017) and The Human Planet, co-authored with Simon Lewis (Penguin, 2018).