John Houghton's market-leading textbook is now in full colour and includes the latest IPCC findings, making it the definitive guide to climate change. Written for students across a wide range of disciplines, its simple, logical flow of ideas gives an invaluable grounding in the science and impacts of climate change and highlights the need for action on global warming.
Is there evidence for climate changing due to human activities? How do we account for recent extremes of weather and climate? Can global electricity provision and transport ever be carbon free? Written by a leading figure at the forefront of action to confront humanity's most serious environmental problem, this undergraduate textbook comprehensively explores these and other issues, allowing students to think through the problem, assess the data and draw conclusions on the action that should be taken, by governments, by industry and by each and every one of us.
"This book has become the standard introductory text for explaining the mechanics and the implications of global warming [...] it provides one of the most readable and authoritative statements of the basic science and its implications."
- Simon Napper, Biologist
"[...] the definitive scientific book on global warming by one of the few authors who is actually in a position to give a 'complete briefing'."
- David Lorimer, Director, Scientific and Medical Network
"This book is, of course, a must for students [...] and for those people who want a clear and calm exposition of what global warming is, why it really matters and what we can do about it."
- Fred Pearce, Focus (Science and Technology)
"Well written, well organised, richly illustrated and referenced, it should be required reading for anybody concerned with the fate of our planet."
- Elmar R. Reiter, Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics
"It is difficult to imagine how Houghton's exposition of this complex body of information might be substantially improved upon [...] Seldom has such a complex topic been presented with such remarkable simplicity, directness and crystalline clarity [...] Houghton's complete briefing is without doubt the best briefing the concerned citizen could hope to find within the pages of a pocketable book."
- John Perry, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
"[...] precise account of the science, accompanied by figures, graphs, boxes on specific points, and summaries at the end of each chapter, with questions for students [...] ranges beyond the science into the diplomacy, politics, economics and ethics of the problem [...]"
- Sir Crispin Tickell, The Times Higher Education Supplement
"[...] a useful book for students and laymen to understand some of the complexities of the global warming issue [...] At a student-friendly price, this is a book to buy for yourself and not rely on the library copy."
- Allen Perry, Holocene
"Sir John Houghton, in this Fourth Edition of his book: Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, has written what should be the last word in this magisterial presentation of the latest science based very much on the IPCC Assessments. [...] The book, almost seductively, leads the reader through the essential science behind the issue of climate change. [...] The book contains an elegant description of changes in the climate over the past one hundred, thousand and million years [...]"
- John Stone, Bulletin of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanography Society
"[...] the subject of this book is of continuing interest and concern to all. [...] The author avoids esoteric accounts of the causes of climate change and of the simulations used to estimate future conditions and instead provides explanations and descriptions which are appropriate to the intelligent reader educated in other subjects. [...] the book, as a whole, presents a most instructive account of the current and future problems and their causes and does discuss ways to delay their onset."
- Experimental Agriculture
"[...] the text is written in a friendly style, and it coordinates a lot of difficult scientific information [...] one can find in this volume an outstanding synthesis of information, both well-known and new [...] will be a very good, enriching and enjoyable [read] for everyone [...] even [...] beginners will appreciate it very much [...] the reviewer recommends this book strongly for everyone in the geoscience[s] [...]"
- Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie
Introduction to the first edition
Introduction to the second edition
Introduction to the third edition
Introduction to the fourth edition
1. Global warming and climate change
2. The Greenhouse effect
3. The Greenhouse gases
4. Climates of the past
5. Modelling the climate
6. Climate change for the twenty-first century and beyond
7. The impacts of climate change
8. Why should we be concerned?
9. Weighing the uncertainty
10. Strategy for action to slow and stabilize climate change
11. Energy and transport for the future
12. The Global Village
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Sir John Houghton CBE, FRS is a former Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chairman of the UK s Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Vice President of the World Meteorological Organisation, President of the Royal Meteorological Society, and Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Oxford University. He was Chief Executive of the UK Meteorological Office from 1983 to his retirement in 1991. As well as the previous editions of this book, he is author of The Physics of Atmospheres (Cambridge University Press, in three editions), and has published numerous research papers and contributed to many influential research documents. Sir John and his wife Sheila live in Wales.