A straightforward and fact-based exploration of how weather happens, how it relates to climate, and how science answers major questions about Earth as a system
Climate change is one of the most hotly contested environmental topics of our day. To answer criticisms and synthesize available information, scientists have been driven to devise increasingly complex models of the climate system. Less Heat, More Light conveys that the basics of climate and climate change have been known for decades, and that relatively simple descriptions can capture the major features of the climate system and help the general public understand what controls climate and weather, and how both might be changing.
Renowned environmental scientist and educator John D. Aber distills what he has learned from a long fascination with weather and climate, the process of science, and the telling of the story of science. This is not a book about policies and politics. Instead, it explores how weather happens, how it relates to climate, and how science has been used to answer major questions about the Earth as a system and inform policies that have reversed environmental degradation. By providing a guided tour of the science of weather, this thoughtful survey will contribute clarity and rationality to the public understanding of climate change.
John D. Aber is university professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of New Hampshire, where he also served as vice president for research and as provost. He lives in Durham, NH.
"As we enter an era where both politics and our daily lives will be powerfully affected by climate change, everyone needs this science-based understanding of weather, climate, and climate change to understand the world around them."
– James Gustave Speth, author of They Knew: The US Federal Government's Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis and Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment
"Aber's incisive book explores how we measure, understand, and predict weather (with a time frame of hours to days), and climate and its changes (years to centuries). Scientifically astute, policy relevant, hopeful, and a joy to read."
– Jerry Melillo, Ecosystem Center, Marine Biological Laboratory
"John Aber makes weather, climate, and climate change fascinating. His clear language and visuals are the best foundation I have seen for understanding the earth system now, and how it is likely to change in the future."
– Indy Burke, Carl W. Knoblauch, Jr. Dean, Yale School of the Environment
"With authority and a delightfully conversational style, Less Heat, More Light presents important insights for our time into the nature of weather, climate, and the history of scientific discovery."
– David Foster, author of A Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha's Vineyard
"John Aber's thoroughly enjoyable book explains the nature and history of climate and the factors driving its change. His clear and knowledgeable text will enhance broad public engagement in the most important crisis of our time."
–Jo Handelsman, director, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery; former associate director for science, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and author, A World Without Soil: The Past, Present, and Precarious Future of the Earth Beneath Our Feet