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Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming - The Illustrated Guide to the Findings of the IPCC Paperback – July 21, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: DK Publishing; Edition Unstated edition (July 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780756639952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756639952
  • ASIN: 0756639956
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This rendering of meticulous, documented climate research, stunning crisp photos, remarkable artwork, and easy to read charts strikes clear, individual notes, while still managing to come together fully in the glossy pages like a stirring symphony of popular science." -- DailyKos.com, July 2008

Dire Predictions is a must read for anyone who wants the straight facts on global warming. It cuts to the heart of the massive 2007 IPCC report, presenting major scientific findings in easy to understand language and graphics. Written by two of the scientific community's most thoughtful researchers, Dire Predictions' unbiased message about global warming arrives at a time when people need it most! -- Heidi Cullen, The Weather Channel

Here's a powerful, straight-forward guide to how scientists, economists, and engineers really understand the problem of global warming. It makes 20 years of research and consensus-building completely accessible to anyone who cares to know the truth--and to do something about it. -- Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

More About the Author

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).

Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth's climate system.

Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA's outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News' list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He is a Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Mann is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published two books: Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming in 2008 and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, in 2012. He is also a co-founder and avid contributor to the award-winning website "RealClimate.org".

Customer Reviews

This is an excellent condensed book presented in an easy to understand format.
Brian Allen
The authors have done a wonderful job in making complex, interdisciplinary science understandable to anybody.
NukyDoky
This book offers a great primer for those unfamiliar with the basics of climate change.
Peter S. Mizla

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on July 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're like me, you've longed for a user-friendly book to both clarify your own thoughts about global warming and to recommend to those acquaintances, friends, relatives, and colleagues who are either indifferent to climate change or think it's a bunch of tree-hugging hooey. Believe me, Dire Predictions is the book we've been waiting for. I rarely gush in the reviews I write. But I'm gushing in this one.

Authors Michael Mann and Lee Kump, the former a weather scientist and the latter a geoscientist, have put together a primer on global warming drawn from IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports that offers incredibly helpful illustrations and graphs, beautiful photographs, and informative, to the point text. The explanations are concise, typically a single topic to a page fold, and they focus on exactly the kinds of questions and issues that most of us have wondered about--for example, Is our atmosphere really warming?; How to build a climate model; Back to the future: Deep time holds clues to climate change; Fingerprints distinguish human and natural impacts on climage; Why is it called greenhouse effect? and Couldn't the increase in atmosphere CO2 be the result of natural cycles?

The book is divided into 5 parts:

1. Climate Change Basics
2. Projections of Future Climate Change
3. Impacts of Climate Change
4. Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change
5. Solving Global Warming

One of the best features of the Mann and Kump's approach is that they don't hesitate to respond directly to the "debunkers" of global warming that have become popular of late.

A wonderful book, exactly the sort of popular science approach that citizens, community activists, public policy makers, and presidential candidates need to get clear on the facts and implications of global warming. Highly recommended. Six stars.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful By David Appell on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the concept behind this book: an "illustrated" guide instead of another long text of prose about global warming. It has tons of charts and graphs and colorful pictures, so you learn the field in a new way -- less abstractly, more intuitively. Slightly below a Scientific American-level. This book would be great for someone who wants to understand climate change, but doesn't have the background (or patience) to read a 300 page book on it. Plus it would be great for kids 7th grade and up.

I've read hundreds of books and articles and papers on climate change, and yet I still learn things from nearly every page in the book, no matter where in it I start.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Olson on January 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book could easily be titled, "A Guide to Help Climate Skeptics Understand Why They are Wrong." It's written, not in a dull, didactic, "here are the facts," manner, but more as a presentation of the arguments in which the standard questions from the other side are addressed as major section headings, such as, "Couldn't the increase in carbon dioxide be the result of natural cycles?."

Pretty much the bottom line conclusion of the book is presented in large, bold font near the end of first section where the authors say that if we don't do something to change our ways, the atmospheric carbon dioxide level will exceed "anything experienced on earth for over 50 million years." Could the stakes be laid out any more clearly?

The tables need to be turned on the climate skeptics -- it's time for the burden of proof to be placed upon their shoulders -- as in, you folks need to prove to us that it's possible to alter the atmosphere so significantly and NOT have something undesirable happen.

The structure of the book is very simple and powerful. In five nicely color-coded sections they lay out the basics of the problem, what the science predicts will happen, and how to avoid or cope with it. The style of writing is efficient, direct, to the point, and periodically snappy, such as asking, "Is it time to sell that beach house?"

The overall look of the book is almost as VISUAL as a slide show. This is a book that is perfect for undergraduates, the general public, and pretty much everyone willing to put their trust in science rather than politics.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By NukyDoky on May 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book for those interested in getting the facts and science of climate change. It is actually a summary of the 3000+ pages of the IPCC AR4 2007 reports. All the aspects are covered efficiently: physical basis, paleoclimatology, climate models, impacts, projections and GHG emission scenarios, adaptation and mitigation measures. The authors have done a wonderful job in making complex, interdisciplinary science understandable to anybody. Recommended to those wishing to have a quick guide to climate change without scientific compromise.
On the aesthetics side: this book is very nicely done. Text easy to read, nice pictures, well-chosen relevant and easy-to-grasp figures and charts, everything is done so the reader enjoys reading the book. Its structure is so that each set of two pages is independent on the previous ones. That means that you can browse through the book and pick up any random page to read! Cross-references are numerous.
A reference for the layman.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sindark on July 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
While the 4th Assessment Report (4AR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the most comprehensive scientific assessment of the causes and consequences of climate change, the report itself is not written in language that is accessible to the average person. Written by climate scientists Michael Mann and Lee Kump, Dire Predictions is an accessible illustrated guide to the conclusions of the IPCC. It also includes some discussion of the practical, political, and ethical implications of the IPCC's findings.

The 200 page book is a quick and easy read, even for those who are not well acquainted with scientific principles and terminology. It responds directly to many issues raised in the media (such as common climate change denier talking points) and it includes a great many illuminating charts and illustrations. It covers key concepts like what climate models are, and the reasons why we expect the planet to respond to a certain amount of additional carbon dioxide with a certain amount of warming.

The book is broken into five parts, covering climate change basics, projections, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and solutions. It very clearly describes which areas are well-understood scientifically and which areas contain substantial remaining uncertainties. Mann and Kump convincingly explain the core mutually-reinforcing lines of evidence that support the `big picture' view of a world that is being dangerously warmed by human emissions, and in which greenhouse gas pollution must be reduced if major damage to humanity and the natural world is to be avoided.

The section on impacts is detailed and wide-ranging, covering everything from different projections of future sea level rise to expected impacts on global agriculture.
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