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Experimenting on a Small Planet: A Scholarly Entertainment 2013th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-3642285592
ISBN-10: 3642285597
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

Selected by Choice magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2013

“Geologist Hay (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) provides a thorough but accessible description of the climate system and its history … . Experimenting on a Small Planet covers a lot of ground, starting with basic scientific principles before transitioning to climate science specifics. … Given the scope and presentation style, the book should interest experts looking to broaden their perspective as well as curious readers seeking reliable information on climate change. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.” (J. Schoof, Choice, Vol. 51 (1), September, 2013)

“Hay presents clear explanations and examples of climate chemistry, physics and oceanography for professional scientists as well as teachers and anyone interested in the scientific underpinnings of the current paradigm shift in understanding climate change. … Each chapter is a concise explanation of a specific scientific discipline of physics, chemistry, geology, oceanography, and climatology.” (Robert W. Scott, AAPG Bulletin, December, 2013)

“The book is aimed at both the general public readership and the scientific community. … it attempts to give the reader a thorough background in the basics that are needed to understand climate science and it succeeds extremely well in that goal. … I highly recommend the book … . I would certainly not be surprised if this book became a best seller, a mainstay in many college level courses as a text book, and contributed hugely towards resolving the on-going global climate change debate.” (Bilal U. Haq, Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 101, January, 2013)

From the Back Cover

This book is an introduction to climate science and global change. It includes the scientific background in physics, chemistry and biology. The science chapters are interleaved with biographical material including personal reminiscences.
The science chapters discuss the history of development of ideas in geology, the discovery of Earth’s very different climates in the distant past, and the climate oscillations of the ice ages. Special treatment is given to past warm climates. The role of greenhouse gases in controlling Earth’s climate, along with a discussion of the associated physics. It develops the idea that humans have played a role in climate change throughout the past few millennia, rather than just since the beginning of the industrial revolution. It concludes by introducing the idea that the result of the present perturbation may be the transition to an ice-free warm world.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 983 pages
  • Publisher: Copernicus; 2013 edition (December 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3642285597
  • ISBN-13: 978-3642285592
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William W. (Bill) Hay was born October 12, 1934, in Dallas, Texas. He received his B.S. in Biology from Southern Methodist University in 1955, M.S. in Geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1958, and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University in 1960. As an undergraduate and graduate student he also studied at Ludwig-Maximillian's University in Munich under Wayne University's "Junior Year in Munich" program, and the University of Zurich as a Fellow of the Swiss Friends of the USA.
Afer a year of postdoctoral study at the University of Basel, Switzerland, he began his professional career at the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1960. In 1968 he become a joint Professor of Geology at the University of Illinois and Professor of Marine Geology and Geophysics at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) of the University of Miami. He maintained this joint arrangement until 1974. From 1974-76 he served as Chairman of the Division of Marine Geology and Geophysics, and from 1976-1980 as Dean of RSMAS. From 1979 to 1982 he served as President of Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc. in Washington, D.C.
In 1982 he moved to Boulder, Colorado as Director of the University Museum, and was soon added to the faculty of Geology and CIRES. He resigned as Director of the Museum in 1987, and from 1990 to 1998 was on a half -time appointment at Colorado and half-time as Gastprofessor at GEOMAR, a marine geological research institute attached to Christian-Albrecht's-Universität, Kiel, Germany. In 1991-92 he was an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Scientist. In the summer of 1993 he was Gastprofessor in the Sektion Marine Geologie, Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde, Germany, and in the fall of the same year F. C. Donders Professor at the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. In the fall of 1995 and again in 2010 he was Gastprofessor, sponsored by the University of Vienna, in the University's Institut für Paläontologie, Vienna, Austria. During the fall of 1996 he was Gastwissenschaftler, sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, at the Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde/Rostock and Gastprofessor at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University in Greifswald, Germany. During the summer and fall of 1997 he was Gastprofessor at GEOMAR, Christian-Albrecht's-University, Kiel, Germany. He retired from the University of Colorado in 1998 to take on the role of Professor of Paleoceanology full time at GEOMAR. He retired from GEOMAR in June 2002. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado, and now lives in Estes Park, Colorado.
His current special interests are in global paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic modeling; paleoclimate model verification; geological mass balance for the global sedimentation system; modelling tectonics, erosion and sedimentation; topographic and bathymetric effects on climate and oceanography; global plate tectonic reconstructions; global paleogeography; geomaterial fluxes; global carbon cycle.
His is author or co-author of more than 260 scientific papers.

He has served on the Ocean Sciences Board of the US National Research Council, the Advisory Committee of the Division of Ocean Sciences of the US National Science Foundation, the Board of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, a number of JOIDES (Joint Oceanographic institutions for Deep Earth Sampling) panels and committees, the Scientific Committee on Oceanographic Research (SCOR), and has been a Trustee of the International Oceanographic Foundation.
His involvement with ocean drilling goes back to the SUBMAREX (1963), where he was one of the investigators of the paleontology of the cores. He was a reviewer of the LOCO and JOIDES proposals. He served on the JOIDES Gulf Advisory Panel, from1965-74. After moving part time to the Rosenstiel School of the University of Miami he became that institutions
representative on the JOIDES Planning Committee serving from 1968-76, and serving as Chairman from 1972-74, when the internationalization and expansion of JOIDES took place. During the DSDP era, he also served on the Paleontology and Biostratigraphy Panel (1968-75), the Atlantic Advisory Panel (1970-73), the Advisory Panel on Pollution Prevention and Safety (1972-74), the Advisory Panel on Organic Geochemistry (1972-76), and the Advisory Panel on Ocean Paleoenvironment, 1973-76. He was alternate to Warren Wooster on the JOIDES Executive Committee in 1975-76, and served as a member of the Executive Committee from 1976-80. He participated on Legs 4, 15, and 75 of the DSDP, serving as a co-chief scientist on Leg 75.
He was largely responsible for establishment of JOI, Inc. (Joint Oceanographic Institutions) as the legally responsible agent for ocean drilling, clarifying the liability questions associated with JOIDES. He served on the JOI Board of Governors from 1976-80 and was its Vice Chairman from 1978-80. When the Office of Science and Technology Policy pressed exploration of an academic/industry joint venture for drilling the ocean margins with riser capabilities, he was selected to serve as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Ocean Margin Drilling Program from 1979-1986. To enhance the visibility of the science program he became President of JOI, and served in that capacity from 1979-1982.
He served as Chairman of a National Science Foundation - Division of Ocean Sciences Panel to Review the Ocean Drilling Program in 1988. He has also served on JOI Committees to review ODP.
In a related role, he served as Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council's Continental Scientific Drilling Committee from 1985-88.
In the Ocean Drilling program phase, he has served on the Advisory Panel on Sediment and Ocean History (1984-87) and the Advisory Panel on Sedimentary Geochemistry and Physical Processes from 1989-92 and again from1994-97, when he served as its Chairperson. He participated in JOI/USSAC Workshops on Scientific Drilling in the South Atlantic (1985), Scientific Drilling in the Caribbean (1986), Global Changes in Sea Level (Steering Committee, 1987-90), Ocean Chemistry (1990), and Paleogene Paleoceanography (1991). He also served on the JOIDES Scientific Advisory Structure Review Committee (1992-93), and as Chairman of a Detailed Planning Group on Antarctic Ocean Drilling in 1996. He served as the German representative on the JOIDES Scientific Committee from 1998-2001, and as its Chairman for 1999-2000. He participated in the formation of ECOD, the European Consortium for Ocean Drilling.
In 2012 he completed a four-year project, writing a book: Experimenting on a Small Planet - A Scholarly Entertainment" abut past and future climate change. Published by Springer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Staci J on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A climate bible (at least in length) written for the non-climate scientist. A reference that can be used by anyone who wants to understand each individual component of climate science and climate change. An indepth science report written in street language. I would suggest this book to any student or individual who wants a quick reference guide to climate science.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TheRationalizer on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have never been interested in weather/climate/global-warming, and I must admit that I only started to read this book because a copy was given to me as a gift.

This book is incredible!

It should really be called "A history of Earth's scientific experiments" or "Loads of really interesting stuff about science" or something similar,. I'd always wanted to read a book about science which not only told you what the science reveals but also how it was discovered and how it can be checked. I thought I'd found that book when I read Bill Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything" but now this book has taken it's place, by a massive amount. It is like Bill Bryson's book but on steroids! It is fascinating to read how ideas have changed over the years and what discoveries caused those changes.

Electrons, protons, neutrons, photons, radioactive decay, fusion, fision, chemical reactions, refraction, reflection, waves, electromagnetic spectrum, laws of thermodynamics, black body radiation, chaos systems, Max Plank, Bohr, Pauli exclusion principle, planetary orbits, sun cycles, cosmic rays, and loads more too! All of this stuff is in there. It is explained so clearly, Bill is a fantastic teacher.

If (like myself) you have never been interested in global warming then don't let the main subject of this book put you off. It's like a book of everything about science, with a "PS: And we have screwed up the atmosphere" near the end.

Ignore what people are saying in their reviews about errors. There are a few errors which undoubtedly appeared during publishing, but there are few and they are *really* obvious even if unfamiliar with the subject.

This is the book I have been wishing for since I was a child. Not reading this book is an injustice!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Health Nut on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So why did I read this mammoth book on climate change? About 4 years ago I had an encounter with someone who completely denied AGW, and sent me dozens of links to websites that claim to discredit climate science. Then last year two people at work casually dismissed the science of climate change. So I decided the only way to get to the bottom of this was to read.

To begin with I read most of A. Barrie Pittocks's excellent and very readable book, Climate Change, The Science, Impacts and Solutions

Pittock's book is exceedingly informative and very well written with regards to the climate we can expect under various scenarios, including its effect on weather, crops, water supply, etc, It also goes into why scientists think humans are the primary cause of warming. This included discussion about the orbital variations of the earth, and how, right now, the climate should be cooling rather than warming, what ratios of isotopes of CO2 tell us about our contribution to warming, the degree of impact caused by each type of greenhouse gas and much more. After reading Pittcock's book, I wanted to know more detail about orbital variations and the history, physics, and chemistry of the climate system, which is where Hay's book comes to the rescue, quite beautifully.

I have to say, the viewpoint of geologists fits into the understanding of climate very well, since geologists have discovered the climate of prehistoric times, and the abrupt changes in climate that have occurred multiple times, all discussed in detail in Hay's book. I hadn't ever even thought of this before I began to read Hay's book, but there you have it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sirduluthboy on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
College textbooks can easily run hundreds of dollars each and will only collect dust when the course is over. In this book by William Hay, he manages to jam a year's worth of college-level science into an affordable text. There are some sections that will be beyond what the average person wants or needs, but he does have a unique and humorous way of explaining complex science in an understandable way. The strength of this book is its usefulness to so many sciences; physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, biology, etc. Educators could use it to teach middle school through college. The average person could learn a lot about the scientific process and the history of scientific discovery. It even has cartoons and wine pairing suggestions for each section! That's a science "text" people don't often see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alison B on April 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this text for a graduate course on Climate Change. The text covers a range of science topics, helping the reader understand the basics of Earth Systems Science before addressing the complexity of Climate Change. I enjoyed the author's sense of humor in his "suggested wine pairings list". I appreciated how I could choose a specific chapter to learn more about one concept or I could read several sections together to scaffold my understanding of how the science topics are interconnected. This is a book that I have referenced in my Climate Change course, as well as in other graduate courses (Insect Ecology), and my daily teaching of High School science.
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