From Publishers Weekly
Despite efforts at producing clean energy, mankind is going to continue burning coal and oil, say environmental sciences professor Broecker and science writer Kunzig. The pair offers a history of the scientific enquiry that solidified global warming theory, tracing the story from the 19th century through the 1957 dawn of the modern era of greenhouse studies when Americans Roger Revelle and Hans Seuss determined that the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide was increasing and predicted the world's climate would be affected. Reducing emissions that cause global warming is commendable, the authors contend, but is too little too late. Their solution? Bury the stuff: extract CO2 from the atmosphere then pack it into deep ocean aquifers or within layers of volcanic basalt. They envisage 80 million small collectors each scrubbing a ton of CO2 daily from the world's atmosphere to balance what is produced by burning coal and oil. In a best-case scenario, these efforts will also stop the acceleration of global warming. Prototypes have already been constructed, but even the authors admit that trying to see that far into the future is crazy. (Apr.)
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Framed around the life and career of author Broecker, one of the earliest voices on global warming, this history of the climate crisis reads like a series of mini scientific biographies as the authors travel around the world and across centuries illuminating the lives of those who sought answers to climate mysteries. From glacial studies in the early-nineteenth-century Swiss Alps to the work of Serbian Milutin Milankovic, who calculated orbital cycles while in a World War I Austrian prison, Fixing Climate highlights the research of dozens of men who followed their own natural curiosity into areas not actively studied by their contemporaries. Anyone interested in environmental science, even at the most basic levels, will be intrigued by the wealth of climate history covered and the manner in which Broecker and Kunzig make personal stories from 200 years ago as relevant and fascinating as those from last year. The title is unfortunately misleading, as it does not hint at the brilliant eccentrics portrayed within. There is far more here than just another academic discussion on climate change; fascinating stuff. --Colleen Mondor