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Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes: Data, spectral analysis and mechanisms (Springer Praxis Books / Environmental Sciences) Hardcover – September 15, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1852336349 ISBN-10: 185233634X Edition: 1st

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Hardcover, September 15, 2000
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Product Details

  • Series: Springer Praxis Books / Environmental Sciences
  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (September 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185233634X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852336349
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,047,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes is concerned with one of the most active interdisciplinary areas of the present day, with new discoveries and data emerging all the time. This information must be carefully and rigorously analysed using sophisticated mathematical techniques, and the authors successfuly explain both the data an the methods of analysis. This book combines a theoretical presentation of the methods with practical instructions and numerous Matlab recipes making it of the greatest use to the practising geologist and paleoclimatologist. This unique book provides a foundation for students and professionals alike who want answers to questions about the Earth's past, thus helping them to predict what is to come. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Richard A. Muller is professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a past winner of the MacArthur Fellowship. His book "Physics for Future Presidents" is based on his renowned course for non-science students. His book "The Instant Physicist" uses humor and paradox, but has true content lurking behind the wonderful art of Joey Manfre. He and his daughter Elizabeth founded the "Berkeley Earth" project to evaluate the science and evidence for global warming.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Theodore G. Mihran on March 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately this book is very expensive, which will limit its circulation. It is essentially a textbook for graduate students. and contains many graphs and significant mathematical equations. Very fortunately, the first chapter, "Brief Introductions to ... ", is available on the author's website. It contains facts about the past climate on the earth which are essential in order to put the proper perspective on the current global warming controversy.

As an example, how many articles on global warming have you read that point out that in the past 2500 years, it has been warmer than it is today -- not once, but six times! Our present warming is actually a rebound from the Little Ice Age that gripped the earth starting in 1200 and lasting to 1900. Today we still have not reached the warm temperatures during the days when the Greeks and Romans flourished. (See Fig. 1.2 of Chapter 1 in this book)

Even more jolting is the graph (Fig. 1.3) that shows the length of the current warm period the earth is experiencing -- called an interglacial. We have been warm for 10,000 years. But if you go back another 2000 years, the temperature was 10 to 15 F degrees colder than it is today. To find a period comparable to the present day, you must go back 100,000 years. Or, 200,000 years, or 300,000 years, or 400,000 years, or half a million years! And all but one (500,000 years ago) of these warm periods were significantly shorter than the 10,000 years of warmth the earth is currently experiencing.

Muller's main goal is to try to establish whether astronomical causes are the basis for the variation in the earth's temperature, and specifically, what features of the earth's orbit through space are involved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Babak Makkinejad on November 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I very much enjoyed reading this book. There were several reasons for that:

1. The book was free of jargon - for the most part - and what was there was necessary for understanding the argument

2. The mathematical preliminaries had been kept to a minimum (Calculus, Elementary Differential Equations, Fourier analysis, and Elementary statistics).

3. The main threads of the arguments were very clearly stated and careful attention was paid to the methodological issues of data analysis of pale-climate data.

4. The book carefully stipulated its data sources (and types) for the paleo-climate, the locations at which they were gathered, their reliability as proxies for various features of the paleo-climate, their time span and their overall validity.

5. I especially enjoyed learning about these records and how they had been used to analyze the paeo-climate. That is because, over the years, I had watched multiple documentaries that showed how they had been collected but had never seen the how they had been used and analyzed before.

6. Lastly, the book is very well written and quite accessible to people with technical maturity in Physics, Astronomy, Atmospheric Sciences, and Engineering.

The main thesis of the book is that the occurrence of the ice ages is a feature of climate of Earth that is forced (driven) by astronomical causes.
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7 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It is not possible to understand the present or future climate unless scientists can account for the enormous and rapid cycles of glaciation that have taken place over the last million years, and which are expected to continue into the future. A great deal has happened in the theory of ice ages over the last decade, and now widely accepted that ice ages are driven by changes in the Earths orbit. The study of Ice Ages of ice ages is very inter-disciplinary.
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