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Ice Ages and Interglacials: Measurements, Interpretation and Models (Springer Praxis Books / Environmental Sciences) 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-3540896791
ISBN-10: 3540896791
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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews: “In an extensive, detailed review of research, Rapp evaluates theories, models, data and their sources, methodologies, and assumptions relative to the prevailing astronomical theory. … His concerns … remind readers that the scientific method and neutral, objective analyses must not be abandoned in the search for understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections.” (L. S. Zipp, Choice, Vol. 47 (4), December, 2009)

From the Back Cover

Ice ages represent perhaps the most dramatic example of extreme climate change on the Earth. Understanding how and why ice ages occur is of great importance in our wider understanding of the global climate system and how it might change. If one examines Greenland ice data for the past 100,000 years, it becomes very clear that the relatively warm period of the past 11,000 years stand out in striking contrast to the 90,000 years of extreme cold that preceded it. We now refer to the unusually warm period that we are in at the present time as an interglacial; the long preceding period of cold is a glacial or ice age. During the last ice age, humans developed elaborate tools and homo sapiens migrated from Africa to Europe, but it wasn’t until that ice age ended 11,000 years ago that agriculture began and with it the foundation of modern civilization. It is therefore not surprising that there is enormous interest in trying to work out the mechanisms which trigger ice ages to begin, and what causes them to end. Of particular interest is the fact that ice ages appear to begin and end very abruptly on the geological timescale. Previous and existing books on ice ages are mostly short, popular and non-technical. This book will provide an independent and complete summary of the latest data, independent of theory or analysis, before exploring theories and making comparisons with that data. Professor Donald Rapp has had a long and varied scientific and engineering career, with 48 years of experience in different fields. He has published many scientific papers and five books, including Assessing Climate Change, published by Springer-Praxis in December 2007.

Product Details

  • Series: Springer Praxis Books / Environmental Sciences
  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (June 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3540896791
  • ISBN-13: 978-3540896791
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,268,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donald Rapp has a Ph.D from the University of California and over 50 years of technical research experience. He was a full professor at the University of Texas and spent over 30 years at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In his early career he worked in chemical physics, producing two citation classics with over 500 citations, and textbooks on quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. Later, he worked on spacecraft technology leading to his book "Human Missions to Mars". Since about 2006 he has worked mainly on climate change and also ice ages. His positions on many key issues are contrary to mainstream trends. In particular, he is highly doubtful that life ever existed on Mars and thinks the NASA Mars Program is a boondoggle. He is also skeptical of alarmist claims regarding the dangers of global warming but he is concerned about rising CO2. At age 78, he is still going strong with a new book coming out in November 2012 and he still plays an active game of tennis.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provides a useful overview of current understanding regarding ice ages and past climate. It covers the basic methodology and use of ice cores, deep ocean sediment cores, and other proxies for past temperature trends and ice volume and their use in climate modeling. Though more of an academic textbook than something for the general reader, it will still benefit someone with a general science background and a particular interest in ice ages. Some content may not be receptive to those with a strong man-made global warming bias, as the author attempts to remain objective. I would score this book a 4 ½ if that score were possible. I would recommend this book—there are not many books out there providing this type of comprehensive overview.
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