Ice Time: Climate, Science, and Life on Earth

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0060917036
ISBN-10: 0060917032
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Climate science goes far beyond weather forecasting; developed as an effort to understand how planet-shaping forces interact, it produces a coherent picture of global processes that run from the begining of time to the present. Levenson, associate producer of the TV series Nova , introduces the new work of physicists, oceanographers, geologists, meteorologists and atmospheric scientists--plus their sophisticated use of computers and satellites--that has converged to revolutionize our knowledge of climate. Reviewing major climatic events of the past (hurricanes, droughts, El Nino), he examines the interaction between climate and society and discusses possible changes in the future due to acid rain, the greenhouse effect and nuclear winter. It's an intriguing subject, sure to attract weather-watchers, conservationists and computer buffs.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- An interesting description of humanity's newest science. In section I, Levenson explains how climate science could not develop until the computer made possible its calculations of hypothetical models. In section II, he describes the working styles of several climate scientists as well as their pet projects. In section III, he discusses various ways that world climate may change as a result of modern society's use of the environment and of ways in which we might mitigate the negative changes. While the book will be appreciated by Earth Science students and environmentalists, it is one that all students should read because of the state of our world environment. Levenson uses abrupt changes in style from abstract discussion to examples from everyone's daily experiences to good advantage. Not everyone will read the entire book, but it is well written and readable for lay people.
- Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, TX
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (June 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060917032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060917036
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,161,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My day job has me professing science writing at MIT, where I also run the Institute's Graduate Program in Science Writing.

I'm not yet wholly ivy-covered yet (and anyway -- the place up the street holds the franchise for that pernicious weed). In fact, I am a recent immigrant to the professoriat, and I continue to do what I did before: write books (and the occasional article), and make documentary films about science, its history, and its interaction with the broader culture in which scientific lives and discoveries unfold.

I'm just finished my fourth book, "Newton and the Counterfeiter" -- which is a great story from a little-known corner of Isaac Newton's life. My previous books include "Einstein in Berlin;" "Measure for Measure: A Musical History of Science;" and "Ice Time: Climate Science and Life on Earth" (now, sadly, out of print). My documentaries have mostly appeared on PBS, and most of those on the NOVA series. Recent work includes the Origins series, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and broadcast on NOVA -- (my favorite is program four, the cosmology show, "Back to the Beginning"); the "Domes" program in David Macaulay's delightful PBS series Building Big, and NOVA's two hour Einstein Revealed, now a little long in the tooth, but featuring a nice turn by Andrew Sacks as Albert Einstein. (You may have seen Sacks in one of the great television comedy roles: Manuel the Spanish Waiter in Fawlty Towers.)

Besides writing, film making and generally being dour about the daily news, I lead an almost entirely conventional life in one of Boston's inner suburbs with a family that gives me great joy. The cat has to stop waking me up at five a.m., however.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bartel Morgan on May 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Excellent, thought-provoking material for those who love to think outside the box. Like the 1st reviewer, I found the 1st half more stimulating and refreshing, but I haven't let my politics interfere with my enjoyment of the 2nd half, and I think maybe she did.

Excellent history of the growth of recognition of how the weather is a product of a system that includes air water earth life sun etc, and the clumsy attempts of men of vision to construct mathematical CLIMATE (not weather) models with the help of computers and satellites and all the scientific disciplines talking to each other. The last half of the book describes ways human activity may repeat may be affecting climate, in sobering ways.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Atheen on October 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first half of the book, that dealing with the subject of weather and climate and with the development of a discipline of weather/climate study. That the chaos of weather leads to an orderly precession of climate through time was an interesting concept. The necessity of the rise and application of computers to the problem of weather and climate prediction was something that had not really occured to me. Certainly the number crunching capabilities of these modern engineering miracles that go into the science was impressive. The book is definitely outdated with respect to politics and predictions, however. Still a valuable book from a historical point of view and worth reading as a good beginning to understanding weather and climate.
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