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Introduction to Modern Climate Change Paperback – October 10, 2011

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Introduction to Modern Climate Change + Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity + Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521173159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521173155
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"At last, a textbook about the scientific basis for global climate change that's well balanced, well written, highly illuminating, and accessible to non-science majors." Professor John M. Wallace, University of Washington

"Several years ago, Professor Andrew Dessler created an introductory course on climate change at Texas A&M University for freshman and sophomores. This textbook is an outgrowth of the notes he used in teaching that course. Last year while Andy was away I taught the course using his first draft of the book, which was shared online with the students. Both the students and I very much enjoyed the course and the notes. Andy is a natural teacher and writer with such an ease of presentation that he makes complex subjects accessible by his clever use of everyday analogies. Climate change is a subject that Andy cares about passionately, and he really cares about his reader as well. The book provides an expert's exposition of climate change in all its facets, from ice sheets to options for public policy. While it is written primarily as a textbook, it also provides excellent reading for any layperson interested in the subject." Professor Gerald R. North, Texas A&M University

"Professor Dessler's book is written for 'undergraduate non-science majors'. He must believe in the impossible - that he can bring a topic as complex as climate change into focus for students with little background in science. However, I must say that Professor Dessler has succeeded! Students who read this book will achieve a level of understanding of climate change that they may, first, "engage in an informed debate of public policy"; second, understand the deep significance of Climategate; and third, explain and act upon the recent explosion of public interest in climate change (wide coverage by the media, and huge UN conferences, with more than 20,000 persons attending). To put this in perspective, Lord King, a former scientific advisor to the British Prime Minister, is quoted as saying that 'No single issue, scientific or non-scientific, has ever received as much attention from world leaders as climate change.' Why this upwelling of interest? And how can society profit from it?" Professor Ted Munn, University of Toronto

"The book reads extremely well: It uses stories, analogues, and examples to draw the reader into the story of the science of our changing planet. Despite the complexity of the actual science, Dessler presents the material in a clear manner and does it without drawing on mathematics any more difficult than simple algebra. ..However, Introduction to Modern Climate Change does a better job than either of those books at getting to the heart of the science and at analyzing the philosophies leading to possible policy options. I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about climate change and the challenges it presents to humanity." - Donald J. Wuebbles, Physics Today, November 2012

" The text provides a readable, concise summary of the science of climate change, but it is the nonscientific aspects of the book that set it apart...Overall, I think this is a well-crafted textbook. The writing is very accessible without being too simplistic. The combination of a broad overview of the science and policy of climate change is both novel and appropriate for the intended audience: an introductory-level survey course on climate change. Reading the book was a learning experience for me, and I would happily recommend this book to anyone seeking an introduction to climate change." -Guillaume Mauger, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

Book Description

This textbook introduces students to the entire problem of modern climate change - science, economics, and policy - enabling them to engage in informed debate of public policy. The focus is on anthropogenic climate change. The combination of science with economics and policy makes this a unique introduction among climate change textbooks.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By walter on September 26, 2012
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You don't believe or not believe in climate change.Belief is similar to religion - that is, faith rather than facts. Andrew Dressler concentrates on the facts and challenges you to consider them just as a court considers the evidence in a trial. No act of belief but rather a consideration of the balance of the evidence. He is not scared to mention unknowns or areas where evidence is still not complete or more is still to be learn. The ideal skeptic outlook yet recognising that even at this stage there is virtually no doubt that climate is changing and pretty powerful evidence that human activity is contributing to that change. Yet as in a court trial always staying open to new evidence, for or against, that may turn up.
An excellent and easy to follow book and one I would highly reccomend.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor K. Sommer on December 31, 2012
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Andrew Dessler is the right guide for this task. This well-informed, up-to-date book provides the basics, the arguments and controversies, the politics, and why scientists are telling us to pay attention. There's some math, but Dessler explains it well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Professor Niemand on January 25, 2015
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Dr. Dessler provides excellent and up-to-date treatment of both the science and policy aspects of climate change. Although written as a textbook, the work can be recommended to the general reader with a strong interest in the subject matter. A prior background in physics is not required, but a working knowledge of basic algebra is assumed. A good feature is Dr. Dessler's skillful use of analogies with familiar concepts to elucidate some of the more recondite points of the physics and economics of climate change. There are problem sets at the chapter ends, with only a minority of the problems requiring numerical calculation. Solutions to the problems are not included.
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Introduction to Modern Climate Change
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