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Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet Paperback – October 7, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Lynas, a journalist, campaigner, and broadcast commentator on environmental issues, is the author of High Tide: News from a Warming World. He is a contributor to periodicals including New Statesman, Ecologist, Granta, and Geographical, and to the Guardian and Observer newspapers in the United Kingdom.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426203853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426203855
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Allan Stellar on March 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Even though this book came out in 2008, it remains the best "go to" book on climate change. I've read most of the books in the genre, from McKibben to Gilding; this book lays the problem out clearly and understandably. It connects the dots and uses a simple, ingenious format to describe just what will happen for every one degree of temperature rise Celsius.

Given that I live in the U. S. of A., I have a hard time with the conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit. I wish he would have continued to put the Fahrenheit temperature in parenthesis next to the Celsius temperature through out the entire book. And I must say that I do prefer the Fahrenheit formula. I'm old school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Abdullah Karim on November 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In six chapters, the author Mark Lynas described the effects on planet due to a rise of global temperature by 1 degree, 2 degree …….up to 6 degree Celsius. He summarized the results of scientific research conducted by scientists that made this book very interesting. This book used IPCC’s landmark 1.4 degree to 5.8 degree Celsius temperature range. The good thing about this book is it made suggestions to save the planet.

By 1 degree Celsius rise, Arctic ice is affected and ocean area is increased. Rise by 2 degree Celsius will trigger sea level rise. Amazonian rain forest basin will dry out completely by the rise of 3 degree Celsius global temperature. Huge methane release by 4 degree Celsius global temperature rise will take the carbon emission level to an extreme level. The earth will change by the rise of 5 degree Celsius global temperature and we will see an altered geography. Climate changes beyond the tipping point. Finally, by 6 degree Celsius rise, the future of world is uncertain. Species may survive, but there is no guarantee. Mark Lynas talks about saving the planet by implementing seven wedges. Each wedge represents a reduction of 1 billion tons of C by 2055. The goal is to get rid of coal use and fossil fuel burning.

This is an excellent book as it talks about the whole world: Asia, Sub-Continent, Africa, Europe, America, Australia, Antarctica and other places. You will not require too much prior knowledge to understand the contents of the book. The author frequently refers back to what happened in the past when the temperature reached in those levels. The future warm world is very articulately represented.

I want to make few criticisms. The book does not contain a single figure or table.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Osborne on March 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
The 2007 IPCC AR4 report predicts a potential increase in global mean temperature before 2100 of between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees C.

That's a broad range...? Why the uncertainty? What do these numbers actually mean? Surely 6 degrees is not such a big deal - we have that kind of difference every week, right?

Popular science writer Mark Lynas has done a Herculean job of sorting through all the reports, scientific papers, climate model predictions etc, and breaking down what these mean in terms of one degree C increments, in terms that everyone can understand.

The book is primarily six chapters, starting at "One Degree" and building up to a truly terrifying "Six Degrees". There is also a brief introduction, conclusion, and more than 50 pages of notes and references...

The conclusion, entitled "Choosing our Future" is particularly well done. Poignant and impassioned, yet measured, pragmatic and very cautiously optimistic... It avoids the pithy platitudes that you often find in such books.

Lynas has done his homework, and he's a good writer. If you want to understand what the science really means to you and your children then add this one to your cart.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paula L. Craig on June 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Lynas' is the best book I've seen on climate change. The chapters are organized very simply by what humanity would probably see with one degree of warming, two degrees of warming, etc. This makes the argument very easy to follow.

This book has had far less attention than it deserves. The level of concern in most media outlets is simply not commensurate with the level of risk. Rome is burning, while the U.S. government throws fuel on the fire by bailing out dinosaur automobile companies and banks who bet big on further expansion of suburban sprawl. Major authors in mainstream publications, such as Fareed Zakaria at Newsweek magazine, are still producing optimistic predictions that almost ignore the possiblity of climate change (for example, see Zakaria's book The Post-American World). Note that a sustainable economy doesn't necessarily mean a low quality of life. For more on this, try The Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies.

If Lynas' book has a fault, it would be that it doesn't mention some of the simplest and cheapest ways of reducing carbon emissions. For example, the car-centered transportation system of the U.S. depends fundamentally on the availability of free parking. Most U.S. localities have regulations requiring huge numbers of parking spots; this amounts to a subsidy for cars that runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Eliminating such rules and other regulations that discriminate in favor of automobiles would have a huge effect. Take a look at Donald Shoup's book The High Cost of Free Parking.
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