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The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change [Paperback]

David Archer , Stefan Rahmstorf
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 29, 2010 0521732557 978-0521732550 0
An incredible wealth of scientific data on global warming has been collected in the last few decades. The history of the Earth's climate has been probed by drilling into polar ice sheets and sediment layers of the oceans' vast depths, and great advances have been made in computer modeling of our climate. This book provides a concise and accessible overview of what we know about ongoing climate change and its impacts, and what we can do to confront the climate crisis. Using clear and simple graphics in full color, it lucidly highlights information contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and brings the subject completely up-to-date with current science and policy. The book makes essential scientific information on this critical topic accessible to a broad audience. Obtaining sound information is the first step in preventing a serious, long-lasting degradation of our planet's climate, helping to ensure our future survival.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf - two outstanding scientists - bring us up-to-date on climate science in this remarkable and very readable book. This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in climate change.' Professor Paul Crutzen, Max Plank Institute for Chemistry, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1995, for explaining the ozone hole

'The key findings of the IPCC, written in plain and simple terms. Great value in informing the public at large about the science underlying the growing challenge of climate change.' Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC and Director-General of The Energy Resources Institute

'Both scientists contributed to IPCC(1997) Vol. 1, and are well qualified to write on this topic. Neither of them is a sceptic. As the subtitle An introductory Guide implies, the book is suitable for undergraduates and first-year graduate students.' CMOS Bulletin

"... well written ... This book should be read by anyone who is interested in climate change but does not have the time or commitment to read the IPCC reports." Eos

Book Description

This book provides a concise and accessible overview of what we know about ongoing climate change and its impacts, and what we can do to confront the climate crisis. Highly illustrated in full colour, it lucidly presents information contained in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, making essential scientific information on this critical topic available to a broad audience.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521732557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521732550
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Archer is a computational ocean chemist, and has been a Professor at the Department of The Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago since 1993. He has published research on the carbon cycle of the ocean and the sea floor. He has worked on the history of atmospheric CO2 concentration, the fate of fossil fuel CO2 over geologic time scales in the future, and the impact of CO2 on future ice age cycles, ocean methane hydrate decomposition, and coral reefs.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The IPCC AR4 report too technical for you? Want to learn about the climate change? Then this is a good book for you. "The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change" by climatologists David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf was published this year and does a decent job of explaining the status of climate science to non-scientists.

That doesn't mean the book isn't technical. It is chock full of color graphics, charts, tables, and photographs documenting every aspect of climate science. But the authors work hard to present the information in language that educated non-scientists and scientists and professionals in other fields can more readily understand. Overall they accomplish this goal, though I do think that parts of the book are still technical enough to confuse your "average Joe." Conversely, I don't think they explain some of the charts well enough - there is a tendency to have a narrative and reference a chart or graph, but then not explain the graph in detail. This is intentional as the book is designed to communicate the information on a level that non-climatologists can understand, but I did find myself wanting to drill into the figures more than was enabled.

Still, these are minor quibbles and I find the book to be a very useful addition to the reading list of anyone interested in the topic of global warming or climate change. The authors are both practicing climatologists and professors of climate science. Rahmstorf was one of the lead authors in the most recent IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (called AR4). Both contribute to the RealClimate.org blog on the topic.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want an authoritative source on climate science, of course you could go to the IPCC Reports. That assumes, of course, that you're willing to plow through hundreds and hundreds of pages of detailed information. Now, there's a good alternative. The Climate Crisis is a clear, accessible introduction to everything we know about the earth's climate. The authors are leading scientists at the University of Chicago and the Potsdam Institute for Impact Research. There are lots of vivid maps and charts to accompany the crisp, straightforward prose.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consequences to Ecosystems March 17, 2010
Format:Paperback
This ia a book about a real crisis developing on our planet. It is
about carbon dioxide, water vapour, ozone, methane and nitrous oxide
changes because of the human influences on the atmosphere.

You will see that David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf have put together
a most enlightening repository of facts and prospects. The contents:
{retrospective) What we knew and when we knew it, Earth's energy budget, CLIMATE CHANGE SO FAR, Snow and Ice, How the oceans are changing, The past is the key to the future, What the future holds,
Impacts of climate change, Avoiding climate change and climate policy.

Take the time to read this book on climate change and climate science
basics - you will be glad you did!

Dag Stomberg
St. Andrews, Scotland
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Climate scientists David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf's "The Climate Crisis" is an authoritative introduction to the science behind the theory of climate change. It provides a tutorial on the physics, findings, predictions, and ramifications to the earth and humanity of "BAU" aka "business as usual".

Amazon reader David K provides an excellent description of the book in his reader review so I won't attempt to match his outstanding effort. Instead I'll focus on this book's relevancy given it's been four years since the last IPCC synthesis report was published which is the dominant basis of the scientific findings and predictions for this book. Obviously the climate science community had to rely on what they'd discovered prior to that year; but they've also made enormous progress since then; so, is there a more relevant tutorial that incorporates findings since 2007?

I went through Amazon's top 50 sellers for climatology looking for a more up-to-date tutorial and would argue there is none, this book remains the standard-bearer where only James Hansen's book, "Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity", appears to approach the volume of findings, physics, and explanations contained in this book though at a mere fraction. That's because Dr. Hansen's book also focuses on his own hypotheses that are not [perhaps yet] peer-accepted, e.g., "The Venus Syndrome". He also covers some of the history of the American political debate from his perspective as a primary player and writes about his personal public policy prescriptions.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hard science of climate change July 18, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is exactly the book I was looking for. The scientific details are provided and explanations are clear. Even more importantly, the writers are honest about what the current state of climate science can and cannot tell us. The conclusion is inescapable, global climate change is occuring and humans are the cause. How can there possibly be any doubters left?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything a young or old student needs to know about climate change
The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change
By David Archer and Stefan Rahmstorf
ISBN: 978-0-52173-255–0 (Cambridge University Press, 2011)... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Rahasya Poe
5.0 out of 5 stars Impacting the World
Ever since Al Gore rose to the occasion, the world has been sitting by waiting anxiously for the definitive treatise on climate change. Read more
Published 9 months ago by D. Wayne Dworsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Climate science from climate scientists
This book is a easy read if you want to get a general understanding of global warming. It's written by well respected climate scientists who are doing climate research that has... Read more
Published 11 months ago by robert montana
5.0 out of 5 stars What we as humans are doing to the planet…
...must be told. This book clearly, simply and in an easy to read manner tells what everyone needs to know about climate change. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Doc jojo
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on climate change...
"The Climate Crisis" by David Archer and Stephan Rahmstorf is an excellent introduction to climate change. Read more
Published on December 9, 2011 by P. Kahn
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction and overview of the current state of the...
The authors of this book, Archer and Rahmstorf, are both well-respected and widely published authors in the field of Climate Science. Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by ARH
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenally good Climate Change!
This book covers the major topics of climate change, makes reading about this very topical subject so much easier with full use of graphs, maps, charts (how good science is... Read more
Published on November 19, 2011 by the lazuli
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book; some editing issues in the early chapters
This is a very good, balanced book, and contains many helpful graphics and figures. However, the editing of the text is fairly poor. Read more
Published on July 9, 2011 by sejp
5.0 out of 5 stars By Far the Best Book on the Subject!
Having just read a large number of books on the subject of Climate Change I can vouch that this is by far the best one. Read more
Published on June 11, 2011 by Sabine
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to climate change science
I've read several books on this topic. I would say if you are going to read only one book about climate change, make it this one. Read more
Published on February 4, 2011 by Learner
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