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The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 3, 2010

31 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, August 3, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This engrossing study predicts global warming scenarios for seven hot spots around the world--and evaluates the responses of communities, governments, and international organizations. Cullen, a climatologist, notes that "just as our brain is hardwired to perceive threats that are most immediate to us, we are hardwired to devote more energy to caring about the weather than to caring about the climate," and that "by the time you see it in the weather... it's too late." With some ecosystems, such as the overtaxed Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, which the entire state of California depends on for water, "people would rather simply hope for a happy ending." In contrast, in the Arctic, the Inuit are responding to climate change and incorporating technology into their traditional hunting methods, and New York City "has decided to fix the climate bug now" with its Climate Change Adaptation Task Force. Despite the worry among scientists that humans will follow "the woolly mammoth, the symbol of a climate that no longer exists," the book presents a surprisingly optimistic view of humanity's determination to come to terms with a daunting future.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It sounds like the outline for the next movie by Roland Emmerich, director of The Day After and 2012: in the near future, our world’s weather has drastically changed as a result of today’s environmental issues (including global warming). Floods wash over major cities. Coral reefs dissolve from supersaturated salt water. The Arctic permafrost melts, releasing huge amounts of methane gas into the atmosphere. Using climate-model projections to forecast tomorrow’s (potential) weather, the author takes us through the next 40-odd years, painting a rather gloomy picture of what’s in store for our planet and offering some suggestions about what we can do today to avoid catastrophe. Some readers might dismiss the book as a manifestation of Chicken Little syndrome, but others, noting the author’s calm, reasonable tone and sensible extrapolations from present-day phenomena, will no doubt conclude that this is a woman to whom attention must be paid. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061726885
  • ASIN: B0058M5I4I
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,563,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Heidi Cullen is a senior research scientist with Climate Central, a non-profit research organization through which she reports on climate for outlets including PBS NewsHour, and The Weather Channel. Before joining Climate Central, Dr. Cullen served as The Weather Channel's first on-air climate expert and helped create Forecast Earth, the first weekly television series to focus on issues related to climate change and the environment. She is a visiting lecturer at Princeton University, a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society and is an Associate Editor of the journal Weather, Climate, Society. She has appeared on Good Morning America, The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, The View, and Larry King Live. She holds a B.S. in engineering and a Ph.D. in climatology from Columbia University and lives with her husband and two dogs in Princeton, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By R. Bono on August 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cullen's book is a good review of climatological information. For me, it fills in the blanks of my knowledge on the subject. Right from the beginning, she establishes a perspective that's missing from the generally available information. She begins with the history of climate science, nicely describing in chronological order, the individuals who made the early breakthroughs that bring us to our moment, with our much more sophisticated multi-model, super-computer averaged, long term climate forecasts.

She explains clearly the relationship of the earth's natural greenhouse gasses, including water vapor, methane, and the pivotal role of carbon dioxide, as the geo-historic regulator gas, which has directly effected the planet's temperature. In fact, like many other scientists, she points out, without irony, how modern society continues to relentlessly release these very gasses...through the burning of oil, coal, and natural gas. Gases, which took nature thousands of years to sequester...modern society releases in little more than a century. Thus our "forcings" are unwittingly reestablishing the same conditions of an earlier greenhouse earth...a much warmer place than today.

Of particular interest to me, is her explication of the contribution of Charles Keeling of Caltech, who single handedly had the insight to build the first instruments to measure accurately the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Keeling began his work in 1958, when he measured carbon dioxide at 315 ppm. Since, his work has closely described, with exquisitely sensitive data, a rise to 385 ppm by 2008. This is the highest carbon dioxide level in 800,000 years.

This book is also clear about the human reasons, why global warming is so low in the public's perception of what constitutes a crisis.
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Format: Hardcover
Heidi Cullen is perhaps the most well- known climatologist in America. She has in the past taken to task those weather broadcasters who have no real scientific knowledge of more long- range climate patterns. In this book she makes a valiant educational effort to teach the wider public the more long- range consquences of continued global warming. She chooses seven different areas of the world and projects dramatic scenarios for midcentury which will come as result of failure to curb our appetite for fossil fuels.
Drought in central California, flooding in Bangladesh which makes millions homeless, New York infrastructure under water are among these. Cullen makes vivid the disastrous storms, floods, droughts, which are headed humanity's way. She also suggests that climate- changes will be a source of more intense political and military conflict.
She argues that most of us associate global- warming with the melting of the ice- cap only and do not connect this with the everyday weather we are experiencing. I can only say that one of my major reasons for interest in this book is the weather I have been experiencing over the past two weeks ( Late July Early August 2010) in Jerusalem Israel. In my thirty- five years
here I have never seen or felt anything like it. The sheer discomfort alone is I believe reason enough to be alarmed at what is happening.
My own small personal experience aside. This book will give its readers a good overall understanding of one of the most urgent problems facing humanity today.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Weather of the Future by Heidi Cullen

"The Weather of the Future" is a book that describes how global warming is impacting our climate today and how it will impact our planet's future. With a sound scientific approach renowned climatologist Heidi Cullen provides an interesting insight into climate change by taking us through a journey of seven of the most at-risk locations around the globe and what global warming is projected to do to those areas. This 352-page book is composed of the following two main parts: Part 1. Your Weather is Your Climate and Part 2. The Weather of the Future.

1. Well researched, well-written book.
2. Good explanation of scientific terms that is accessible to the masses.
3. This is a science book at heart. There is no partisan politics to speak of. Ms. Cullen is strictly concerned with the science of the issue and does so with conviction.
4. The difference between weather and climate...time.
5. A great look at climate history and the scientists that made it so.
6. A very good explanation of all the greenhouse gases and their impact. Carbon as the secret ingredient in adjusting the natural thermostat.
7. The mechanisms of weather predictions. Weather models.
8. The link between weather forecasting and the economy.
9. The evolution of the weather models.
10. Fantastic explanation on why the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is raising temperatures.
11. A more extreme planet...find out why.
12. Ms. Cullen never overextends herself. She tells you what we know and what we don't know based on the best evidence possible from the best sources possible.
13. Evolution for good measure.
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