Popular science writer and paleontologist Ward presents breaking news about the link between past mass extinctions and global warming. Disarmingly engaging, Ward combines tales of his own punishing fieldwork with a piquant history of the controversies that have dogged scientists seeking the cause of the "mother of all extinctions" in the Permian period. This provides the foundation for a stunning discovery: evidence of past greenhouse extinctions. As Ward carefully parses the data and its implications, he observes, "the key to climate change seems to be both the level and the rate at which carbon dioxide rises in the atmosphere," no matter its source. Ward also illuminates the symbiosis between ocean currents and climate change, then explains why, as the northern ice cap melts, it is likely that the Atlantic conveyor current system will be altered, thus accelerating climate change. Ward asserts that humankind has flourished during a remarkable period of climatic stability and notes how tragic it will be if our carbon habit brings this boon to a catastrophic end. An important addition to the necessary literature of global warming. Donna SeamanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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For RARE EARTH:“A stellar example of clear writing . . .” (American Scientist)
“A sobering and valuable perspective . . .” (Science)