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The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521732550
ISBN-10: 0521732557
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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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521732557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521732550
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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. Written by two top scientists who participate in the work of the IPCC it gives you the knowledge of thousands of thousands of IPCC reports in a nutshell without oversimplification. On the contrary--the authors actually correct some of the information in the original reports and contextualize it. They use lots of helpful graphs, photos and tables to explain what we do and also what we do not yet know about the reasons for and consequences of climate change. Everybody should read this book! It's worthy of a lot more than five stars.
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