Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming - The Illustrated Guide to the Findings of the IPCC Paperback – July 21, 2008
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Dire Predictions is a must read for anyone who wants the straight facts on global warming. It cuts to the heart of the massive 2007 IPCC report, presenting major scientific findings in easy to understand language and graphics. Written by two of the scientific community's most thoughtful researchers, Dire Predictions' unbiased message about global warming arrives at a time when people need it most! -- Heidi Cullen, The Weather Channel
Here's a powerful, straight-forward guide to how scientists, economists, and engineers really understand the problem of global warming. It makes 20 years of research and consensus-building completely accessible to anyone who cares to know the truth--and to do something about it. -- Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
- Item Weight : 1.23 pounds
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0756639956
- ISBN-13 : 978-0756639952
- Dimensions : 6.96 x 0.52 x 9.14 inches
- Publisher : DK Publishing; Edition Unstated (July 21, 2008)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #440,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There’s so much misinformation about climate change being spread in this country. I think I see more falsehoods and nonsense on the topic than I see useful information. Having a book, like this one, that summarizes the basics in a format that is easy to understand and remember is invaluable in this situation. The more everyone understands about the topic, the less impact the disinformation will have. Therefore this is a very important book.
The book is well written and well organized. It’s the perfect basic climate change book for the average reader. Some of my favorite sub sections were; “Fingerprints distinguish human and natural impacts on climate”, “How sensitive is the climate”, “The Faux Pause”, “Past IPCC projections, how did they do?”, and “The Ethics of Climate Change”, and also having the glossary was nice. One minor complaint I have is that the book has so many background photos and colors that it is difficult to highlight text. This is a very good book that I suggest that everyone reads.
The think this is a fine reference for one who has some science education and interest on the pressing, global issue of AGCC (anthropogenic global climate change). IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) is responsible for gathering and summarizing the empirical picture of what's going on. Dire Predictions gives graphic summaries of experimental results with text explaining the data and probably implications for present and future conditions for life on Earth, physically our sole mutual home.
Data can be daunting to make sense of, but the objective of the book is to make it available and attractively presented in hard copy. It is colorful and illustrated, often with dramatic photos in background. Scattered through the book are also QR links, like bar codes that you can scan with your smart phone to access links to relevant websites and online videos. The graphics and pictures substitute for a few thousand words. Some pages have pointers that refer you to other page numbers that provide helpful backgrounds or relevant topics
I view this as a reference that helps build knowledge as you progress through but it's not to read the chapters in sequence. I'd recommend the beginning for some vocabulary and fundamentals. The further sections of the book are Projections, Impacts, and Solutions, and can be explored in whatever order you wish. Some pages have pointers that refer you to other page numbers. I also can flip through it and peruse one by one the two-page spreads which are common throughout.
By accessing these pages randomly or more sequentially, I can either way add to my knowledge and learn what the best scientists are discovering, and how to speak the language of climate science.
What are great resources for researchers, however, are not necessarily accessible for the intelligent lay reader. For that much broader audience there is the excellent compilation of the IPCC’s findings from Professors Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump of Pennsylvania State University. The book, titled Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change—the Visual Guide to the Findings of the IPCC, is now out in its second edition.
A real strength of this book is that the authors distill what’s important, so you don’t have to. The book is visual, as the title implies. It has pictures on every page, and is chock full of key graphs from the IPCC reports. The prose is clear and concise, and is written for a Scientific American level audience (i.e., lay readers who take an intelligent interest in science and who are not scared off by graphs). If graphs aren’t your thing, you can still learn a great deal by just reading the text.
The structure of the book is very close to the 1st edition, with five major sections:
Part 1: Climate Change Basics
Part 2: Climate Change Projections
Part 3: The Impacts of Climate Change
Part 4: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change
Part 5: Solving Climate change
In each section you’ll find short (1-3 page) sections covering each key topic, so it’s relatively easy going. The 2nd edition contains 16 more pages than the 1st edition, and that new material highlights findings that have become more salient in recent years. Those new topics include:
Where is all that heat going?
Suffocating the ocean
Welcome to the Anthropocene
The 2012 North American heat wave
Comparing climate model predictions with observations
How sensitive is the climate?
Fossil-fuel emissions scenarios
The “faux pause”
Past IPCC projections: How did they do?
Tipping points, irreversibilities, and abrupt climate change
It’s all about the economy
The water-energy nexus
Dire Predictions is a wonderful summary of climate science for the lay reader, and I highly recommend it. If you pair it with Joe Romm’s Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know (which is equally readable and contains more extensive treatment of climate economics, policy, and solutions) you’ll have complete and up to date knowledge of climate change and what we can do about it. Both books together would work well as the basis for high school, college, and graduate level classes, or as the core resources for reading clubs exploring climate change. If you care about climate, these books are “best in class”.
IPCC. 2014. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press. [http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/]
IPCC. 2014. Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. : Cambridge University Press. [http://mitigation2014.org]
IPCC. 2013. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press. [http://www.climatechange2013.org]
Mann, Michael E., and Lee R. Kump. 2015. Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change–The Visual Guide to the Findings of the IPCC. 2nd ed. New York, NY: DK Publishing (A Penguin Random House Company). [http://amzn.to/1UeemaC]
Romm, Joseph. 2015. Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. [http://amzn.to/1QgZw1V]
Top reviews from other countries
E' una sintesi essenziale ma articolata e ben esposta su un tema di non semplice comprensione ai più.
Rispetto ad altri manuali ha ottime illustrazioni e - sopratutto - riporta anche le critiche (con risposte) alla tesi di un cambiamento climatico indotto dalla attività umana. Un raro esempio di divulgazione scientifica veramente ben fatta.
A book to go back to again and again as more relevant information is made known on this topic.