- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199592268
- ISBN-13: 978-0199592265
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes 1st Edition
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About the Author
Bill McGuire is an academic, science writer and broadcaster. He is currently Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at UCL. Bill was a member of the UK Government Natural Hazard Working Group established in January 2005, in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami, and in 2010 a member of the Science Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE) addressing the Icelandic volcanic ash problem. His current research focus is the climate forcing of geological hazards. His books include Natural Hazards & Environmental Change, A Guide to the End of the World: Everything you Never Wanted to Know, Surviving Armageddon: Solutions for a Threatened Planet and - most recently - Seven Years to Save the Planet. He presented the BBC Radio 4 series, Disasters in Waiting and Scientists Under Pressure and the End of the World Reports on Channel 5 and Sky News.
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Top Customer Reviews
In my opinion, this book is a well written fascinating read, and I have recommended this book to many of my friends and professional peers.
The book's author, Bill McGuire, has deepened my knowledge of various ice ages and sea level changes throughout the evolution of our planet.
The theme flowing throughout the book is an exploration relative to the potential impacts of our human anthropogenic influences on weather; sea level; volcanic activity; climate change; glacier and polar ice melting, and other changes that may threaten survival of human civilization and other life forms. To that end, this book is successful in opening our minds to historical geological data - especially, data that documents historic atmospheric scenarios similar to what we have today.
I also enjoyed learning about: the volcanic eruption from 74,000 years ago that almost caused the extinction of our human race; how the moon and sun push and pull on our tectonic plates; the new measurement scale for earthquakes; how dams cause earthquakes; how earthquakes occur when ice pressure is removed; history of how water causes mega landslides on land and beneath the ocean; how 10 to 50 times the quantity of water in our Earth's oceans is locked deep in our planet's interior; how volatile and destructive methane gas, locked in gas hydrates beneath ice and oceans, can virtually change our Earth's climate overnight.
Regardless of one's background - if you want to get an overview of climate change and global warming, and see through the garbage being circulated by today's special interests and television's uninformed and manipulated talking heads - READ THIS BOOK.
Professor McGuire was one of our earliest scientific prophets of world-wide disaster, and has published many books and papers on the subject, including Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction. His newest book, "Waking the Giant" (2011) concentrates on the mechanisms by which climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. This book does not rehash arguments for and against the reality of climate change. It assumes anthropogenic climate change is a fact and moves on to detail our vulnerability to the geological manifestations caused by the rapid warming of our planet.
Our planet's past is the key by which this author predicts our future: "rapid and dramatic environmental changes in the past, particularly at times of major climate transition, have...elicited a considerable response at the Earth's surface and beneath. Many geological systems such as extant volcanoes, active faults, and unstable slopes are shown to be often critically poised so that even tiny external perturbations can be capable of triggering reactions in the form, respectively, of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides."
When is the most logical time in our planet's past to determine how rapid climate changes drive geological catastrophes? Warm episodes with carbon-enriched atmospheres and rapidly melting ice sheets provide a good analogue to current conditions. What Professor McGuire and other scientists have discovered during these periods is what makes reading this book like watching a horror movie in slow-motion. In these pages, monstrous catastrophes bound toward us out of the past as a preview of our future. Landslide activity in mountainous regions around the world already seems to be increasing: "In the Andes, where 18,000 died in 1970, obliterated by a massive rock and ice avalanche triggered by an offshore earthquake, progressively rising temperatures are likely to seriously increase the landslide risk to those towns and villages huddled beneath the world's longest land-hosted mountain range."
This book provides a disturbing, well-documented scenario for what our future will be like when the slumbering giant beneath our feet wakens once again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"This [book] is NOT intended as a speculative rant based upon...hearsay, unfounded data, and unverifiable observation, but a straightforward presentation of what...Read more