- Publisher: Harper; 1 edition
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0058M5I4I
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,270,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet Hardcover
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Global warming isn't just about polar bears anymore.
Let's assume we do nothing about climate change. Imagine that we just continue to emit carbon at our current levels or even exceed those levels. How would our weather change? What would our forecast be? Welcome to The Weather of the Future.
In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Heidi Cullen, one of the world's foremost climatologists and environmental journalists, puts a vivid face on climate change, offering a new way of seeing this phenomenon not just as an event set to happen in the distant future but as something happening right now in our own backyards. Arguing that we must connect the weather of today with the climate change of tomorrow, Cullen combines the latest research from scientists on the ground with state-of-the-art climate-model projections to create climate-change scenarios for seven of the most at-risk locations around the world.
From the Central Valley of California, where coming droughts will jeopardize the entire state's water supply, to Greenland, where warmer temperatures will give access to mineral wealth buried beneath ice sheets for millennia, Cullen illustrates how, if left unabated, climate change will transform every corner of the world by midcentury. What emerges is a mosaic of changing weather patterns that collectively spell out the range of risks posed by global warming—whether it's New York City, whose infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to even a relatively weak category 3 hurricane, or Bangladesh, a country so low-lying that millions of people could become climate refugees due to rising sea levels.
Provocative and convincing, The Weather of the Future makes climate change local, showing how no two regions of the country or the world will be affected in quite the same way, and demonstrating that melting ice is just the beginning.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
"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.
14. The second part of the book takes us through a journey of seven of the most at-risk locations of the planet: The Sahel, Africa; The Great Barrier Reef, Australia; Central Valley, California; Inuit Nunaat, Canada; Greenland; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and New York, New York. Ms. Cullen
15. Great conversations with leading scientists around the globe to provide much needed wisdom.
16. The weather/climate situation of each one of the seven locations is discussed with expertise and a projection into the future based on the best models provides a fascinating look.
17. The decision to use such diverse locations of the globe was a great one. It allowed Ms. Cullen to apply the best science to each location and to put a "face" to each location thus engaging the reader in a unique manner.
18. I finally understand the impact of El Niño.
19. The fascinating world of the corals...
20. How global warming affects corals.
21. The Delta and the complications of extending a dream.
22. Fascinating facts, "Scientists will tell you that climate change is happening faster in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet".
23. Ice cores...the cold hard facts.
24. The predicament of Bangladesh.
25. New York's own predicament. Absolutely fascinating!
26. Great appendices.
27. Good use of charts and graphs.
28. The links worked great.
1. With so many great references a comprehensive bibliography would have been welcomed.
2. Some critics may claim that Ms. Cullen is an alarmist but I don't agree. Ms. Cullen's makes compelling arguments in support of her positions.
3. The epilogue was unnecessary.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book. Ms. Cullen did a wonderful job of explaining the scientific terms and in doing so clarified some things for me. The use of diverse locations allowed the author to apply the best of climatology to further explain the current and future impact of global warming. I highly recommend this book.
Further recommendations: "Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather" by Mike Smith, "Merchants of Doubt" by Erik M. Conway, "Science Under Siege" by Kendrick Frazier, and "Storms of my Grandchildren" by James Hansen.
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. Cullen, as a highly qualified, media savvy educator, with a PHD in climate science...having had her own show on the Weather Channel...describes very wisely and calmly, I think, how humans seem to be hard-wired, only for much more immanent crises...in some wonderfully insightful pages on human psychology.
Like most voices in the climate science community, Cullen is what her opponents call an "alarmist". In fact, climatologists like Cullen, ARE alarmed by the science they see becoming more and more powerful, just as our weather becomes more and more extreme. This, she demonstrates in the heart of her thesis, focusing in detail upon weather prognostications, in six world regions. This is not joyful reading. If you are a reader who dislikes such talk, then this book is not for you. But if you are one, who is willing to listen to the best of what climate science offers, Cullen should be on the top of your list.