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Megastorm

The almost unimaginable devastation and human suffering wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has raised questions about the nature of storms such as this and last year’s Superstorm Sandy. Are these types of events linked to climate change? The scientific consensus seems to be that no single event can be attributed to global warming, but that the great swings in weather conditions we are witnessing - extremes of heat, cold, drought, torrential rains, etc. - are likely the result of climate change. Read some of the latest thinking on this topic in the following titles from Richland Library’s collection.


Amazon Says: Deniers of climate change sometimes quip that claims about global warming are more about political science than climate science. They are wrong on the science, but may be rig more...
Amazon Says: Deniers of climate change sometimes quip that claims about global warming are more about political science than climate science. They are wrong on the science, but may be right with respect to its political implications. A hotter world, writes Andrew Guzman, will bring unprecedented migrations, famine, war, and disease. It will be a social and political disaster of the first order. In Overheated, Guzman takes climate change out of the realm of scientific abstraction to explore its real-world consequences. He writes not as a scientist, but as an authority on international law and economics. He takes as his starting point a fairly optimistic outcome in the range predicted by scientists: a 2 degree Celsius increase in average global temperatures. Even this modest rise would lead to catastrophic environmental and social problems. Already we can see how it will work: The ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred since 1998, and one estimate of the annual global death toll caused by climate change is now 300,000. That number might rise to 500,000 by 2030. He shows in vivid detail how climate change is already playing out in the real world. Rising seas will swamp island nations like Maldives; coastal food-producing regions in Bangladesh will be flooded; and millions will be forced to migrate into cities or possibly "climate-refugee camps." Even as seas rise, melting glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas will deprive millions upon millions of people of fresh water, threatening major cities and further straining food production. Prolonged droughts in the Sahel region of Africa have already helped produce mass violence in Darfur. Clear, cogent, and compelling, Overheated shifts the discussion on climate change toward its devastating impact on human societies. Two degrees Celsius seems such a minor change. Yet it will change everything. less...
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Amazon Says: The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice more...
Amazon Says: The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.Global sea levels stabilized about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta. So the curve of inexorably rising seas flattened out as urban civilizations developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade.Since 1860, the world has warmed significantly and the ocean's climb has speeded. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end. The Attacking Ocean, from celebrated author Brian Fagan, tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed but little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth. less...
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Amazon Says: This book is a thorough introduction to climate science and global change. The author is a geologist who has spent much of his life investigating the climate of Earth from a t more...
Amazon Says: This book is a thorough introduction to climate science and global change. The author is a geologist who has spent much of his life investigating the climate of Earth from a time when it was warm and dinosaurs roamed the land, to today's changing climate. Bill Hay takes you on a journey to understand how the climate system works. He explores how humans are unintentionally conducting a grand uncontrolled experiment which is leading to unanticipated changes. We follow the twisting path of seemingly unrelated discoveries in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and even mathematics to learn how they led to our present knowledge of how our planet works. He explains why the weather is becoming increasingly chaotic as our planet warms at a rate far faster than at any time in its geologic past. He speculates on possible future outcomes, and suggests that nature itself may make some unexpected course corrections. Although the book is written for the layman with little knowledge of science or mathematics, it includes information from many diverse fields to provide even those actively working in the field of climatology with a broader view of this developing drama. Experimenting on a Small Planet is a must read for anyone having more than a casual interest in global warming and climate change - one of the most important and challenging issues of our time. less...
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Amazon Says: An astonishing transformation over the last 20,000 years has seen our planet changed from a frigid wasteland into the temperate world within which our civilization has grown a more...
Amazon Says: An astonishing transformation over the last 20,000 years has seen our planet changed from a frigid wasteland into the temperate world within which our civilization has grown and thrived. This dynamic episode in our planet's history, right at the close of the Ice Age, saw not only a huge temperature hike but also the Earth's crust bouncing and bending in response to the melting of the great ice sheets and the filling of the ocean basins--dramatic geophysical events that triggered earthquakes, spawned tsunamis, and provoked a series of eruptions from the world's volcanoes. In Waking the Giant, Bill McGuire argues that now that human activities are driving climate change as rapidly as anything seen in post-glacial times, the sleeping giant beneath our feet is stirring once again. When and if it finally wakes, we should all be afraid--very afraid. Could we be leaving our children not only a far hotter world, but a more geologically unstable one too? less...
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Amazon Says: As long as the human species has existed, men and women have had to contend with the unpredictable forces of nature. Geographer Barry A. Vann brings a unique perspective to th more...
Amazon Says: As long as the human species has existed, men and women have had to contend with the unpredictable forces of nature. Geographer Barry A. Vann brings a unique perspective to this age-old struggle in this illuminating overview of human population shifts and their precarious relationship with climate change and geography. Vann takes us on a journey along the migration routes of the earliest modern humans and tells why our ancestors chose to settle down in places that can be best described as natural utopias. In the religiously oriented worldview of ancient peoples, such places took on a sacred aura of divine favor. Similarly, destructive events such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes were interpreted as expressions of divine wrath. Vann shows how the ancient texts of the Bible and the Qur’an offer glimpses of past climates that were distinctly different from the climate of our time. He also discusses the rise of technology as a means of controlling the threatening features of the natural world. Though technology has enabled humanity to cope with hostile climates, it has also created a false sense of security. Vann notes that population clusters are increasing in dangerous areas and that no technology can protect vulnerable groups from major-category hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes. Finally, he considers our current anxieties regarding global warming, pointing out that this focus has obscured a good deal of historical and geological evidence for a return of another ice age. The Forces of Nature offers a challenging perspective on the precarious balance between fragile human communities and their often-threatening environments. less...
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Amazon Says: Produced by Climate Central—a highly regarded independent, nonprofit journalism and research foundation founded in 2008—and reviewed by scientists at major educational and more...
Amazon Says: Produced by Climate Central—a highly regarded independent, nonprofit journalism and research foundation founded in 2008—and reviewed by scientists at major educational and research institutions the world over, Global Weirdness summarizes, in clear and accessible prose, everything we know about the science of climate change; explains what is likely to happen to the climate in the future; and lays out in practical terms what we can and cannot do to avoid further shifts.   Sixty easy-to-read entries tackle such questions as: Is climate ever “normal”? Why and how do fossil-fuel burning and other human practices produce greenhouse gases? What natural forces have caused climate change in the past? What risks does climate change pose for human health? What accounts for the diminishment of mountain glaciers and small ice caps around the world since 1850? What are the economic costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions?   Global Weirdness enlarges our understanding of how climate change affects our daily lives, and arms us with the incontrovertible facts we need to make informed decisions about the future of the planet and of humankind. With black-and-white images interspersed throughout. less...
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Amazon Says: The vast majority of scientists agree that human activity has significantly increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere--most dramatically since the 1970s. Yet global warming more...
Amazon Says: The vast majority of scientists agree that human activity has significantly increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere--most dramatically since the 1970s. Yet global warming skeptics and ill-informed elected officials continue to dismiss this broad scientific consensus. In this new edition of his authoritative book, MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel--a political conservative--outlines the basic science of global warming and how the current consensus has emerged. He also covers two major developments that have occurred since the first edition: the most recent round of updated projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate simulations, and the so-called "climategate" incident that heralded the subsequent collapse of popular and political support in the United States for dealing with climate change. less...
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Amazon Says: Despite commitments to renewable energy and two decades of international negotiations, global emissions continue to rise. Coal, the most damaging of all fossil fuels, has actu more...
Amazon Says: Despite commitments to renewable energy and two decades of international negotiations, global emissions continue to rise. Coal, the most damaging of all fossil fuels, has actually risen from 25% to almost 30% of world energy use. And while European countries have congratulated themselves on reducing emissions, they have increased their carbon imports from China and other developing nations, who continue to expand their coal use. As standards of living increase in developing countries, coal use can only increase as well—and global temperatures along with it.In this hard-hitting book, Dieter Helm looks at how and why we have failed to tackle the issue of global warming and argues for a new, pragmatic rethinking of energy policy—from transitioning from coal to gas and eventually to electrification of transport, to carbon pricing and a focus on new technologies. Lucid, compelling and rigorously researched, this book will have a lasting impact on how we think about climate change. less...
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Amazon Says: This book is the first to explore the dramatic amplification of global warming underway in cities and the range of actions that individuals and governments can undertake to sl more...
Amazon Says: This book is the first to explore the dramatic amplification of global warming underway in cities and the range of actions that individuals and governments can undertake to slow the pace of warming. A core thesis of the book is that the principal strategy currently advocated to mitigate climate change--the reduction of greenhouse gases--will not prove sufficient to measurably slow the rapid pace of warming in urban environments. Brian Stone explains the science of climate change in terms accessible to the nonscientist and with compelling anecdotes drawn from history and current events. The book is an ideal introduction to climate change and cities for students, policy makers, and anyone who wishes to gain insight into an issue critical to the future of our cities and the people who live in them. Listen to Brian Stone's interview on the Wisconsin Public Radio program, At Issues with Ben Merens. http://www.wpr.org/merens/index.cfm?strDirection=Prev&dteShowDate=2012-06-13%2016%3A00%3A00.0 less...
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Amazon Says: Living in a Dangerous Climate provides a journey through human and Earth history, showing how a changing climate has affected human evolution and society. Is it possible for h more...
Amazon Says: Living in a Dangerous Climate provides a journey through human and Earth history, showing how a changing climate has affected human evolution and society. Is it possible for humanity to evolve quickly, or is slow, gradual, genetic evolution the only way we change? Why did all other Homo species go extinct while Homo sapiens became dominant? How did agriculture, domestication, and the use of fossil fuels affect humanity's growing dominance? Do today's dominant societies - devoted as they are to Darwinism and "survival of the fittest" - contribute to our current failure to meet the hazards of a dangerous climate? Unique and thought provoking, the book links scientific knowledge and perspectives of evolution, climate change, and economics in a way that is accessible and exciting for the general reader. The book is also valuable for courses on climate change, human evolution, and environmental science. less...
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Amazon Says: A fresh take on climate change by a renowned journalist driven to protect his daughter, your kids, and the next generation who’ll inherit the problem For twenty years, Mark more...
Amazon Says: A fresh take on climate change by a renowned journalist driven to protect his daughter, your kids, and the next generation who’ll inherit the problem For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard has investigated global warming for outlets including the New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Nation. But the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change had already arrived―a century earlier than forecast―with impacts bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard's daughter Chiara, now five yea rs old, is part of what he has dubbed "Generation Hot"--the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption. HOT is a father's cry against climate change, but most of the book focuses on s olutions, offering a deeply reported blueprint for how all of us―as parents, communities, companies and countries―can navigate this unavoidable new era. Combining reporting from across the nation and around the world with personal reflections on his daugh ter’s future, Hertsgaard provides "pictures" of what is expected over the next fifty years: Chicago’s climate transformed to resemble Houston’s; dwindling water supplies and crop yields at home and abroad; the redesign of New York and other cities against mega-storms and sea-level rise. Above all, he shows who is taking wise, creative precautions. For in the end, HOT is a book about how we’ll survive. less...
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Amazon Says: Reed Timmer, a star of the top rated Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel is one of the most successful and most extreme storm chasers in the world. His is a job that requ more...
Amazon Says: Reed Timmer, a star of the top rated Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel is one of the most successful and most extreme storm chasers in the world. His is a job that requires science and bravado, knowledge and instinct just to survive, never mind excel. Now, in Into the Storm, he takes readers inside the terrifying and awe- inspiring world of big weather. Published to coincide with the fourth season's premiere, Into the Storm is Timmer's dramatic account of his extraordinary profession. Featuring stories of the three-hundred- plus extreme tornados, hurricanes, or blizzards that Timmer has watched ring-side over the last decade-storms that include the killer F5 tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma, in May 1999; the unprecedented, devastating storm surge of Hurricane Katrina; and the little-studied but enormously powerful storm systems in places like Canada and Argentina. As a Ph.D. candidate in meteorology, Timmer is after more than just an adrenaline rush-his stories feature fascinating insights into the science of storms, and how the data he is collecting will could possibly save lives. With a firsthand perspective on the storm-chasing community, Timmer also takes readers inside this world, examining his controversial obsession and the ethical debates it sparks. Featuring the same you-are-there immediacy that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Timmer's web site tornadovideos.net, every month, Into the Storm is one wild-and informative-ride. Watch a Video less...
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