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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: Twenty thousand years ago our planet was an icehouse. Temperatures were down six degrees; ice sheets kilometres thick buried much of Europe and North America and sea levels we more...
Amazon Says: Twenty thousand years ago our planet was an icehouse. Temperatures were down six degrees; ice sheets kilometres thick buried much of Europe and North America and sea levels were 130m lower. The following 15 millennia saw an astonishing transformation as our planet metamorphosed into the temperate world upon which our civilisation has grown and thrived. One of the most dynamic periods in Earth history saw rocketing temperatures melt the great ice sheets like butter on a hot summer's day; feeding torrents of freshwater into ocean basins that rapidly filled to present levels. The removal of the enormous weight of ice at high latitudes caused the crust to bounce back triggering earthquakes in Europe and North America and provoking an unprecedented volcanic outburst in Iceland. A giant submarine landslide off the coast of Norway sent a tsunami crashing onto the Scottish coast while around the margins of the continents the massive load exerted on the crust by soaring sea levels encouraged a widespread seismic and volcanic rejoinder. In many ways, this post-glacial world mirrors that projected to arise as a consequence of unmitigated climate change driven by human activities. Already there are signs that the effects of climbing global temperatures are causing the sleeping giant to stir once again. Could it be that we are on track to bequeath to our children and their children not only a far hotter world, but also a more geologically fractious one? less...
Amazon

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...
Amazon

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...
Amazon
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