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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Global Warming: The Complete Briefing

John Houghton's market-leading textbook is now in full color and includes the latest IPCC findings, making it the definitive guide to climate change. Written for students across a wide range of disciplines, its simple, logical flow of ideas gives an invaluable grounding in the science and impacts of climate change and highlights the need for action on global warming. Is there evidence for climate changing due to human activities? How do we account for recent extremes of weather and climate? Can global electricity provision and transport ever be carbon free? Written by a leading figure at the forefront of action to confront humanity's most serious environmental problem, this undergraduate textbook comprehensively explores these and other issues, allowing students to think through the problem, assess the data and draw conclusions on the action that should be taken, by governments, by industry and by each and every one of us.


1) Fair, balanced, scientific, non-partisan, clear. - I have to take immediate issue with the [anonymous] reviews below that claim that this book doesn't address the difference between natural climate cycling and anthropogenic climate change: that difference, in a nutshell, is PRECISELY what this book deals with. Those reviewers never read it, or failed completely to follow its line of reasoning. This is NOT a partisan, political, ideological book. It is simply a guided tour of the science of climate change, revised in 2004. It carefully parses the current research. Read the table of contents [you can click on it at the top of the page] and see that the book is organized around the following inevitable questions: Is climate changing? How much is it changing? How much of that change is caused by people? What are the likely effects, short- and long-term, of these changes? What can we do about it? In the case of climate change, despite all of the political complications that have accrued to what was originally science, these questions are PRECISELY the ones a thinking person needs to ask. To have a book structured around them, referring, as it does, to the best [scientific, independently-refereed] research is a gift. It seems that almost everybody today picks their position on climate change as part of an ideological package-deal: most American conservatives almost automatically disdain the science because the Bush White House and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter disdain it. Most American progressives almost automatically embrace the NOTION of climate change without actually knowing the science, because Al Gore, et al, have told them to. Both positions, taken in ignorance of the science, are ideolgical and symptomatic of the worst party-line politics. I urge you to read the science. It will take some effort, but that effort is our civic duty. This book has no agenda other than compiling the research and putting it before the reading public in an accessible format.

By J. V. Lewis VINE VOICE on July 12, 2006

2) Informative and stimulating overview of global warming issue - This is the first book I have read on global warming. Sir John Houghton has provided a carefully written account, with good explanations, fairly thorough referencing, and informative charts and figures. The subject of global warming is presented from a multifaceted perspective, with both informative factual material as well as elements of a personal perspective, introduced in a non-forceful but persuasive manner.
The book is aimed at those who know little about climatology or global warming. It will help to have some general scientific background. The pertinent facts - how much we have increased the atmosphere's CO2 concentration, in what way this gas effects the earth's energy balance, etc. - are available here, and the information is referenced to primary scientific sources. The prognosis for a warming of the atmosphere is gently asserted in the affirmative, but the uncertainties are also presented. Without being a climatologist, I found most of my qestions of this nature were answered. The only point I was curious about but found missing was what recent changes in glaciers tell us about the present tendency of global temperature.
After presenting the data, the models and arguing gently for a moderate warming tendency, Houghton presents several nice chapters on effects (potentially severe) and responses to the problem, with a particular emphasis on energy. The suggested responses leave one with the sense that Houghton is an optimist. He incites to action, where it is hard to imagine today's politicians asking us to change our habits so fundamentally.
This book is stimulating, both on the subject of global warming (whether or not it is occurring, how much, what is our role), as well as on the potential consequences and suitable responses. Considering that a response is advisable - a point of view which Houghton advances - one is left with a sense of the large scale of the responses which are necessary to reverse the accumulation of CO2: is mankind's ability to improvise its way out of a fix capable of dealing with a problem whose solution would require changes of this magnitude?

By on January 3, 1999

For Detail
Click –Global Warming: The Complete Briefing

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