Global Warming

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Global Warming

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Mar 20, 2008, 7:46pm

I haven't seen this topic mentioned much in LT groups. Is anyone familiar with good books on the subject of global warming?

Mar 22, 2008, 11:27pm

I just fininshed reading Environmental Change by Andrew Goudie a couple months ago and I would highly recommend it.

First off, his book isn't about "global warming", it is about the study of climate change and he does an excellent job of covering the science and history of climate change theories, including the modern day phenomenan of global warming.

Here is the book info;

Environmental Change (Contemporary Problems in Geography)
Andrew Goudie
Oxford University Press, USA (1992)
ISBN 0198741677

Mar 25, 2008, 12:01am

I am certainly no expert, but had this question asked of me a few times. But first, Dixon has a very good point. Global warming and climate change are closely related, but separate issues.

Frankly, I do not believe we have enough data over long enough time to predict climate change. I did a bit of research into human-caused global warming (i.e. the greenhouse gas popular topic). I gave two viewpoint extremes as examples in a posting on my website. It may help with deciding what to question as far as the greenhouse gases part in the picture.

In short, State of Fear by Michael Crichton dogs environmentalists pretty hard, but has some problems with facts. On the opposite end, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth (saw the documentary, but didn't read the book) has even more flawed reasoning. Basically, we do not have enough data over long enough time to really know what's going to happen with climate change or for how long.

For a scholarly view of the subject of climate change, Dixon's suggestion is probably of vastly more assistance. For a very generalist view on the extremes in greenhouse gas causing global warming (only 2 pages), please go to, 2007 07-13 FL Aventura.

Good luck figuring out the truth behind such an emotionally and politically charged topic with "scientific" evidences supporting damn near all views!

Mar 27, 2008, 11:42pm

I would disagree with one point there MS, I think there is enough data to predict what is going to happen with climate change, to a degree (no pun intended).

The data on climate change actually goes back a 100,000 years. Studies of the oxygen isotope ratios in ice cores and the palynology of deep sea core sediments have revealed a lot. In addition, we have dendrochronologic data going back thousands of years and human records go back around 500 years. Plus there is pedological, paleomagnetic geological, and spelological data as well (a whole lot of 'ogicals!)

Add in the fact that the Milankovitch cycles and the Cenozoic climate decline (believed to be the beginning of the Quaternary glacial cycles) seem to correlate very closely with the paleoclimatic data and I'd say its a safe bet the cycle of glacials and interglacials (cooling and warming) that have been documented for the past, and predicted for the future, are pretty darn accurate.

Now, that being said. I agree with you in the sense that I don't think we have enough data, in any way shape or form, to predict how human civilization has impacted (or will impact) the climate.

Mar 28, 2008, 6:18am

#3 - the basic science is incontestible, CO2 absorbs heat, but is transparent to higher energy rays, therefore more CO2 = hotter air. (you can test this in any school lab with an IR spectrometer)

What effect this will have on climate is a different and difficult question, and whether CO2 levels are changing significantly enough to be the main driver of this change is also difficult.

THe IPCC reports are probably worth studying available online - here.
These are likely to be the reports least susceptible to bias.

Editado: Mar 28, 2008, 9:40pm

Wow Dixon, I’m impressed! So, given all that ‘ological data (had to get the dictionary out for palynology!), this climate warming trend is predicted to last for how long? Or are we in a warming trend?

Not being flippant, but, according to some regarding the Milankovitch cycles, we are in a cooling trend, have been for about 6,000 years, and it is expected to last another 23,000 years. But, I admit that I find the different attributes of Milankovitch’s eccentricity, obliquity, and wobble confusing. Where in this confusing array of cycles did the book conclude we are?

Nice pun, too!

Ene 18, 2010, 4:27am

I think I will have to read Andrew Goudie's book, I've been concerned about the atmosphere since the 40s when viewing the haze above our Towns & Cities from my small village. Breathing in exhaust fumes when cycling along a busy road reinforced my concerns. I do believe however that our planet can regulate atmospheric conditions eventually though we may not enjoy the way it does it. What concerns me at present is the rapid loss of rainforests; they are called the 'Lungs of the planet' for a reason.

Mar 24, 2011, 12:37pm

I have just obtained a copy of Heat: How we can stop the planet burning by British Guardian newspaper columnist George Monbiot. I haven't read the book yet but look forward to doing so. At the same time I got The Politics of Climate Change by Anthony Giddens.

Mar 24, 2011, 2:32pm

I'm about 2/3 through The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer Weart. It's not exactly a page-turner, but it is a useful history, going back to the late 1800s, about scientific developments re effects of industrialization, causes of ice ages, computer modeling of interdependent processes, etc.

Mar 26, 2011, 11:37am

"Six Degrees" (which explores the types of impacts and devastation with each additional degree centigrade increase in average global temperature), "Hot: Living through the Next Fifty Years" (which emphasizes adaptation rather than mitigation), and ging back to basics--published in the 80s--Stephen Schneider's "The Coevolution of Climate and Life."

Mar 26, 2011, 4:09pm

Paleoclimatology by Thomas M. Cronin; just started but quite engaging so far. Note that although a good part of the book is devoted to Recent (in the geological sense) climate change, it starts off in the Proterozoic.

Abr 30, 2011, 2:28pm

I'm currently reading A View from Lazy Point. Excellent. Depressing.

Jun 20, 2011, 6:54pm

I'm surprised The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery has not been mentioned yet, given its degree of acclaim.

Jul 27, 2011, 11:43pm

Finally finished Paleoclimatology; encyclopediac in scope.

Jul 20, 2013, 3:21pm

>13 wingbeat:
I just finished The Weather Makers for the second time since 2011. Excellent. With a TBR pile of 1000+, I don't tend to re-read books. This one's exceptional.

Editado: Ago 30, 2013, 12:37pm

Here's a 2011 title I just recommended on the other Global Warming thread in this LT group:

The Weather of the Future: heat waves, extreme storms, and other scenes from a climate-changed planet

Heidi Cullen, PhD, is a climatologist who I first saw on the Weather Channel on TV, but she moved on to better things after Clear Channel bought The Weather Channel. She also has a Twitter feed and at least one online forum.

The professional journalist Mark Hertsgaard has written Hot: living through the next fifty years on earth. That's from 2012.

For a completely different explanation of why our planetary system is experiencing warming, and not just the Earth, here's a thread from the free website Above Top Secret (you will see fewer ads there if you become a member):

See especially the astounding graphics.