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Most of us are familiar with the term climate change but few of us understand the science behind it. We don't fully comprehend how climate change will affect us, and for that reason we might not consider it as pressing a concern as, say, housing prices or unemployment. This book explains the scientific knowledge about global climate change clearly and concisely in engaging, nontechnical language, describes how it will affect all of us, and suggests how government, business, and citizens can take action against it. This completely revised and updated edition incorporates the latest scientific research and policy initiatives on climate change. It describes recent major legislative actions, analyzes alternative regulatory tools including new uses of taxes and markets, offers increased coverage of China and other developing nations, discusses the role of social media in communicating about climate change, and provides updated assessments of the effects of climate change. The book first explains the basic scientific facts about climate change and its global impact. It discusses the nature of scientific consensus and the strong consensus of mainstream science on climate change. It then explores policy responses and corporate actions in the United States and the rest of the world, discusses how the communication of climate change information by journalists and others can be improved, and addresses issues of environmental justice -- how climate change affects the most vulnerable populations and regions. We can better tackle climate change, this book shows us, if we understand it.
Climate change is the greatest single problem we face as a planet. This important introduction skilfully guides us through the complex mix of scientific, political, social, and environmental issues to examine the manifold threats it poses and explore the possible futures for our world. Focusing on the fact that the point of no return, may in fact have already been passed, Boyd and Tompkins highlight the urgent need to start actively adapting to our changing climate if we want to avoid complete catastrophe.
Scientists have been warning the world about global warming for almost three decade. But the rest of us are only now starting to get the message. The planet is warming at an unusually rapid rate, and this warming is largely being caused by human activity. Shrinking glaciers, thawing permafrost, erratic weather and threatened freshwater supplies are already affecting the lives of people around the globe, and the worst is still to come. The crisis is real, but there is little consensus about how to confront the problem, not only because the science is complex, but because the economic, political and social implications of taking action are vast, far-reaching and unsettling.
Under certain scenarios on the subject of CO2 emissions, by the end of the century the atmospheric concentration could triple its pre-industrial level.The very large numerical models intended to anticipate the corresponding climate evolutions are designed and quantified from the laws of physics. However, little is generally known about these: genesis of clouds, terms of the greenhouse effect, solar activity intervention, etc. This book deals with the issue of climate modeling in a different way: using proven techniques for identifying black box-type models. Taking climate observations from throughout the millennia, the global models obtained are validated statistically and confirmed by the resulting simulations.This book thus brings constructive elements that can be reproduced by anyone adept at numerical simulation, whether an expert climatologist or not. It is accessible to any reader interested in the issues of climate change.
Provides students with a solid foundation in climate science, with which to understand global warming, natural climate variations, and climate models. As climate models are one of our primary tools for predicting and adapting to climate change, it is vital we appreciate their strengths and limitations. Also key is understanding what aspects of climate science are well understood and where quantitative uncertainties arise. This textbook will inform the future users of climate models and the decision-makers of tomorrow by providing the depth they need, while requiring no background in atmospheric science and only basic calculus and physics. Developed from a course that the author teaches at UCLA, material has been extensively class-tested and with online resources of colour figures, Powerpoint slides, and problem sets, this is a complete package for students across all sciences wishing to gain a solid grounding in climate science.
The global scientific and policy community now unequivocally accepts that human activities cause global climate change. Although information on climate change is readily available, the nation still seems unprepared or unwilling to respond effectively to climate change, due partly to a general lack of public understanding of climate change issues and opportunities for effective responses. The reality of global climate change lends increasing urgency to the need for effective education on earth system science, as well as on the human and behavioral dimensions of climate change, from broad societal action to smart energy choices at the household level. The public's limited understanding of climate change is partly the result of four critical challenges that have slowed development and delivery of effective climate change education. As one response to these challenges, Congress, in its 2009 and 2010 appropriation process, requested that the National Science Foundation (NSF) create a program in climate change education to provide funding to external grantees to improve climate change education in the United States. To support and strengthen these education initiatives, the Board on Science Education of the National Research Council (NRC) created the Climate Change Education Roundtable. The Roundtable convened two workshops. Climate Change Education Goals, Audiences, and Strategies is a summary of the discussions and presentations from the first workshop, held October 21 and 22, 2010. This report focuses on two primary topics: public understanding and decision maker support. It should be viewed as an initial step in examining the research on climate change and applying it in specific policy circumstances.
Climate Change Education: Engaging Family Private Forest Owners on Issues Related to Climate Change: A Workshop Summaryby Alexandra S. Beatty
The forested land in the United States is an asset that is owned and managed by federal, state, and local governments, families, and other private groups including timber investment management organizations and real estate investment trusts. The over 10 million family forestland owners manage the largest percent (35 percent) of forestland acreage and the majority (62 percent) of the privately owned forestland. The Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the stewardship of all of the nation's forests, has long worked with private owners of forestland on forest management and preservation. All forestland is facing intensified threats because of the long-term effects of global climate change. The Forest Service recognizes that family forestland owners play a key role in protecting forestland and is working to identify optimal ways to engage this diverse group and support them in mitigating threats to the biologically diverse land they own. "Climate Change Education: Engaging Family Private Forest Owners on Issues Related to Climate Change" is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council's Board on Science Education and Board on Environmental Change and Society as part of its Climate Change Education Roundtable series, to explore approaches to the challenge of preparing state foresters, extension agents, private forestry consultants, and other service providers who advise or otherwise intersect with private family forestland owners to take climate change into consideration when making decisions about their forests. The workshop focused on ways that findings from the behavioral, social, and educational sciences can be applied in engaging private individual, family, and community forestland owners in conversations about preparing for the impacts of climate change. This report discusses threats to forests posed by climate change and human actions; private forestland owners' objectives, values, knowledge, and dispositions about forest management, climate change, and related threats; and strategies for improving communication between forestland owners and service providers with respect to forest management in the face of climate change.
Climate Change: Evidence and Causes is a jointly produced publication of The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society. Written by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists and reviewed by climate scientists and others, the publication is intended as a brief, readable reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative information on the some of the questions that continue to be asked.
California is synonymous with opportunity, prosperity, and natural beauty, but climate change will certainly influence the state's future. Changes will affect the economy, natural resources, public health, agriculture, and the livelihoods of its residents. But how big is the risk? How will Californians adapt? What will it cost? This book is the first to ask and attempt to answer these and other questions so central to the long-term health of the state. While California is undeniably unique and diverse, the challenges it faces will be mirrored everywhere. This succinct and authoritative review of the latest evidence suggests feasible changes that can sustain prosperity, mitigate adverse impacts of climate change, and stimulate research and policy dialog across the globe. The authors argue that the sooner society recognizes the reality of climate change risk, the more effectively we can begin adaptation to limit costs to present and future generations. They show that climate risk presents a new opportunity for innovation, supporting aspirations for prosperity in a lower carbon, climate altered future where we can continue economic progress without endangering the environment and ourselves.
This book reconstructs climatic changes in deserts and their margins at a variety of scales in space and time. It draws upon evidence from land and sea, including desert dunes, wind-blown dust, river and lake sediments, glacial moraines, plant and animal fossils, isotope geochemistry, speleothems, soils, and prehistoric archaeology. The book summarises the Cenozoic evolution of the major deserts of the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Australia and the causes of historic floods and droughts. The book then considers the causes and consequences of desertification and proposes four key conditions for achieving ecologically sustainable use of natural resources in arid and semi-arid areas. Climate Change in Deserts is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students interested in the climate and geomorphology of deserts: geographers, geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, soil scientists, hydrologists, climatologists and natural resource managers.
Climate Change in Developing Countries: Results from the Netherlands Climate Change Studies Assistance Programmeby R. Lasage C. Dorlands M. A. van Drunen
This book presents an overview of the studies conducted by the Netherlands Climate Change Studies Assistance program. The program was set up in recognition of the need for developing countries, in particular, to face the challenges confronting all countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The book presents an overview of the main results in 13 countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Mali, Mongolia, Senegal, Suriname, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe. It provides a critical evaluation of the methodologies and approaches used, a cross-country synthesis and recommendations for further studies. Subjects dealt with include not only impact studies, but also vulnerability and adaptation, mitigation and climate related policy.
Public and media interest in the climate change issue has increased exponentially in recent years. Climate change, or "global warming," is a complex problem with far-reaching social and economic impacts. Climate Change in the 21st Century brings together all the major aspects of global warming to give a state of the art description of our collective understanding of this phenomenon and what can be done to counteract it on both the local and global scale. Stewart Cohen and Melissa Waddell explain and clarify the different ways of approaching the study of climate change and the fundamental ideas behind them. From a history of climate change research to current attempts to mitigate its impact such as the Kyoto Protocol and carbon trading, they explore key ideas from many fields of study, outlining the environmental and human dimensions of global warming. Climate Change in the 21st Century goes beyond climate modeling to investigate interdisciplinary attempts to measure and forecast the complex impacts of future climate change on communities, how we assess their vulnerability, and how we plan to adapt our society. The book explores the impact of climate change on different ecosystems as well as what the social and economic understanding of this phenomenon can tell us; it also links discussions of climate change with the global discourse of sustainable development. Climate Change in the 21st Century provides a comprehensive, understandable, but academically informed introduction to the world's biggest challenge for both students and concerned citizens.
The polar regions have experienced some remarkable environmental changes in recent decades, such as the Antarctic ozone hole, the loss of large amounts of sea ice from the Arctic Ocean and major warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. The polar regions are also predicted to warm more than any other region on Earth over the next century if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise. Yet trying to separate natural climate variability from anthropogenic factors still presents many problems. This book presents a thorough review of how the polar climates have changed over the last million years and sets recent changes within a long term perspective. The approach taken is highly cross-disciplinary and the close links between the atmosphere, ocean and ice at high latitudes are stressed. The volume will be invaluable for researchers and advanced students in polar science, climatology, global change, meteorology, oceanography and glaciology.
As frustration mounts in some quarters at the perceived inadequacy or speed of international action on climate change, and as the likelihood of significant impacts grows, the focus is increasingly turning to liability for climate change damage. Actual or potential climate change liability implicates a growing range of actors, including governments, industry, businesses, non-governmental organisations, individuals and legal practitioners. Climate Change Liability provides an objective, rigorous and accessible overview of the existing law and the direction it might take in seventeen developed and developing countries and the European Union. In some jurisdictions, the applicable law is less developed and less the subject of current debate. In others, actions for various kinds of climate change liability have already been brought, including high profile cases such as Massachusetts v. EPA in the United States. Each chapter explores the potential for and barriers to climate change liability in private and public law.
While no supranational institutions exist to govern climate change in North America, a system of cooperation among a diverse range of actors and institutions is currently emerging. Given the range of interests that influence climate policy across political boundaries, can these distinct parts be integrated into a coherent, and ultimately resilient system of regional climate cooperation?Climate Change Policy in North America is the first book to examine how cooperation respecting climate change can emerge within decentralized governance arrangements. Leading scholars from a variety of disciplines provide in-depth case studies of climate cooperation initiatives - such as emissions trading, energy cooperation, climate finance, carbon accounting and international trade - as well as analysis of the institutional, political, and economic conditions that influence climate policy integration.
Environmental activists provide a reference summarizing the climate science and policy, historical developments, current controversies and debates, and proposed solutions. They also profile important people and organizations, identify publications and Web sites with more information, and provide a chronology and texts of relevant documents.
The warming of the Earth has been the subject of intense debate and concern for many scientists, policy-makers, and citizens for at least the past decade. Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, a new report by a committee of the National Research Council, characterizes the global warming trend over the last 100 years, and examines what may be in store for the 21st century and the extent to which warming may be attributable to human activity.
The indoor environment affects occupants' health and comfort. Poor environmental conditions and indoor contaminants are estimated to cost the U. S. economy tens of billions of dollars a year in exacerbation of illnesses like asthma, allergic symptoms, and subsequent lost productivity. Climate change has the potential to affect the indoor environment because conditions inside buildings are influenced by conditions outside them. Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health addresses the impacts that climate change may have on the indoor environment and the resulting health effects. It finds that steps taken to mitigate climate change may cause or exacerbate harmful indoor environmental conditions. The book discusses the role the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should take in informing the public, health professionals, and those in the building industry about potential risks and what can be done to address them. The study also recommends that building codes account for climate change projections; that federal agencies join to develop or refine protocols and testing standards for evaluating emissions from materials, furnishings, and appliances used in buildings; and that building weatherization efforts include consideration of health effects. Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health is written primarily for the EPA and other federal agencies, organizations, and researchers with interests in public health; the environment; building design, construction, and operation; and climate issues.
The current frenzy over global warming has galvanized the public and cost taxpayers billons of dollars in federal expenditures for climate research. It has spawned Hollywood blockbusters and inspired major political movements. It has given a higher calling to celebrities and built a lucrative industry for scores of eager scientists. In short, ending climate change has become a national crusade.And yet, despite this dominant and sprawling campaign, the facts behind global warming remain as confounding as ever.In Climate Confusion, distinguished climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer observes that our obsession with global warming has only clouded the issue. Forsaking blindingly technical statistics and doomsday scenarios, Dr. Spencer explains in simple terms how the climate system really works, why man's role in global warming is more myth than science, and how the global warming hype has corrupted Washington and the scientific community.The reasons, Spencer explains, are numerous: biases in governmental funding of scientific research, our misconceptions about science and basic economics, even our religious beliefs and worldviews. From Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio, the climate change industry has given a platform to leading figures from all walks of life, as pandering politicians, demagogues and biased scientists forge a self-interested movement whose proposed policy initiatives could ultimately devastate the economies of those developing countries they purport to aid.
Talk of global warming is nearly inescapable these days - but there are some who believe the concept of climate change is an elaborate hoax. Despite the input of the world's leading climate scientists, the urgings of politicians, and the outcry of many grassroots activists, many Americans continue to ignore the warning signs of severe climate shifts. How did this happen? Climate Cover-up seeks to answer this question, describing the pollsters and public faces who have crafted careful language to refute the findings of environmental scientists. Exploring the PR techniques, phony "think tanks," and funding used to pervert scientific fact, this book serves as a wake-up call to those who still wish to deny the inconvenient truth.
Every day brings new headlines about climate change as politicians debate how to respond, scientists offer new data, and skeptics critique the validity of the research. To step outside these scientific and political debates, Timothy Leduc engages with various Inuit understandings of northern climate change. What he learns is that today's climate changes are not only affecting our environments, but also our cultures. By focusing on the changes currently occurring in the north, he highlights the challenges being posed to Western climate research, Canadian politics and traditional Inuit knowledge. Climate, Culture, Change sheds light on the cultural challenges posed by northern warming and proposes an intercultural response that is demonstrated by the blending of Inuit and Western perspectives.
Preventing risks of severe damage from climate change not only requires deep cuts in developed country greenhouse gas emissions, but enormous amounts of public and private investment to limit emissions while promoting green growth in developing countries. While attention has focused on emissions limitations commitments and architectures, the crucial issue of what must be done to mobilize and govern the necessary financial resources has received too little consideration. In Climate Finance, a leading group of policy experts and scholars shows how effective mitigation of climate change will depend on a complex mix of public funds, private investment through carbon markets, and structured incentives that leave room for developing country innovations. This requires sophisticated national and global regulation of cap-and-trade and offset markets, forest and energy policy, international development funding, international trade law, and coordinated tax policy.Thirty-six targeted policy essays present a succinct overview of the emerging field of climate finance, defining the issues, setting the stakes, and making new and comprehensive proposals for financial, regulatory, and governance mechanisms that will enrich political and policy debate for many years to come. The complex challenges of climate finance will continue to demand fresh insights and creative approaches. The ideas in this volume mark out starting points for essential institutional and policy innovations.
Why has the world been unable to address global warming? Science policy expert Roger Pielke, Jr. , says it's not the fault of those who reject the Kyoto Protocol, but those who support it, and the magical thinking that the agreement represents. In The Climate Fix, Pielke offers a way to repair climate policy, shifting the debate away from meaningless targets and toward a revolution in how the world's economy is powered, while de-fanging the venomous politics surrounding the crisis. The debate on global warming has lost none of its power to polarize and provoke in a haze of partisan vitriol. The Climate Fix will bring something new to the discussions: a commonsense perspective and practical actions better than any offered so far.
Why has the world been unable to address global warming? Science policy expert Roger Pielke, Jr., says it's not the fault of those who reject the Kyoto Protocol, but those who support it, and the magical thinking that the agreement represents. In The Climate Fix, Pielke offers a way to repair climate policy, shifting the debate away from meaningless targets and toward a revolution in how the world's economy is powered, while de-fanging the venomous politics surrounding the crisis. The debate on global warming has lost none of its power to polarize and provoke in a haze of partisan vitriol. The Climate Fix will bring something new to the discussions: a commonsense perspective and practical actions better than any offered so far.
In The Climate Fix, Roger Pielke, Jr., a political scientist and a world-renowned expert on he intersection of politics and science, dissects the climate debate and diagnoses what has gone wrong and who's to blame for the mess. His answers will surprise you--it is the people who are best positioned to see clearly why we need to respond to climate change who are, more often than not, the people who get in the way of anything being accomplished. How is that possible? Quite simply, it's because most supporters of action on climate change, whether scientists, politicians, or activists, have gotten caught up in a vicious cycle. It begins with the belief that there is insufficient political will for action. Fixing this, it is assumed, requires that everyone agree on all aspects of climate change--both the dangers and the remedies. Accomplishing that means scaring people in the hope that fear will accomplish what reason has not. Fear often requires politicizing science, shaping its presentation in an effort to motivate a specific political outcome. But rather than making action more likely the posturing reinforces a state of inaction. Thus the cycle continues, and its malign influence can be felt in all quarters, from the halls of government and academia to the newspaper and your favorite dog. Pielke lays these problems bare for all to see. But he does more than just wag his finger. The Climate Fix presents first steps on a better path, one that returns to what really matters in the climate debate: expanding energy access (including for the 1.3 billion people worldwide who have none) and increasing energy security while lowering costs through technological innovation. Without those goals, Pielke argues, well never wean ourselves off carbon-heavy energy, whatever the hard-core environmentalists say. With them, we can not only help save our own lives but also improve everyone's, and turn a vicious cycle into a virtuous one. It is time to do something about climate change. We can keep trying to do it the old way, or we can try something new, something offensive to neither our livelihoods nor our common sense. The choice, even after years of muddy debate, should be clear. Which will you choose?
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