Climate Change Science and Policy

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This is the most comprehensive and current reference resource on climate change available today. It features 49 individual chapters by some of the world’s leading climate scientists. Its five sections address climate change in five dimensions: ecological impacts; policy analysis; international considerations; United States considerations; and mitigation options to reduce carbon emissions.

In many ways, this volume supersedes the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Many important developments too recent to be treated by the 2007 IPCC documents are covered here. This book considers not only the IPCC report, but also results of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Bali in December 2007, as well as even more recent research data. Overall, Climate Change Science and Policy paints a direr picture of the effects of climate change than do the IPCC reports. It reveals that climate change has progressed faster than the IPCC reports anticipated and that the outlook for the future is bleaker than the IPCC reported.


In his prologue, John P. Holdren writes that the widely-used term “global warming” is a misnomer. He suggests that a more accurate label would be “global climatic disruption.” This volume, he states, will equip readers with all they need to know to rebut the misrepresentations being propagated by “climate-change skeptics.” No one, he writes, will be a skeptic after reading this book.

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Editorial Reviews


Climate Change Science and Policy is the first book to successfully combine a discussion of the current state of climate science with ideas for climate mitigation in a comprehensive, yet surprisingly readable, collection of papers by authors working in both the physical and social sciences....This book presents the information needed to understand the myriad issues that define this effort...Highly recommended."

Climate Change Science and Policy is the first book to successfully combine a discussion of the current state of climate science with ideas for climate mitigation in a comprehensive, yet surprisingly readable, collection of papers by authors working in both the physical and social sciences....This book presents the information needed to understand the myriad issues that define this effort...Highly recommended."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597265676
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 12/10/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen H. Schneider is the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, professor of biology, and a senior fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, at Stanford University.
Armin Rosencranz is the founder and former president of Pacific Environment.

Michael D. Mastrandrea is a consulting assistant professor at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.


Kristin Kuntz-Duriseti is managing editor at Climatic Change.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Impacts of Climate Change
Chapter 1. Climate Change Science Overview
Chapter 2. Detection and Attribution
Chapter 3. Wilde Species and Extinction
Chapter 4. Ecosystems
Chapter 5. Marine Ecosystems
Chapter 6. Water
Chapter 7. Hurricanes
Chapter 8. Wildfire
Chapter 9. Tropical Forests of Amazonia
Chapter 10. Global Crop Production and Food Security
Chapter 11. Human Health
Chapter 12. Unique and Valued PlacesPolicy Analysis
Chapter 13. Assessing Economic Impacts
Chapter 14. Integrated Assessment Modeling
Chapter 15. Risk Uncertainty and Assessing Dangerous Climate Change
Chapter 16. Risk Perceptions and Behavior
Chapter 17. What is the Economic Cost of Climate Change?
Chapter 18. Cost-Efficiency and Political Feasibility
Chapter 19. Carbon Taxes, Trading and Offsets
Chapter 20. The Cost of Reducing CO2 EmissionsInternational Considerations
Chapter 21. International Treaties
Chapter 22. EU Climate Policy
Chapter 23. Population
Chapter 24. Inequities and Imbalances
Chapter 25. Ethics, Rights and Responsibilities
Chapter 26. Developing Country Perspectives
Chapter 27. CDM and Mitigation in Developing Countries  
Chapter 28. Measuring the Clean Development Mechanism's Performance and Potential
Chapter 29. Understanding the Climate Challenge in China
Chapter 30. Climate Change and the New China
Chapter 31. India
Chapter 32. AustraliaUnited States
Chapter 33. National Policy
Chapter 34. Policy in California
Chapter 35. California's Battle for Clean Cars
Chapter 36. U.S. State Climate Action
Chapter 37. Policies to Stimulate Corporate Action
Chapter 38. Corporate Initiatives
Chapter 39. Carbonundrums: The Role of the Media
Chapter 40. Newspaper and Television Coverage
Chapter 41. Media and Public EducationMitigation Options to Reduce Carbon Emissions
Chapter 42. The Road Forward
Chapter 43. Energy Efficiency
Chapter 44. Renewable Energy
Chapter 45. Designing Energy Supply Chains Base on Hydrogen
Chapter 46. Nuclear energy
Chapter 47. Coal Capture and Storage
Chapter 48. Tropical Forests
Chapter 49. Engineering the Planet
About the Authors

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2012

    Not Recommended

    Climate change is the quintessential multi-disciplinary subject; not only from a scientific point of view in that it incorporates all of the sciences, but also because it inevitably requires that attention be paid to the social sciences and humanities. Can all of that breadth be covered well in one book? Apparently not.
    In his introduction to Climate Change Science and Policy, John Holdren, director of the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, assesses the need for such a book and concludes that such a text should have "...the amount of intellectual sustenance on climate change that is 'just right'."
    The late Stephen H. Schneider and co-editors have compiled 49 articles by 68 authors and assigned them to five broad categories - Impacts of Climate Change, Policy Analysis, International Considerations, United States and Mitigation Options to Reduce Carbon Emissions. Those section titles alone are a good indication of how poorly the book is organized. Despite the title, there are, in fact, only two chapters dealing with climate-change science and they are grouped in the section on Impacts of Climate Change. With notable exceptions, few of the articles achieve the level of quality of a good review paper in American Scientist or Scientific American. The section of an article on Detection and Attribution by Ben Santer and Tom Wigley does a fine job of laying out the controversy surrounding the satellite MSU data. And Christian Azar's chapter on the Cost of Reducing CO2 emissions concisely summarizes that most important component of the climate-change mitigation question. Many other articles could have potentially been the basis for definitive, useful summaries but were obviously constrained by the combined limitations of space, lack of color illustration and cursory editing.
    It is an unfortunate property of environmental literature that, in order to produce an effective text, one must set limits. The author(s) of environmental texts have to define their territory and address it consistently. Climate Change Science and Policy doesn't do that.
    Richard R. Pardi Environmental Science William Paterson University

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