Climate Change: Shifting Glaciers, Deserts, and Climate Belts

Overview

The Hazardous Earth is an eight-volume set that provides students with a comprehensive account of natural hazards-the geologic processes that create conditions dangerous to humans-and what can be done to minimize their effects. Designed to complement science curricula, the books present vivid accounts of historic disasters and events that have shaped history and serve as warnings for future generations.
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Overview

The Hazardous Earth is an eight-volume set that provides students with a comprehensive account of natural hazards-the geologic processes that create conditions dangerous to humans-and what can be done to minimize their effects. Designed to complement science curricula, the books present vivid accounts of historic disasters and events that have shaped history and serve as warnings for future generations.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

This detailed, concise work covers the many interrelated aspects of the phenomenon clearly. The eight chapters address such topics as natural, long-term variations; shrinking glaciers; and human effects, interspersed with mini-lessons on, for example, carbon sequestration and China's effort to tide the growth of the Gobi desert. The chapter on human contributions to global warming describes findings from the past 100 years and the conclusions of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Though this impartial discussion of "anthropogenic change" is reason enough to buy the book (and is a great complement to a viewing of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth ), there are other unexpected bonuses. For example, the explanations of how plate tectonics affects climate (which is rarely covered) and how seasons occur are both exceptionally easy to understand. Where possible, examples of changing landscapes and patterns in the United States are included, so that students in many areas of the country will easily identify with the processes discussed. Unfortunately, some of the black-and-white photographs, graphs, tables, and maps are unclear. Purchase this for the text, which will work well for students completing in-depth reports on the environment and earth science.-Henrietta Thornton-Verma, School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816064663
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Series: The Hazardous Earth Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents vii

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

1 Natural Long-term Climate Change: Atmospheric Evolution, Plate Tectonics, Supercontinents, and Solar Evolution 1

Structure of the Atmosphere 3

Evolution of the Atmosphere 9

Role of the Atmosphere in Climate Change 10

When Will the Sun Expand to Make Earth Uninhabitable? 11

Plate Tectonics and Climate 12

Supercontinents and Climate 14

Climate and Seasonality 17

Conclusion 18

2 Natural Medium- and Short-term Climate Change: Astronomical Forcing, El Nino-Southern Oscillation, Thermohaline Circulation, and Massive Volcanism 20

Astronomical Forcing of the Climate 21

Thermohaline Circulation and Climate 27

El Nino and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO) 30

Major Volcanic Eruptions and Climate Change 34

Understanding the Greenhouse Effect 35

Examples of Climate Changes Caused by Flood Basalt Volcanism 38

How Fast Can Climate Change? 40

Conclusion 41

3 Human-Induced Climate Changes 43

Temperature Variations during the Past 1,000 Years 44

Observed Short-term Climate Changes and Their Effects 47

Causes of Short-term Climate Change 49

Global Warming Holes 51

Comparison of Short-term Climate Changes with the Medium-term Paleoclimate Record 52

Sea Level Changes 53

Conclusion 56

4 Global Climate Changes That Lead to Droughts and Desert Formation 58

Processes That Lead to the Formation of Deserts 60

Is There a Drought in Las Vegas? 62

Desert Landforms 66

Wind in Deserts 68

Windblown Sand and Dust 70

Conclusion 75

5 Examples of Expanding Deserts and Drought Disasters 76

Drought Caused by Changes in Global Atmospheric Circulation 77

Drought and Desertification inthe Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa 78

China's Effort to Halt Expansion of the Gobi Desert 79

The United States Dust Bowl Period 81

Drought and Water Shortage Brought On by Population Growth 83

Shifting Deserts and Desertification 90

Conclusion 92

6 Shrinking Glaciers 93

Formation of Glaciers 95

Movement of Glaciers 96

Glaciation and Glacial Landforms 97

Glacial Transport 98

Types of Glacial Hazards 100

Sudden Draining of Glacial Lake Terentiev, by Glacier Retreat 102

Glaciers as Sensitive Indicators of Paleoclimate 106

Causes of Glaciations 108

Conclusion 108

7 Past, Present, and Future: Prediction and Mitigation of Future Climate Change 109

Global Hothouses and Global Icehouses: History of Climate Change 109

Predictions of Future Climate Changes by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 116

Shifting Climate Belts 119

Mitigation of Climate Change 120

Carbon Sequestration 122

Conclusion 125

8 Summary 127

Appendix Geological Timescale 131

Glossary 133

Further Reading and Web Sites 143

Index 149

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