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Publishers WeeklyStager (Field Notes From the Northern Forest), a climatologist working at the University of Maine's Climate Center, provides a long-range view of climate change which is at odds with the "sky is falling" alarmist view of global warming. While not denying the effect of human activity on global climate, Stager is sharply critical of media hype and spin. As a paleoecologist, he draws on biology, chemistry, and geology-including past geological records-to situate current trends in the context of long range effects, as shown by the fossil and geological record of planetary evolution. In other words, in the aftermath of the last ice age, "...it took several millennia of melting for global sea level to stabilize near today's elevation..." He suggests that we "have prevented the next ice-age"; once predicted to happen in 50,000 years, he states that our climate activity has added another 70,000 years to that estimate. Although Stager thinks a disaster comparable to the biblical flood is unlikely, he doesn't minimize the potential devastation that could occur from even modest sea level rise or the loss of marine biodiversity. A thoughtful, if controversial, approach to an over-heated subject.
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