Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming


About the Author:
Michael E. Mann is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Meteorology and Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and the Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center

About the Author:
Lee R. Kump is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and an associate of the ...

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About the Author:
Michael E. Mann is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Meteorology and Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and the Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center

About the Author:
Lee R. Kump is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and an associate of the Penn State Earth System Science Center and the Penn State Astrobiology Research Center

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Nola Theiss
Dire Predictions helps the reader traverse the difficult terrain of climate change facts and figures through the use of photos, charts, and maps. It doesn't downplay the science behind the articles, but it really is all about presentation and the implications of that science. The authors are both professors of geosciences and they are able to make the information palatable to even the most science-phobic reader. They do this by dividing the material into an introduction that explains the credentials and methods used to develop their conclusions, followed by five chapters: Climate Change Basics; Climate Change Projects; The Impacts of Climate Change; Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change; and Solving Global Warming. While describing climate change as "one of the greatest, if not the greatest, challenge ever faced by human society," they believe that if we work together, we have a good chance of success. The book ends with a glossary and index. I found this book to be one of the clearest and easiest to digest explanations of climate change I have ever read. Students may feel called to action and the authors give them ideas of what they need to do as the newest guardians of the Earth. Reviewer: Nola Theiss
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756639952
  • Publisher: DK
  • Publication date: 7/21/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint

appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems

Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).

Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of

California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology &

Geophysics from Yale University. His research involves the use of theoretical models and

observational data to better understand Earth's climate system.

Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and

was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003.

He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA's outstanding publication award in

2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and

technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace

Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and

was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife

Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News' list of fifty most influential people in 2013. He is a

Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Mann is author of more than 160 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published two

books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming in 2008 and The Hockey Stick and

the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines in 2012. He is also a co-founder and avid

contributor to the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.

Lee R. Kump is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences, and an associate of the Earth

System Science Center and Astrobiology Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University. A

native of Minnesota, he received his bachelor's degree in geophysical sciences from the University

of Chicago in 1981, and his Ph.D. in marine sciences from the University of South Florida in 1986.

While in Florida he spent two summers as a geologist with the United States Geological Survey's

Fisher Island Station. In August of 1986 he joined the faculty at Penn State.

Dr. Kump is a Fellow of the Geological Societies of America and London, and a member of the

American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, and the Geochemistry Division of the

American Chemical Society. His research has been funded by the Environmental Protection Agency,

the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Gas Research Institute, the Petroleum Research Fund

of the American Chemical Society, and Texaco. Dr. Kump became Associate Director of the CIAR

Earth System Evolution Program in 2004. Dr. Kump's primary research effort is in the development

of numerical models of global biogeochemical cycles. His early work focussed on the carbon and

sulfur cycles, and on the feedbacks that regulate atmospheric oxygen levels. More recently his

emphasis has shifted to the study of the dynamic coupling between global climate and

biogeochemical cycles. He studies the long-term evolution of the oceans and atmosphere, using a

combination of field work, laboratory analysis, and numerical modeling.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     6
About the IPCC     8
About the authors     9
What is up with the weather (and the climate!)?     10
Climate Change Basics
The relative impacts of humans and nature on climate     18
Taking action in the face of uncertainty     20
Why is it called the greenhouse effect?     22
Feedback loops compound the greenhouse effect     24
What are the important greenhouse gases, and where do they come from?     26
Isn't carbon dioxide causing the hole in the ozone layer?     30
Greenhouse gases on the rise     32
Couldn't the increase in atmospheric CO[subscript 2] be the result of natural cycles?     34
It's getting hotter down here!     36
Is our atmosphere really warming?     38
Back to the future     40
But weren't scientists warning us of an imminent Ice Age only decades ago?     44
How does modern warming differ from past warming trends?     46
What can a decade of western North American drought tell us about the future?     48
What can the European heat wave of 2003 tell us about the future?     52
A tempest in a greenhouse     56
The vanishing snows of Kilimanjaro     58
The day aftertomorrow     60
The last interglacial     62
How to build a climate model     64
Profile: James Hansen     66
Comparing climate model predictions with observations     68
Regional vs global trends     70
"Fingerprints" distinguish human and natural impacts on climate     72
Climate Change Projections
How sensitive is the climate?     78
Fossil-fuel emissions scenarios     86
The next century     88
The geographical pattern of future warming     92
Carbon-cycle feedbacks     94
Melting ice and rising sea level     98
Future changes in extreme weather     100
Stabilizing atmospheric CO[subscript 2]     104
The Impacts of Climate Change
The rising impact of global warming     108
Is it time to sell that beach house?     110
Ecosystems     112
Coral reefs     114
The highway to extinction?     118
Profile: James Lovelock     120
Too much and too little     122
Is warming from carbon dioxide leading to more air pollution?     126
War     128
Famine     130
...Pestilence and death      132
Earth, wind, and fire     134
Too wet and too hot     136
The polar meltdown     138
Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change
Is global warming the last straw for vulnerable ecosystems?     142
What is the best course for the coming century?     144
It's the economy, stupid!     146
A finger in the dike     148
Water-management strategies     150
A hard row to hoe     152
Solving Global Warming
Solving global warming     156
Where do all those emissions come from?     158
Keeping the power turned on     160
On the road again     162
Building green     166
Industrial CO[subscript 2] pollution     168
Greener acres     170
Forests     174
Waste     176
Geoengineering     178
But what can I do about it?     180
What's your carbon footprint?     182
Global problems require international cooperation     184
Can we achieve sustainable development?     188
The ethics of climate change     190
The known unknowns and the unknown unknowns     192
The urgency of climate change      194
Glossary     198
Index     204
Picture Credits/Author Acknowledgements     208
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2011

    Ideal Summary of IPCC Reports

    The sub-subtitle of this book - The illustrated guide to the findings of the IPCC - says it all and says it accurately. Dire Predictions summarizes all the major points of the latest IPCC report in a beautifully illustrated, well and tightly written little book. In a series of mostly facing-two-page sub-sections, the authors provide clear explanations of the IPCC report while simultaneously answering all of the major global-climate-change-denier barbs.

    The first half of the book deals with technical summaries of the nature of climate change and the methodology of its study. The second half addresses impacts and solutions. Throughout the book, the authors keep tightly focused and avoid drifting off-topic.

    Dire Predictions is not a textbook, but it is a fine supplement to either another textbook (there are none as well written, however) or the IPCC reports themselves.

    Richard R. Pardi, Environmental Science, William Paterson University

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