The Discovery of Global Warming / Edition 2

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Overview

The award-winning book is now revised and expanded.

In 2001 an international panel of distinguished climate scientists announced that the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The story of how scientists reached that conclusion—by way of unexpected twists and turns—was the story Spencer Weart told in The Discovery of Global Warming. Now he brings his award-winning account up to date, revised throughout to reflect the latest science and with a new conclusion that shows how the scientific consensus caught fire among the general world public, and how a new understanding of the human meaning of climate change spurred individuals and governments to action.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review - Andrew C. Revkin
Charting the evolution and confirmation of the theory [of global warming], Weart dissects the interwoven threads of research and reveals the political and societal subtexts that colored scientists’ views and the public reception their work received.
New York Times Book Review

Charting the evolution and confirmation of the theory [of global warming], Weart dissects the interwoven threads of research and reveals the political and societal subtexts that colored scientists’ views and the public reception their work received.
— Andrew C. Revkin

The Washington Post
Humankind is smarter than the frog caught unawares in a pot of water that slowly reaches its boiling point. Weart -- whose style is dry to the point of brittle -- shows that we, unlike the frog, at least will know we're getting cooked. — Tom Graham
The New York Times
The Discovery of Global Warming describes the intellectual journey toward that conclusion, with all of its false starts, flawed hypotheses, inventiveness and persistent uncertainties. It reveals the effort as one of the great exercises in collective sleuthing, with pivotal insights provided by experts in fields as varied as glaciology, physics and even plankton paleontology. Charting the evolution and confirmation of the theory, Spencer R. Weart...dissects the interwoven threads of research and reveals the political and societal subtexts that colored scientists' views and the public reception their work received.—Andrew C. Revkin
USA Today
This short, well-written book by a science historian at the American Institute of Physics adds a serious voice to the overheated debate about global warming and would serve as a great starting point for anyone who wants to better understand the issue. — Dan Veragno
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674031890
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2008
  • Series: New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine Series , #13
  • Edition description: Revised and Expanded Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 372,453
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Spencer R. Weart is Director Emeritus of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics.
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Table of Contents

  • Preface

  1. How Could Climate Change?
  2. Discovering a Possibility
  3. A Delicate System
  4. A Visible Threat
  5. Public Warnings
  6. The Erratic Beast
  7. Breaking into Politics
  8. Speaking Science to Power
  9. The Work Completed...and Begun

  • Reflections
  • Milestones
  • Notes
  • Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    An entertaining read.

    I enjoyed this book. It provided a background for me on why there is so much controversy on global warming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    How scientists confirmed global warming

    Drawing from scientific discoveries in oceanography, meteorology, geochemistry, biology and astrophysics, author Spencer R. Weart draws you into the puzzle of climate change as it is unfolding through time. No one person had an "aha" moment and discovered global warming. Instead, today's understanding required an accumulation of theories from disparate areas of research, shaped by the rigors of the scientific method. These discoveries convinced most scientists that global warming is a serious phenomenon. Weart outlines the scientific process that led to today's climate diagnosis. He also relates lively stories about the people behind the discoveries. That may not be as immediately applicable, but getAbstract finds that it is illuminating and could help readers feel like insiders in this fight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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