Earth's Climate: Past and Future / Edition 2

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Written from a multidisciplinary perspective by one of the field’s preeminent researcher/instructors, Earth’s Climate: Past and Future became a classroom favorite by providing an expert summary of climate change past, present, and future. The text worked equally well as either a nonmajors introduction to Earth system science or climate change, or as an upper-undergraduate-level overview of the processes and techniques in climate science.

The new edition incorporates coverage of climatological events and research discoveries in the seven years since the first edition, most importantly the now broadly accepted understanding that humans play a major role in warming the planet. It also incorporates changes designed to make the material more accessible to an introductory-level audience.

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Editorial Reviews

In this introductory climate science textbook, Ruddiman (environmental sciences, U. of Virginia) summarizes 550 million years of Earth's climate changes, including the impact by and on humans. Some of the recurring factors described include glaciations, monsoons, flow of deep water in the ocean, the role of carbon as it moves through the Earth's system, and other factors that contribute to icehouse or greenhouse worlds. Coverage extends to predictions about future climate changes. The text is accompanied by numerous color photographs and illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780716784906
  • Publisher: Freeman, W. H. & Company
  • Publication date: 10/12/2007
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 465
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I Framework of Climate Science
1. Overview of Climate Science

Climate and Climate Change
1-1 Geologic Time
1-2 How This Book Is Organized
Development of Climate Science
1-3 How Scientists Study Climate Change
Overview of the Climate System
1-4 Components of the Climate System
1-5 Climate Forcing
1-6 Climate System Responses
1-7 Time Scales of Forcing versus Response
1-8 Differing Response Rates and Climate-System Interactions
1-9 Feedbacks in the Climate System
Tools of Climate Science Temperature Scales
Climate Interactions and Feedbacks: Positive and Negative Feedbacks

2. Climate Archives, Data, and Models
Climate Archives, Dating, and Resolution
2-1 Types of Archives
2-2 Dating Climate Records
2-3 Climatic Resolution
Climatic Data
2-4 Biotic Data
2-5 Geological and Geochemical Data
Climate Models
2-6 Physical Climate Models
2-7 Geochemical Models

Part II Tectonic-Scale Climate Change
3. CO2 and Long-Term Climate

Greenhouse Worlds
Faint Young Sun Paradox
Carbon Exchanges between Rocks and the Atmosphere
3-1 Volcanic Input of Carbon from Rocks to the Atmosphere
3-2 Removal of CO2 from the Atmosphere by Chemical Weathering
Climatic Factors That Control Chemical Weathering
Is Chemical Weathering Earth’s Thermostat?
3-3 Greenhouse Role of Water Vapor
Is Life the Ultimate Control on Earth’s Termostat?
3-4 Gaia Hypothesis
Was There a “Thermostat Malfunction”? A Snowball Earth?
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Organic Carbon Cycle

4. Plate Tectonics and Long-Term Climate
Plate Tectonics
4-1 Structure and Composition of Tectonic Plates
4-2 Evidence of Past Plate Motions
Polar Position Hypothesis
4-3 Glaciations and Continental Positions since 500 Myr Ago
Modeling Climate on the Supercontinent Pangaea
4-4 Input to the Model Simulation of Climate on Pangaea
4-5 Output from the Model Simulation of Climate on Pangaea
Tectonic Control of CO2 Input: BLAG Spreading-Rate Hypothesis
4-6 Control of CO2 Input by Seafloor Spreading
4-7 Initial Evaluation of the BLAG Spreading Rate Hypothesis
Tectonic Control of CO2 Removal: Uplift-Weathering Hypothesis
4-8 Rock Exposure and Chemical Weathering
4-9 Case Study: The Wind River Basin of Wyoming
4-10 Uplift and Chemical Weathering
4-11 Case Study: Weathering in the Amazon Basin
4-12 Weathering: Both a Climate Forcing and a Feedback?
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Brief Glaciation 440 Myr Ago

5. Greenhouse Climate
What Explains the Warmth 100 Myr Ago?
5-1 Model Simulations of the Cretaceous Greenhouse
5-2 What Explains the Data-Model Mismatch?
5-3 Relevance of Past Greenhouse Climate to the Future
Sea Level Changes and Climate
5-4 Causes of Tectonic-Scale Changes in Sea Level
5-5 Effect of Changes in Sea Level on Climate
Asteroid Impact
Large and Abrupt Greenhouse Episode near 50 Myr Ago
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Calculating Changes in Sea Level

6. From Greenhouse to Icehouse: The Last 50 Million Years
Global Climate Change Since 50 Myr Ago
6-1 Evidence from Ice and Vegetation
6-2 Evidence from Oxygen Isotope Measurements
6-3 Evidence from Mg/Ca Measurements
Do Changes in Geography Explain the Cooling?
6-4 Gateway Hypothesis
6-5 Assessment of Gateway Changes
Hypotheses Linked to Changes in CO2
6-6 Evaluation of the BLAG Spreading Rate Hypothesis
6-7 Evaluation of the Uplift Weathering Hypothesis
Future Climate Change at Tectonic Scales
Climate Debate Timing of the Uplift in Western North America
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Organic Carbon: Monterrey Hypothesis

Part III Orbital-Scale Climate Change
7. Astronomical Control of Solar Radiation

Earth’s Orbit Today
7-1 Earth’s Tilted Axis of Rotation and the Seasons
7-2 Earth’s Eccentric Orbit: Distance between Earth and Sun
Long-Term Changes in Earth’s Orbit
7-3 Changes in Earth’s Axial Tilt through Time
7-4 Changes in Earth’s Eccentric Orbit through Time
7-5 Precession of the Solstices and Equinoxes around Earth’s Orbit
Changes in Insolation Received on Earth
7-6 Insolation Changes by Month and Season
7-7 Insolation Changes by Caloric Seasons
Searching for Orbital-Scale Changes in Climatic Records
7-8 Time Series Analysis
7-9 Effects of Undersampling Climate Records
7-10 Tectonic-Scale Changes in Earth’s Orbit
Tools of Climate Science Cycles and Modulation
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Earth’s Precession as a Sine Wave

8. Insolation Control of Monsoons
Monsoon Circulations
8-1 Orbital-Scale Control of Summer Monsoons
Orbital-Scale Changes in North African Summer Monsoons
8-2 “Stinky Muds” in the Mediteranean
8-3 Freshwater Diatoms in the Tropical Atlantic
8-4 Upwelling in the Equatorial Atlantic
Orbital Monsoon Hypothesis: Regional Assessment
8-5 Cave Speleothems in China and Brazil
8-6 Phasing of Summer Monsoons
Monsoon Forcing Earlier in Earth’s History
8-7 Monsoons on Pangaea 200 Myr Ago
8-8 Joint Tectonic and Orbital Control of Monsoons
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Insolation-Driven Monsoon Responses: Chronometer for Tuning

9. Insolation Control of Ice Sheets
Milankovitch Theory: Orbital Control of Ice Sheets
Modeling the Behavior of Ice Sheets
9-1 Insolation Control of Ice Sheet Size
9-2 Ice Sheets Lag behind Summer Insolation Forcing
9-3 Delayed Bedrock Response beneath Ice Sheets
9-4 Full Cycle of Ice Growth and Decay
9-5 Ice Slipping and Calving
Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheet History
9-6 Ice Sheet History: d18O Evidence
9-7 Confirming Ice Volume Changes: Coral Reefs and Sea Level
Is Milankovich’s Theory the Full Answer?
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Ice Volume Response to Insolation
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Sea Level on Uplifting Islands

10. Orbital-Scale Changes in Carbon Dioxide and Methane
Ice Cores
10-1 Drilling and Dating Ice Cores
10-2 Verifying Ice-Core Measurements of Ancient Air
10-3 Orbital-Scale Carbon Transfers: Carbon Isotopes
Orbital-Scale Changes in CO2
10-4 Where Did the Missing Carbon Go?
10-5 d13C Evidence of Carbon Transfer
How Did the Carbon Get into the Deep Ocean?
10-6 Increased CO2 Solubility in Seawater
10-7 Biological Transfer from Surface Waters
10-8 Changes in Deep-Water Circulation
Orbital-Scale Changes in CH4
Orbital-Scale Climatic Roles: CO2 and CH4
Looking Deeper into Climate Science Using d13C to Measure Carbon Pumping

11. Orbital-Scale Interactions, Feedbacks, and Unsolved Problems
Climatic Responses Driven by the Ice Sheets
Mystery of the 41,000-Year Glacial World
11-1 Did Insolation Really Vary Mainly at 41,000 Years?
11-2 Interhemispheric Cancellation of 23,000-Year Ice Volume Responses?
11-3 CO2 Feedback at 41,000 Years?
Mystery of the ~100,000-Year Glacial World
11-4 How Is the Northern Ice Signal Transferred South?
Why Did the Northern Ice Sheets Vary at ~100,000 Years?
11-5 Ice Interactions with Bedrock
11-6 Ice Interactions with the Local Environment
11-7 Ice Interactions with Greenhouse Gases
Looking Deeper into Climate Science @BXH:Link Between Forcing and the Time Constants of Ice Response

Part IV Deglacial Climate Change
12. Last Glacial Maximum

Glacial World: More Ice, Less Gas
12-1 Project CLIMAP: Reconstructing the Last Glacial Maximum
12-2 How Large Were the Ice Sheets?
12-3 Glacial Dirt and Winds
Testing Model Simulations against Biotic Data
12-4 COHMAP: Data-Model Comparisons
12-5 Pollen: Indicator of Climate on the Continents
12-6 Using Pollen for Data-Model Comparisons
Data-Model Comparisons of Glacial Maximum Climates
12-7 Model Simulations of Glacial Maximum Climates
12-8 Climate Changes Near the Northern Ice Sheets
12-9 Climate Changes Far from the Northern Ice Sheets
How Cold Were the Glacial Tropics?
12-10 Evidence for a Small Tropical Cooling
12-11 Evidence for a Large Tropical Cooling
12-12 Actual Cooling Was Medium-Small

13. Climate During and Since the Last Deglaciation
Fire and Ice: Shift in the Balance of Power
13-1 When Did the Ice Sheets Melt?
13-2 Coral Reefs and Rising Sea Level
13-3 Glitches in the Deglaciation: Deglacial Two-Step
13-4 Positive Feedbacks to Deglacial Melting
13-5 Deglacial Lakes, Floods, and Sea Level Rise
Other Climate Changes During and After Deglaciation
13-6 Stronger, Then Weaker Monsoons
13-7 Warmer, Then Cooler North Polar Summers
Current and Future Orbital-Scale Climatic Change
Tools of Climate Science Deglacial 14C Dates Are Too Young
Climate Interactions and Feedbacks Giant Deglacial Floods

14. Millenial Oscillations of Climate
Millennial Oscillations During Glaciations
14-1 Oscillations Recorded in Greenland Ice Cores
14-2 Oscillations Recorded in North Atlantic Sediments
14-3 Detecting and Dating Oscillations in Other Regions
14-4 Oscillations Elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere
14-5 Oscillations in Antarctica
Millennial Oscillations During the Present Interglaciation
Causes of Millennial Oscillations
14-6 Solar Variability
14-7 Natural Instabilities in Ice Sheets
14-8 Greenhouse-Gas Forcing
14-9 Other Natural Interactions in the Climate System
14-10 Implications for Future Climate

Part V Historical and Future Climate Change
15. Humans and Preindustrial Climate
Climate and Human Evolution
15-1 Evidence of Human Evolution
15-2 Did Climate Change Drive Human Evolution?
15-3 Testing Climatic Hypotheses with Fragmentary Records
Impact of Climate on Early Farming
15-4 Did Deglacial Warming Lead to Early Agriculture
15-5 Impacts of Climate on Early Civilizations
Early Impacts of Humans on Climate
15-6 Did Humans Cause Megafaunal Extinctions?
15-7 Did Early Farmers Alter Climate?
Climate Debate Sea Level Rise and Flood Legends

16. Climate Changes During the Last 1000 Years
Little Ice Age
Proxy Records of Historical Climate
16-1 Ice Cores from Mountain Glaciers
16-2 Tree Rings
16-3 Corals and Tropical Ocean Temperatures
16-4 Other Historical Observations
Reconstructing Hemispheric Temperature Trends
Proposed Causes of Climate Change from 1000 to 1850
16-5 Orbital Forcing
16-6 Millenial Bipolar Seesaw
16-7 Solar Variability
16-8 Volcanic Explosions
16-9 Greenhouse-Gas Effects on Climate
Tools of Climate Science Analyzing Tree Rings
Climate Interactions and Feedbacks El Niño and ENSO

17. Climate Changes Since 1850
Reconstructing Changes in Sea Level
17-1 Fading Memories of Melted Ice Sheets
Other Instrumental Records
17-2 Surface Temperatures
17-3 Subsurface Ocean Temperatures
17-4 Mountain Glaciers
17-5 Ground Temperature
Satellite Observations
17-6 Circum-Artic Warming
17-7 Ice Sheets
Sources of the Recent Rise in Sea Level
Shorter-Term Oscillations

18. Causes of Warming over the Last 125 Years
Natural Causes of Recent Warming
18-1 Tectonic, Orbital, and Millenial Factors
18-2 Century- and Decadal-Scale Factors: Solar Forcing
18-3 Annual-Scale Forcing: El Niños and Volcanic Eruptions
Anthropogenic Causes of the Recent Warming
18-4 Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
18-5 Methane (CH4)
18-6 Increases in Chlorofluorocarbons
18-7 Sulfate Aerosols
18-8 Brown Clouds
18-9 Land Clearance
Earth’s Sensitivity to Greenhouse Gases
18-10 Sensitivity in Climate Models
18-11 Sensitivity to Greenhouse Gases: Earth’s Climate History
Why Has the Warming Since 1850 Been So Small?
18-12 Delayed Warming: Ocean Thermal Inertia
18-13 Cooling from Anthropogenic Aerosols
Global Warming: Summary
Climate Interactions and Feedbacks Radiative Focing of Recent Warming

19. Future Climatic Change
Future Human Impacts on Greenhouse Gases×
19-1 Factors Affecting Future Carbon Emissions
19-2 Projected Carbon Emissions and CO2 Concentrations
19-3 Other Human Effects on the Atmosphere
Future Climate Changes Caused by increased CO2
19-4 A World in Climatic Disequilibrium
19-5 Partial Fugure Analogs: 2 × and 4 × Preindustrial CO2 Concentrations
19-6 Greenhouse Surprises?
19-7 How Will Greenhouse Warming Change Human Life?
Climate Modification?
Climate Interactions and Feedbacks Will Frozen Methane Melt?

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