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The science is in: Global warming is for real. But what does it all really mean, and what can or should we do about it? This clear, fluid narrative by a leading scientist and educator takes a scrupulously balanced approach in explaining for the reader the history of global climate monitoring and change, and the who’s, how’s, what’s, when’s, where’s and why’s of the interaction between human activity and recent...
The science is in: Global warming is for real. But what does it all really mean, and what can or should we do about it? This clear, fluid narrative by a leading scientist and educator takes a scrupulously balanced approach in explaining for the reader the history of global climate monitoring and change, and the who’s, how’s, what’s, when’s, where’s and why’s of the interaction between human activity and recent trends in the Earth’s climate.
Global Warming For Beginners is organized into five compelling sections:
Global Warming, An Introduction
What Steps Can I Take?
Working from the premise that no one can do everything but everyone can do something, Goodwin challenges readers with experiments they can conduct to gain a better understanding of the science underlying the problems facing our planet, and concludes with a list of fifty easy actions people can choose from to start doing their part in the effort to slow or stop global warming.
As with all For Beginners titles, this volume is illustrated throughout with entertaining drawings that help readers understand and retain the information in Goodwin’s lively and comprehensive text.
1 Global Warming: An Introduction 1
It's Such a Hot Topic! 2
So Why All the Fuss? 3
Putting Things into Perspective 4
So How Did Carbon Dioxide Get the Blame? 6
What Is the IPCC and What Has It Reported? 9
So Where Do We Go from Here? 14
Change Is in the Air! 16
2 Global Warming: The Cause 21
Past Climate Change 22
The Greenhouse Effect 24
Greenhouse Gases 27
So Global Warming Is a Bad Thing, Right? 31
So Global Warming Is a Good Thing, Right? 32
The Human Factor 34
The Earth: A Systems Approach 43
The Carbon Cycle: A System Out of Balance 50
3 Global Warming: The Consequences 52
The Temperature Is Rising 54
A Global Meltdown 55
Rising Sea Levels 60
Changing Ocean Currents 62
Changes in Precipitation and the Water Cycle 64
The Effect on Ecosystems and Biodiversity 69
Effects on Ocean Chemistry 75
The Effect on Humans 76
Will Global Cooling Help Offset the Consequences of Global Warming? 78
4 Global Warming: The Solutions 81
The Role of the Governments of the World 85
Solutions for Dealing with Global Warming 92
Improving Energy Efficiency 92
Reducing Fossil Fuel Consumption 97
Moving Toward Renewable Energy Sources 102
Storing or Sequestering Carbon Dioxide 108
Reducing the Levels of Greenhouse Gases Other than Carbon Dioxide 110
5 Global Warming: What Steps Can I Take? 111
Do Try This at Home-If You Can! 113
What Is My Ecological or Carbon Footprint? 117
How Many Refrigerators Full of Carbon Dioxide Do I Emit by Driving My Car? 119
How Many Refrigerators Full of Carbon Dioxide Do I Emit by Using Electricity in My Home? 122
Simple Things to Save Money and the Planet! 123
AnInconvenient Truth: The Verdict is In! 129
Other Sources of Information 133
About the Author and Illustrator 137
Posted December 14, 2012
I am very pleased with my purchase! I would like to start off by saying that this book not only had excellent text, it had excellent illustrations, too! It was very easy to read, the ideas were clear, and I really took a lot from this book. As a high school senior doing a project on Global Warming, I find this book to be very helpful. It covers every aspect of Global Warming that I need to address for my project and it does so in great detail. It has so much good information in it. For example, it explains Climate Change vs Global Warming. It discusses the reasons for Global Warming and it gives scientific proof. The whole entire novel opened my eyes to how much better off the world would be if everyone did something to help. The changes were so insignificant that one's day would hardly be impacted at all. The quote goes something like, "Some one can't do everything, but everyone can do something.". It also explains the effects of Global Warming on the planet and talks about how the world is coming together to combat Global Warming. At the end of it, it even gives an experiment that proves how greenhouse gas increases are the main culprit for temperature increase.
Essentially, I am very pleased I bought this book. It is very helpful for supporting my project's thesis. Also, I just plain learned a lot of cool facts about climate! This book was exactly what I was looking for.
Also, I think it is funny how these people giving this book a 1 star review when they don't even explain why they dislike it. You can't just deny facts without any support!
Posted July 22, 2012
Posted February 1, 2012
Global warming is a very important subject in the present day. This book attempts to explain how and why Earth’s climate interacts with the atmosphere.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a group of several hundred climate scientists from all over the world. Their job is to look at the scientific data on various aspects of climate change. In their latest report, in 2007, they concluded that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal. . . many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes. . . global greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities have grown since preindustrial times, with an increase of 70% between 1970 and 2004.”
Earth has experienced warming and cooling cycles in the past, and some people think that this is just another of those warming cycles, and not really a cause for concern. Most sunlight is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere, while the rest is reflected back into space. Water vapor, methane and carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere, are very good at absorbing infrared radiation. Some global warming is needed to keep Earth from turning into a giant ice cube. But too much of a good thing is bad. To get an idea of what happens with high levels of carbon dioxide, look at the planet Venus, with its runaway greenhouse effect.
The rapidly rising amount of burning fossil fuels leads to more carbon in the atmosphere. It has a positive feedback effect, raising the Earth's temperature. Deforestation that is happening all over the world reduces the level of photosynthesis which reduces the amount of carbon removed from the atmosphere. If the forest has been burned, which is usually the case, then the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere rises, and the amount of carbon removed by photosynthesis drops.
The book also looks at the consequences of global warming; we are witnessing some of the hottest years on record; snow cover on mountain rages is decreasing; as ice melts, it raises sea levels worldwide; ocean currents could change; biodiversity and ocean currents could be affected. It also lists simple things that anyone can do to help reduce the effects of global warming.
This book is easy to read, and tries to adopt a “facts only” approach. To get away from the hype on both sides of the issue, start right here.