Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming

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Overview

"In 2006, one of the hottest years on record, a "pizzly" was discovered near the top of the world. Half polar bear, half grizzly, this never-before-seen animal might be dismissed as a fluke of nature. Anthony Barnosky instead sees it as a harbinger of things to come." "In Heatstroke, the renowned paleoecologist shows how global warming is fundamentally changing the natural world and its creatures. While melting ice may have helped produce the pizzly, climate change is more likely to wipe out species than to create them. Plants and animals that
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Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming

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Overview

"In 2006, one of the hottest years on record, a "pizzly" was discovered near the top of the world. Half polar bear, half grizzly, this never-before-seen animal might be dismissed as a fluke of nature. Anthony Barnosky instead sees it as a harbinger of things to come." "In Heatstroke, the renowned paleoecologist shows how global warming is fundamentally changing the natural world and its creatures. While melting ice may have helped produce the pizzly, climate change is more likely to wipe out species than to create them. Plants and animals that have followed the same rhythms for millennia are suddenly being confronted with a world they're unprepared for - and the shock could kill them." "This is not the first time climate change has dramatically transformed Earth. Barnosky draws connections between the coming centuries and the end of the last ice age, when mass extinctions swept the planet. The differences now are that climate change is faster and hotter than past changes, and for the first time humanity is driving it. Which means this time we can work to stop it." No one knows exactly what nature will come to look like in this new age of global warming. But Heatstroke gives us a haunting portrait of what we stand to lose and the vitality of what can be saved.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Easily accessible yet thoroughly referenced work...This work is laced with fascinating descriptions of colorful people and places that make it enjoyable to read, even if the topic is sobering..Highly recommended.
Nature
Read this book, and reflect on your own views about humanity's place in nature. Then plant a tree, walk to work, and go and call your political representative.
Washington Post

"[Barnosky]… argues brilliantly that conservation biology can no longer focus on saving [ecosystems]. The reason is simple: Thanks to global warming, the ecosystem we work to save today will have a different climate tomorrow."
Washington Post
"[He]. argues brilliantly that conservation biology can no longer focus on saving [ecosystems]. The reason is simple: Thanks to global warming, the ecosystem we work to save today will have a different climate tomorrow."
Choice

"Easily accessible yet thoroughly referenced work...This work is laced with fascinating descriptions of colorful people and places that make it enjoyable to read, even if the topic is sobering..Highly recommended."

Nature

"Read this book, and reflect on your own views about humanity's place in nature. Then plant a tree, walk to work, and go and call your political representative."

Booklist

“Barnosky uses a unique approach to address the problem of global warming… Rather than dwell on human factors, he offers a host of examples from the past to illustrate how animals of previous era survived or failed to adapt… In straightforward language, this sensible climate-change book presents solid evidence from earth’s deep history.”

Trends in Ecology and Evolution

"Lucid and thought-provoking popular account of climate change and biodiversity, past and present...an essential contribution...[and] a deep-history tapestry of life and evolution that is infused with admiration, curiosity, and respect for the grand experiments of nature."

Booklist
"Barnosky uses a unique approach to address the problem of global warming. Rather than dwell on human factors, he offers a host of examples from the past to illustrate how animals of previous era survived or failed to adapt. In straightforward language, this sensible climate-change book presents solid evidence from earth's deep history."
Publishers Weekly
Around the world, climate change is indicated by natural events-especially in shifting migration routes-leading to results familiar (species die-out) and unexpected-like the discovery of a heretofore unprecedented "pizzly," a bear cub with one polar parent and one grizzly. Not all geographical displacement is quite so friendly; as ""ecological niches are shriveling up and disappearing," common and persistent species are dying off at a rate "between 17 percent and 377 percent faster than normal" over the past 400 years. While reviewing the evidence that points to drastic changes resulting from even small global temperature increases, Barnosky also discusses biodiversity's importance, compares rates of evolutionary change with global temperatures, and recounts Earth's four previous mass extinctions. One of her grim assessments is that "many of the species that humans tend to like" will be wiped out by global warming, and spur helpful evolutionary diversification only in "what we normally call pests." For the most part Barnosky is less gloomy than curious, able and straight-forward, flavoring his report with a sense of adventure and possibility; by the end of his discussion on humanity's four-pronged problem-global warming, habitat loss, introduced species and population growth-Barnosky will have readers looking to do more than change lightbulbs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution

"Lucid and thought-provoking popular account of climate change and biodiversity, past and present...an essential contribution...[and] a deep-history tapestry of life and evolution that is infused with admiration, curiosity, and respect for the grand experiments of nature."
Booklist

"Barnosky uses a unique approach to address the problem of global warming… Rather than dwell on human factors, he offers a host of examples from the past to illustrate how animals of previous era survived or failed to adapt… In straightforward language, this sensible climate-change book presents solid evidence from earth's deep history."
The Washington Post

"[Barnosky]… argues brilliantly that conservation biology can no longer focus on saving [ecosystems]. The reason is simple: Thanks to global warming, the ecosystem we work to save today will have a different climate tomorrow."
Nature

"Read this book, and reflect on your own views about humanity's place in nature. Then plant a tree, walk to work, and go and call your political representative."
Choice

"Easily accessible yet thoroughly referenced work...This work is laced with fascinating descriptions of colorful people and places that make it enjoyable to read, even if the topic is sobering...Highly recommended."
Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University - Paul R. Ehrlich

"This fascinating and frightening book begins where others on global warming leave off. Anthony Barnosky shows that we're not just heating up the planet, but changing its basic character: today's familiar animals and wild places may not be here tomorrow. For anyone who has grown attached to nature as we know it, this is an essential, eye-opening read."
author of The Song of the Dodo and The Reluctant Mr. Darwin - David Quammen

"Heatstroke is an important and useful addition to the library on climate change, bringing insights from deep-time ecological research to help illuminate the dire forecasts of which we're already so aware."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597261975
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 3/13/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 363,405
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Since 1990, Anthony D. Barnosky has been on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently holds the posts of Professor of Integrative Biology, Curator of Fossil Mammals in the Museum of Paleontology, and Research Paleoecologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Recipe for Disaster? 1

Ch. 1 The Heat Is On 3

Ch. 2 Behind Nature's Heartbeat 17

Ch. 3 On Our Watch 33

Ch. 4 Witnessing Extinction 47

Ch. 5 No Place to Run To 59

Pt. 2 Normal for Nature 73

Ch. 6 California Dreaming 75

Ch. 7 Disturbance in Yellowstone 91

Ch. 8 Mountain Time in Colorado 105

Ch. 9 Africa on the Edge 121

Pt. 3 Uncharted Terrain 133

Ch. 10 Disappearing Act 135

Ch. 11 Losing the Parts 151

Ch. 12 Skeleton Crew 165

Ch. 13 Bad Company 181

Ch. 14 Geography of Hope 193

App Slowing Down Global Warming 211

Notes 215

Index 259

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Customer Reviews

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

    Posted June 24, 2014

    Jack Noble#1

    Ended too soon

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 10, 2014

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