Prologue. Global Warming in Geologic Time 1
An overview of the thrust of the book: human-induced climate change in the context of geologic time, in the past and in the future.
SECTION I: THE PRESENT
Chapter 1. The Greenhouse Effect 15
Fourier and greenhouse theory Early CO2 measurements Arrhenius and the forecast. Climate science since then.
Chapter 2: We've Seen It with Our Own Eyes. 30
Testing the forecast Impacts already.
Chapter 3: Forecast of the Century. 45
A century-timescale climate spike Temperature, rainfall, sea level, and storms
SECTION II: THE PAST
Chapter 4: Millennial Climate Cycles. 57
Abrupt climate transitions, and climate cycles on millennial timescales. The Little Ice Age and the Medieval Optimum climates
Chapter 5: Glacial Climate Cycles 69
History of their discovery Ice flows and melts in quirky ways. Orbital forcing and CO2 forcing 69
Chapter 6: Geologic Climate Cycles. 78
Our ice age is unusual. The Earth is breathing.
Chapter 7: The Present in the Bosom of the Past. 91
Climate change so far and in the coming century, compared with deglaciation, abrupt climate change, the Eocene hothouse, the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum event, and the K/T boundary.
SECTION III: THE FUTURE
Chapter 8: The Fate of Fossil Fuel CO2 Reservoirs of carbon, breathing 101
New carbon from fossil fuels equilibrates with the ocean and the land.
Chapter 9: Acidifying the Ocean. 114
CO2 is an acid CaCO3 is a base. Neutralization takes millennia. CO2 remains higher than natural for hundreds of millennia
Chapter 10: Carbon Cycle Feedbacks. 125
The short-term prognosis. The long-term prognosis.
Chapter 11: Sea Level in the Deep Future. 137
If the past is the key to the future, we have the capacity to raise sea level by 50 meters, eventually.
Chapter 12: Orbits, CO2 , and the Next Ice Age. 149
Interplay between orbital and CO2 climate forcings. The next ice age is about to be canceled.
Epilogue: Carbon Economics and Ethics. 158
What the options are and how we decide.
Further Reading 175