Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

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by Mark Lynas

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An eye-opening and vital account of the future of our earth and our civilisation if current rates of global warming persist, by the highly acclaimed author of ‘High Tide’.Picture yourself a few decades from now, in a world in which average temperatures are three degrees higher than they are now. On the edge of Greenland, rivers ten times the size of the


An eye-opening and vital account of the future of our earth and our civilisation if current rates of global warming persist, by the highly acclaimed author of ‘High Tide’.Picture yourself a few decades from now, in a world in which average temperatures are three degrees higher than they are now. On the edge of Greenland, rivers ten times the size of the Amazon are gushing off the ice sheet into the north Atlantic. Displaced victims of North Africa's drought establish a new colony on Greenland's southern tip, one of the few inhabitable areas not already crowded with environmental refugees. Vast pumping systems keep the water out of most of Holland, but the residents of Bangladesh and the Nile Delta enjoy no such protection. Meanwhile, in New York, a Category 5-plus superstorm pushes through the narrows between Staten Island and Brooklyn, devastating waterside areas from Long Island to Manhattan. Pakistan, crippled by drought brought on by disappearing Himalayan glaciers, sees 27 million farmers flee to refugee camps in neighbouring India. Its desperate government prepares a last-ditch attempt to increase the flow of the Indus river by bombing half-constructed Indian dams in Kashmir. The Pakistani president authorises the use of nuclear weapons in the case of an Indian military counter-strike. But the biggest story of all comes from South America, where a conflagration of truly epic proportions has begun to consume the Amazon…Alien as it all sounds, Mark Lynas's incredible new book is not science-fiction; nor is it sensationalist. The six degrees of the title refer to the terrifying possibility that average temperatures will rise by up to six degrees within the next hundred years. This is the first time we have had a reliable picture of how the collapse of our civilisation will unfold unless urgent action is taken.Most vitally, Lynas's book serves to highlight the fact that the world of 2100 doesn't have to be one of horror and chaos. With a little foresight, some intelligent strategic planning, and a reasonable dose of good luck, we can at least halt the catastrophic trend into which we have fallen. But the time to act is now.

Editorial Reviews

The six degrees referenced in the title do not to degrees of separation but degrees Celsius (approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature rise that many climate change experts are predicting by the end of the century. In this gripping book, global warming advocate Garrett Brown draws on recent authoritative scientific articles to describe what the world will be like if we keep doing what we're doing.
School Library Journal

Adult/High School- Lynas has gathered global-warming information from an array of authoritative scientists: geologists, glaciologists, oceanographers, climate scientists, and paleoclimatologists, as well as "major scientific projections" from computer modelers. He divides his findings into six main chapters representing the consequences of a one- to six-degree shift in temperature rise. More factual than hysterical and using accessible language, the author portrays a sobering, but broad and fascinating, view of the problem. He discusses not only the environmental consequences of melting icecaps, ocean warming, coral reef bleaching, CO2 emissions, deforestation, and severe weather, but also cultural and economic reverberations-the result of population shifts, animal migrations, and societal collapse. Through computer-modeling simulations he looks back into the past (the Pliocene, the Mayan civilization) and projects into the future for CO2 comparisons. His premise: the problem is now at global scale and will not just impact the disappearance of one group alone as it did the Maya. Claiming that solutions must be political, and that it is too late for quick fixes using renewable energy sources or technology, he concludes with some cautionary possible solutions: relocalization of goods and services, less consumption, global-scale carbon rationing, and a "2 degree increase target." Anyone studying climate change will find this a helpful reference as much current research has been precompiled and interpreted within one resource.-Jodi Mitchell, Berkeley Public Library, CA

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Mark Lynas is an activist, journalist and traveller. He was editor of the website and has made many appearances in the press and TV as a commentator on environmental issues. He is the author of High Tide and Six Degrees.

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Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. In the intro Lynas admits that at one point in his research he considered that it might be smarter to not publish his findings and instead give his family and friends a quiet heads-up since he was uncovering specific information directly related to survival. (There are specifics like which states in the US will likely still have food and water when a certain temperature threshold is reached, etc.) If you want to remain ignorant or in a state of denial about global warming and what it will mean to you, your children, grandchildren, all of humanity and the millions of other species, then don't even open the cover of this book. On the other hand if you like your facts without the sugar coating then not only read this book but plan on sending copies to everyone you care about. I exagerate not.
Mackenzie_Dalton More than 1 year ago
Mark Lynas' informative "Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet" gives the reader a description of what the future holds for our planet earth if the average global temperature continues to raise anywhere from one to six degrees. Overall, the reader can expect a hauntingly entertaining read; what is lacking is what the reader should do to stop the horrific events described in the book from happening. Lynas chronicles the book into six sections, the first giving a detailed description of how the earth will change after a one degree increase in temperature; the last giving the same description for a six degree increase. The overall purpose of the book is to scare the reader into drastically changing his or her lifestyle to an eco-friendly one, and promoting the same to everyone else. There are not many realistic suggestions given as to HOW exactly to do this, which may leave the reader in a "fatalistic" mindset upon finishing the book. Very interesting, entertaining and informative read overall, but extremely morbid and depressing.
isbjorn More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most interesting and educational books on the subject of climate change that I have read. Mark Lynas does a great job of explaining the science, and the correlating DVD from National Geographic, Six Degrees Could Change the World, is equally excellent. Read this book and watch the DVD and you can't help but understand climate change with much more clarity. I have purchased several copies of both to give as educational gifts because they are so easy to understand for anyone. Everyone needs to read this book. If nothing else, sit down in the library and read the "Choosing our Future" section at the back. It will change your mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really changed my perspective of global warming and its affects on our ecosystems and everyday life. Definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in this topic
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will stick with me for weeks to come. I would highly recommend anyone concerned about the planet's future to pick this up. There is hope, but time is of the essence. Read this and give it to your family and friends!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago