Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change: Exploring the Real Risks and How We Can Avoid Them

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'An impressive accomplishment.' Al Gore, Former Vice President of the US, co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and author of An Inconvenient Truth "Offers positive solutions that no rational person, organization or government can ignore - except at their peril." Stephen H. Schneider, Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Stanford University, and author of The Genesis Strategy: Climate and Global Survival "The science is clear and the message of this book is that there is no more time for delay." Rosina M. Bierbaum, Dean, University of Michigan While changes in emissions and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are projected to be slow and smooth, the intensity and impacts of climate change on the environment and society could be abrupt and erratic. Surprising and nonlinear responses are likely to occur as warming exceeds certain thresholds, inducing relatively rapid and disruptive changes in the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, precipitation intensity and patterns, coastal inundation, the occurrence of wildfire, the ranges of plant and animal species and more. Written by a transdisciplinary group of internationally respected researchers, this book explores the possibilities of such changes, their significance for society and efforts to move more rapidly to limit climate change than current government measures.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'An excellent, broad-ranging overview.'
Future Survey


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844074778
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Series: Earthscan Climate Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael C. MacCracken is Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute in Washington DC, and is past President of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS). Frances Moore spent five months with the Climate Institute after graduating from Harvard; she now is a researcher with the Earth Policy Institute. John C. Topping, Jr is founder and President of the Climate Institute.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Ambassador John Ashton
• Introduction
• Part I: The Potential for Rapid Changes to the Weather and Climate
• Introduction to Part I
• Ten Reasons Why Climate Change May be More Severe than Projected
• Potential Increased Hurricane Activity in a Greenhouse Warmed World
• Potential Effects of Weather Extremes and Climate Change on Human Health
• Part II: The Potential for Rapid Melting of Ice and Amplification of Sea Level Rise
• Introduction to Part II
• Changes in Polar Sea Ice Coverage
• Changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet and Implications for Global Sea Level Rise
• Why Predicting West Antarctic Ice Sheet Behavior is So Hard: What We Know, What We Don't Know and How We Will Find Out
• Part III: The Potential for Dramatic Changes in Coastal Regions
• Introduction to Part III
• The Potential for Significant Impacts on Chesapeake Bay from Global Warming
• The Northern Gulf of Mexico Coast: Human Development Patterns, Declining Ecosystems and Escalating Vulnerability to Storms and Sea Level Rise
• Threats and Responses Associated with Rapid Climate Change in Metropolitan New York
• Increasing the Resilience of Our Coasts: Coastal Collision Course of Rising Sea Level, Storms, Coastal Erosion and Development
• Preparing and Protecting American Families from the Onslaught of Catastrophe
• Part IV: The End of Evolution? The Potential for Rapid Changes in Ecosystems
• Introduction to Part IV
• Where Will Ecosystems Go?
• Increasing Vulnerability of Alaska's Boreal Forest as a Result of Climate Warming and the Changing Fire Regime
• Polar Bears in a Warming Arctic
• Part V: The Potential for Accelerating Action to Limit Climate Change
• Introduction to Part V
• International Action to Buffer Against the Rapid Onset of Climate Change
• A Moral and Profitable Path to Climate Stabilization
• Moving Toward Climate Stabilization: Iceland's Example
• Climate Impacts in the Developing World: A Case Study of the Small Island States
• Stimulating a Clean Energy Revolution
• Recycling Energy to Reduce Costs and Mitigate Climate Change
• Addressing Climate Change: Religious Perspectives and Initiatives
• Climate Solutions on Today's Campuses: How Today's Students Must Drive a Modern Industrial Revolution
• Strategies for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions: The Role of Greenhouse Gas Offsets
• Appendices
• Index

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