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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 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.
About the Author
Dean Goodwin, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry-Based Education. He is also director of Marine and Environmental education and teaches at Christchurch School in Virginia. Dr. Goodwin is a nationally recognized environmental educator with an honors degree in biochemistry, a post-graduate certificate in science education, and a Ph.D. in mechanistic organic photochemistry. He has more than 25 years teaching experience at both the college and secondary level.
Joe Lee is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, and clown. With a degree from Indiana University centering on Medieval History, Joe is also a graduate of Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey's Clown College. He worked for some years as a circus clown. He is the illustrator of a baker's dozen of For Beginners books including, Barack Obama, [Howard] Zinn, Shakespeare, Postmodernism, Deconstruction, Eastern Philosophy, and Global Warming among others. Joe lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife Mary Bess, son Brandon, cat George, and the terriers (or rather terrors) Max and Jack.
Table of Contents
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