Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, Edition 5

Cambridge University Press
2
Free sample

How much of global warming is due to human activities? How far will it be possible to adapt to changes of climate? Sir John Houghton's definitive, full colour guide to climate change answers these questions and more by providing the best and latest information available, including the latest IPCC findings. The simple, logical flow of ideas gives an invaluable grounding in the science, as well as the physical and human impacts of climate change, for undergraduate students across a wide range of disciplines. Accessible to both scientists and non-scientists, the text avoids mathematical equations and includes more technical material in boxes, while simple figures help students to understand the conclusions the science leads to without being overwhelmed by vast amounts of data. Questions for students to consider and test their understanding are included in each chapter, along with carefully selected further reading to expand their knowledge.
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About the author

Sir John Houghton CBE, FRS is a former Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chairman of the UK's Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Vice President of the World Meteorological Organisation, President of the Royal Meteorological Society, and Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Oxford University. He was Chief Executive of the UK Meteorological Office from 1983 to his retirement in 1991. As well as the previous editions of this book, he is author of The Physics of Atmospheres (Cambridge University Press, in three editions), and has published numerous research papers and contributed to many influential research documents.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
May 7, 2015
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Pages
397
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ISBN
9781316300312
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Environmental Economics
Nature / Ecology
Nature / Natural Resources
Science / Earth Sciences / Meteorology & Climatology
Technology & Engineering / Environmental / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf.

That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not.

In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced.

In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss.

Meticulously researched and vividly written, Isaac's Storm is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac's Storm carries a warning for our time.


From the Hardcover edition.
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