Climate and Ecosystems

Princeton University Press
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How does life on our planet respond to--and shape--climate? This question has never been more urgent than it is today, when humans are faced with the daunting task of guiding adaptation to an inexorably changing climate. This concise, accessible, and authoritative book provides an unmatched introduction to the most reliable current knowledge about the complex relationship between living things and climate.

Using an Earth System framework, David Schimel describes how organisms, communities of organisms, and the planetary biosphere itself react to and influence environmental change. While much about the biosphere and its interactions with the rest of the Earth System remains a mystery, this book explains what is known about how physical and chemical climate affect organisms, how those physical changes influence how organisms function as individuals and in communities of organisms, and ultimately how climate-triggered ecosystem changes feed back to the physical and chemical parts of the Earth System.

An essential introduction, Climate and Ecosystems shows how Earth's living systems profoundly shape the physical world.

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About the author

David Schimel is a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Previously, he was CEO of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and founding codirector of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. In 2007, he was a corecipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's first report on the global carbon cycle.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 21, 2013
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781400846030
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Earth Sciences / General
Science / Earth Sciences / Meteorology & Climatology
Science / Life Sciences / Botany
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Book 1
This brilliant set of essays poses the paradigmatic question: are Jews in grave danger today or not? Concern is rooted in the storm clouds of 1938, when the same question arose just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War and the Holocaust. The contributors do not presume that the events of seventy years ago are identical with those today, or that they emanate from the same sources. However, the shared feeling is that Jewish communities worldwide are very much, once again at risk. In post-1938 Germany, the Nazi state began its march toward world conquest, with the destruction of European Jewry as its centerpiece. In an act of willful blindness, Western democratic leaders chose to negotiate and appease the Hitler regime. Many Jewish leaders also chose to minimize the risks. Seven years later, over 50 million people, including six million Jews had been killed. In 2008, extremist Islamic forces have spawned a global Jihad. State-sponsored terrorism, a war against the West as well as against moderate Islamic states, once again holds the destruction of the Jewish people, and in particular the State of Israel, as a critical goal. The Iranian leadership proclaims that "a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible." Against such a diplomatic and historical background a conference was organized resulting in these essays written by Alan Dershowitz, Norman Podhoretz, Michael Walzer, Leonard Fein, and David Pryce-Jones among others. The results are varied at the policy level, but unified in apprehending a disturbing revival of inherited hatred and anti-Semitic outbreaks against Jews both within and outside of Europe. The is a compelling effort that merits the attention of social scientists, policy makers, and those interested in international relations.
Erik Larson
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.
Book 1
This brilliant set of essays poses the paradigmatic question: are Jews in grave danger today or not? Concern is rooted in the storm clouds of 1938, when the same question arose just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War and the Holocaust. The contributors do not presume that the events of seventy years ago are identical with those today, or that they emanate from the same sources. However, the shared feeling is that Jewish communities worldwide are very much, once again at risk. In post-1938 Germany, the Nazi state began its march toward world conquest, with the destruction of European Jewry as its centerpiece. In an act of willful blindness, Western democratic leaders chose to negotiate and appease the Hitler regime. Many Jewish leaders also chose to minimize the risks. Seven years later, over 50 million people, including six million Jews had been killed. In 2008, extremist Islamic forces have spawned a global Jihad. State-sponsored terrorism, a war against the West as well as against moderate Islamic states, once again holds the destruction of the Jewish people, and in particular the State of Israel, as a critical goal. The Iranian leadership proclaims that "a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible." Against such a diplomatic and historical background a conference was organized resulting in these essays written by Alan Dershowitz, Norman Podhoretz, Michael Walzer, Leonard Fein, and David Pryce-Jones among others. The results are varied at the policy level, but unified in apprehending a disturbing revival of inherited hatred and anti-Semitic outbreaks against Jews both within and outside of Europe. The is a compelling effort that merits the attention of social scientists, policy makers, and those interested in international relations.
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