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Download Changing Climates (Global Connections (Hardcover)) epub

by Professor Charles F Gritzner

Climates have changed throughout Earth's history and will continue to change indefinitely. While some changes are brief, lasting only a few decades, others can plunge much of the planet into an icy wasteland or a steaming tropical jungle for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years. Many factors contribute to both short- and long-term changes within the atmosphere, and scientists continue to study the agents that impact the changing conditions of Earth's climate. Changing Climates helps readers gain a better understanding of climate and the global warming issue by explaining how the atmosphere works, how and why climates have changed in the past, and the consequences of climate change.
Download Changing Climates (Global Connections (Hardcover)) epub
ISBN: 1604132914
ISBN13: 978-1604132915
Category: Teen
Subcategory: Education & Reference
Author: Professor Charles F Gritzner
Language: English
Publisher: Chelsea House Publications (June 1, 2010)
ePUB size: 1186 kb
FB2 size: 1379 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 252
Other Formats: mobi txt rtf doc

Perhaps the key criterion for calling something 'scientific' or ... well, the reverse, is the readiness to show your evidence. By that criterion, this is an outstandingly scientific book. The author carefully and patiently sets out his evidence, so that we can question, challenge, or disprove it. And having done so, he sets out the conclusions that flow from that evidence. I found the book fascinating and deeply satisfying because the evidence is so widely based and thoroughly researched, but also because the author remains open-minded to the alternative views.

At its root the author asks the three Big Questions about climate change
1 - is the earth getting warmer?
2 - is that caused by human activity?
3 - does it matter? Will it be damaging?

1 - The author shows that in fact the world grew cooler between 1998 and 2007. However, since publication in 2009, some things have changed, and the very recent data seems to show that the earth has got warmer over the past fifty years or so (though not over the past five hundred years, for example). So the answer is ... well. probably yes, at the moment, but the emphasis has to be 'at the moment'. Climate changes. That's what climates do!

2 - Is human activity at the root of the change? Possibly, but there have been MASSIVE changes in the climate before humans were in a position to influence it. Gritzner helpfully includes records over the past 500 million years to show that we are in fact in a cold, not a warm, phase, and to remind us that it is during those warm phases that life flourishes. Increases in temperature over the past 150 years do not in fact correlate very well with increases in CO2 levels. It is quite reasonable to assume that increasing CO2 encourages a warmer climate: it would be very rash to assume that it causes it.

3 - ... and does it matter? Gritzner sensibly points out that humans have adapted to a changing climate very flexibly - and that the cooling episodes of the past thousand years (and probably of the past twelve thousand years) have been accompanied by starvation and possibly extinction. There would be losers if the climate got warmer - but there would be winners too. And if we closed down the world economy to reduce CO2 emissions, the losers would certainly outnumber the winners.

This summary does no kind of justice to the book, but it does try to show how well it is written. Of course Gritzner may be wrong in his conclusions - but if he is, he has provided the reasons for his argument, and those reasons can be refuted. 'When the facts change, my mind changes', said Keynes. But until the facts change, there's not reason to change my mind!
Oh boy. This one's such a stinker, I had to go back and look a lot closer at all my other Chelsea House publications, to say nothing of the "Global Connections" series that is coming out - edited or authored by this Charles F. Gritzner fellow. Highly suspect.

This poorly- and one-sidedly-researched book is billed as a book for "Young Adults" and sports an extremely flimsy bibliography.

The book has basic-level explanations of natural climate cycles, including some nice illustrations and graphs of orbital cycles, sunspot cycles, etc... but the

Here are some choice quotes from the book:

pg 47 "Isn't it strange that some scientists believe atmospheric pollution causes a drop in temperatures while others believe pollution causes temperatures to rise?"

and drawing to a close on that same page: "Finally, weather and climate are the result of a combination of very complex environmental factors, some of which remain poorly understood by scientists."

61: "Humans have been around for several million years. Obviously,our ancestors were confronted by and survived many
changes in climate. Sometimes conditions were much warmer than today and at other times much colder. With each change,
however, they managed to adapt to the new conditions. Surprisingly, perhaps, it appears as though they were able to make the necessary changes with little trouble. If people are able to make a living (by whatever means) in
a particular environment, they will settle there regardless of its climate and other environmental conditions."

63: Quotes Roy Spencer at length.

64: "The possibility (and some would say a very strong probability) exists that the increase in atmospheric
greenhouse gases and global warming are related. So far, however, this link remains a theory, rather than a
proven fact."

65: "Members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change hold a press conference at the close of the IPCC XXVII in 2007. The panel is composed mainly of politicians with various agendas, not of scientists."

so you can see where all this is heading....

66: "As you will learn later, most members of the IPCC are not scientists. Rather, they are political appointees who know little if anything about how the atmosphere works."

68: "A growing number of scientists believe that the CO2-greenhouse effect theory is just that--a mere drop in the bucket in terms of contributing to climate change."

Oh really? Anyway, this book just gets worse from there... it really devolves into rubbish and I am really skeptical about labeling the book "non-fiction."