Climate Systems: Interactive Forces of Global Warming

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Infobase Publishing, 2009 - Science - 219 pages
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Many scientists today refer to the phenomenon of "global warming" as "climate change" because they feel it is a better overall description of the situation. While it is certainly true that the atmosphere is warming up, that is only one part of the problem. As the Earth's atmosphere continues to warm, glaciers and ice caps are melting, the sea level is rising, seasons are shifting, and storms are becoming more intense. Some ecosystems are shifting where they still can; others are beginning to fail. In short, humans are changing the Earth's climate—and not for the better.

Climate Systems gives students the basic scientific framework needed to understand how climate systems work and what global warming involves. Outlining the concepts of global systems, climate cycles, and the atmosphere's structure, this full-color book discusses the local motions in the atmosphere that affect weather and climate—from regional and local wind systems to extreme weather and emergency preparedness. This informative volume also examines various countries and how they contribute to the problem as well as strategies for coping with global climate change, current research, and what lies ahead.

Chapters include:

  • Elements of the Climate System
  • The Carbon Cycle and Its Links to Other Major Cycles
  • Plate Tectonics: Climate and Movement of the Earth's Continents
  • The Flow of Energy
  • Planetary and Global Motions in the Atmosphere that Affect Climate
  • Local Motions in the Atmosphere That Affect Weather and Climate
  • Ocean Currents
  • The Global Warming Issue
  • The Big Picture
  • Conclusions and a Glance into the Future.
  

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Contents

Elements of the Climate System
1
The Carbon Cycle and Its Links to Other Major Cycles
28
Plate Tectonics Climate and Movement of the Earths Continents
41
The Flow of Energy
55
Planetary and Global Motions in the Atmosphere That Affect Climate
72
Local Motions in the Atmosphere That Affect Weather and Climate
94
Ocean Currents
110
The Global Warming Issue
122
The Big Picture
146
Conclusions and a Glance into the Future
161
Chronology
175
Glossary
181
Further Resources
190
Index
211
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About the author (2009)

Julie Kerr Casper, Ph.D., has been an Earth scientist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for nearly 30 years. BLM is one of the leading agencies in the U.S. dealing with environmental and natural resource issues. Besides job experience, she also has B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Earth science applications.

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