Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century?

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Lutterworth Press, 1990 - Nature - 343 pages
3 Reviews
"How important is a degree of temperature change' A degree or two temperature change is not a trivial number in global terms and it usually takes nature hundreds of thousands of years to bring it about on her own. We may be doing that in decades ... Humans are putting pollutants into the atmosphere at such a rate that we could be changing the climate on a sustained basis some ten to a hundred times faster than nature has since the height of the last ice age."
Stephen H. Schneider

This essential book examines the causes of world-wide climatic change - the 'greenhouse effect' - that may raise world temperatures by five degrees Celsius in less than a century. Author Stephen H. Schneider describes the likely consequences - from agricultural changes and rises in sea level to public health issues and social upheaval - and addresses the most important and urgent question that anyone concerned with the fate of our planet must confront: 'What can or should be done about the greenhouse effect''

Global Warming offers a prophetic look at a year in the greenhouse century, one of slowly increasing global temperatures (a century that may have already begun). The immediate scenarios are grave: population pressures combined with devastating floods and hurricanes drive millions of 'environmental refugees from South East Asia to find homes in Australia; California smothers under heat, smog, water shortages, and raging forest fires; and New York experiences summer heat waves so intense that hospital emergency rooms are jammed with victims.

The outlook for Britain could be equally serious: the UN predicts that global warming may cause severe winter storms, the flooding of coastal defences, and even malaria in Southern England.

Dr Schneider provides and authoritative and entertaining look at the science, personalities and politics behind the problem of global warming. He explains in clear, non-technical language what is scientifically well known, what is speculative, and where the major uncertainties lie. He presents an overview of sixty million years of global climate history, explaining the mechanisms that regulate climate, demonstrates how a few degrees variation can precipitate dramatic evens such as the Ice Age, and discusses how predictions are made by computer modelling to anticipate climatic changes into the next century.

Global Warming provides a revealing inside look at the problems scientists encounter in dealing with other scientists, politicians and the media. Although statesmen have called for a giant international effort to tackle the issue, few concrete measures have been taken so far. Global Warming outlines the ways individuals, governments and businesses can work together to slow down the damage our impact has inflicted on the planet, and help make global development more environmentally sustainable.

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