Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach

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Cambridge University Press, May 3, 2001 - Nature - 298 pages
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This volume provides an up-to-date presentation of climate change and its implications for society. Burroughs, an expert on the subject, begins with balanced coverage of the physical principles of the global climate, its behavior on all timescales, and the evidence for and consequences of past change. He then reviews the methods used to measure climate change and the statistical methods for analyzing data. A comprehensive guide, the volume also explores the causes of change and how this behavior can be modeled. The final sections discuss predictions of future climate change and the economic and political debate surrounding its prevention and mitigation. This is a valuable undergraduate textbook for a wide range of courses, including meteorology, oceanography, environmental science, earth science, geography, history, agriculture and social science. It will also appeal to a wider general audience of readers in search of a better understanding of climate change.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
11 WEATHER AND CLIMATE
2
13 CONNECTIONS TIMESCALES AND UNCERTAINTIES
3
RADIATION AND THE EARTHS ENERGY BALANCE
10
21 SOLAR AND TERRESTRIAL RADIATION
11
22 SOLAR VARIABILITY
27
23 SUMMARY
30
THE ELEMENTS OF THE CLIMATE
32
63 HISTORICAL RECORDS
151
64 PROXY MEASUREMENTS
153
65 DATING
168
ISOTOPIC AGE DATING
169
67 SUMMARY
173
STATISTICS SIGNIFICANCE AND CYCLES
175
71 TIME SERIES SAMPLING AND HARMONIC ANALYSIS
176
72 NOISE
180

32 ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION PATTERNS
36
33 RADIATION BALANCE
45
34 THE HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE
49
35 THE BIOSPHERE
50
36 SUSTAINED ABNORMAL WEATHER PATTERNS
51
37 ATMOSPHEREOCEAN INTERACTIONS
56
38 THE GREAT OCEAN CONVEYOR
67
39 SUMMARY
71
EVIDENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE
73
41 PEERING INTO THE ABYSS OF TIME
74
42 ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION
85
43 SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS
87
44 THE ICE AGES
90
45 THE END OF THE LAST ICE AGE
95
46 THE HOLOCENE CLIMATIC OPTIMUM
98
47 CHANGES IN RECORDED HISTORY
100
48 THE MEDIEVAL CLIMATIC OPTIMUM
104
410 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY WARMING
110
411 CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS
113
CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
116
51 GEOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES
117
52 FLORA AND FAUNA
118
53 MASS EXTINCTIONS
122
54 GLACIERS ICE CAPS ICE SHEETS AND SEA LEVELS
123
55 THE HISTORICAL IMPACT OF CLIMATIC VARIATIONS
126
56 AGRICULTURE
128
57 SPREAD OF DISEASES
132
58 THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
134
59 SUMMARY
137
THE MEASUREMENT OF CLIMATIC CHANGE
139
61 INSTRUMENTAL OBSERVATIONS
140
62 SATELLITE MEASUREMENTS
146
73 MEASURES OF VARIABILITY AND SIGNIFICANCE
182
74 SMOOTHING
193
75 MULTIDIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS
197
76 SUMMARY
199
THE CAUSES OF CLIMATIC CHANGE
201
81 AUTOVARIANCE AND NONLINEARITY
202
82 ATMOSPHEREOCEAN INTERACTIONS
204
83 OCEAN CURRENTS
207
84 VOLCANOES
208
85 SUNSPOTS AND SOLAR ACTIVITY
211
86 TIDAL FORCES
217
87 ORBITAL VARIATIONS
221
88 CHANGES IN ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION
225
89 HUMAN ACTIVITIES
227
810 CATASTROPHES AND THE NUCLEAR WINTER
230
811 SUMMARY
235
MODELLING THE CLIMATE
239
91 GLOBAL CIRCULATION MODELS
240
92 SIMULATION OF CLIMATIC VARIABILITY
247
93 THE CHALLENGES FACING MODELLERS
252
94 SUMMARY
257
PREDICTING CLIMATE CHANGE
259
102 PREDICTING GLOBAL WARMING
261
103 THE PREDICTED CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL WARMING
263
104 WHEN WILL WE BE CERTAIN ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING?
267
105 CAN WE DO ANYTHING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?
271
106 THE GAIA HYPOTHESIS
273
BIBLIOGRAPHY
277
GLOSSARY
283
INDEX
293
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