Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change: Exploring the Real Risks and how We Can Avoid Them

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Michael C. MacCracken, Frances Moore, John C. Topping
Earthscan, 2008 - Political Science - 326 pages
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'An impressive accomplishment. Al Gore, Former Vice President of the US, co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and author of An Inconvenient Truth Offers positive solutions that no rational person, organization or government can ignore - except at their peril. Stephen H. Schneider, Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Stanford University, and author of The Genesis Strategy: Climate and Global Survival The science is clear and the message of this book is that there is no more time for delay. Rosina M. Bierbaum, Dean, University of Michigan While changes in emissions and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are projected to be slow and smooth, the intensity and impacts of climate change on the environment and society could be abrupt and erratic. Surprising and nonlinear responses are likely to occur as warming exceeds certain thresholds, inducing relatively rapid and disruptive changes in the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, precipitation intensity and patterns, coastal inundation, the occurrence of wildfire, the ranges of plant and animal species and more. Written by a transdisciplinary group of internationally respected researchers, this book explores the possibilities of such changes, their significance for society and efforts to move more rapidly to limit climate change than current government measures.

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Part 1 The Potential for Rapid Changes to the Weather and Climate
Part 2 The Potential for Rapid Melting of Ice and Amplification of Sea Level Rise
Part 3 The Potential for Dramatic Changes in Coastal Regions
Part 4 The End of Evolution? The Potential for Rapid Changes in Ecosystems
Part 5 The Potential for Accelerating Action to Limit Climate Change
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About the author (2008)

Michael C. MacCracken is Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute in Washington DC, and is past President of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS). Frances Moore spent five months with the Climate Institute after graduating from Harvard; she now is a researcher with the Earth Policy Institute. John C. Topping, Jr is founder and President of the Climate Institute.

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