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Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects [Paperback]

Jonathan Cowie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

5 July 2007 0521696194 978-0521696197 1
In recent years climate change has become recognised as the foremost environmental problem of the twenty-first century. Not only will climate change potentially affect the multibillion dollar energy strategies of countries worldwide, but it also could seriously affect many species, including our own. A fascinating introduction to the subject, this textbook provides a broad review of past, present and likely future climate change from the viewpoints of biology, ecology and human ecology. It will be of interest to a wide range of people, from students in the life sciences who need a brief overview of the basics of climate science, to atmospheric science, geography, and environmental science students who need to understand the biological and human ecological implications of climate change. It will also be a valuable reference for those involved in environmental monitoring, conservation, policy-making and policy lobbying.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521696194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521696197
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 2.2 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'This book provides a useful review of past, present and likely future climate change from the viewpoints of biology, ecology and human ecology. It is a useful introduction to the subject, giving a brief overview of the basics of climate science, … The book is also a useful reference for those involved in environmental monitoring, conservation, policy-making and lobbying.' Petroleum Review

'Cowie (formerly, Inst. of Biology, UK) offers an excellent overview of the foremost environmental problem of the 21st century.' Choice

'… refreshing to step back and look at the bigger picture of global change that this book addresses. It should be a useful starting point for environmentalists, policy makers, and teachers. The book does an excellent job of pulling together the complex web of evidence for climate change by carefully setting the current conditions in the context of climate change over the recent and distant past. It will benefit anyone trying to understand the tremendous human consequences of these changes. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels.' D. F. Karnosky, Michigan Technological University

'… a perceptive approach to the subject. … Cowie uses his pen without waving his arms, and has put together a book that is measured, informative, balanced, scientifically sound, and as up-to-date as a book can possibly be in these days of rapid information accretion.' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society

'… anyone who wants to understand climate change and its impacts, but who doesn't have time to earn a PhD on the topic, should by this book.' Bioscience

'[This book] is written to be accessible to undergraduates, scientists outside of the life sciences, specialists reading outside of their field, and policy makers and analysts interested in climate change and its relevance to society. … Cowie excels in clearly describing complex interactions and explaining the need to consider the influences of multiple interacting factors, the relative importance of which can vary across time. … Cowie makes it easy both to appreciate the degree of societal impact associated with historical and current climate variations and to consider what could happen in the future if more severe climatic changes occur. … Overall, Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects is a fine treatment of global climate change and interactions with biological systems that can be used to inform a variety of readers. It has value as an educational introduction to climate change for nonscientists as well as a refresher for scientists. Almost everyone is likely to gain a fresh perspective or learn something new.' Diane E. Wickland, EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union

'The descriptions of the biological interactions with climate are enlightening. The scientist reader will come away with a better idea of how his/her work applies to policy and will gain a better perspective on the big picture.' American Meteorological Society

'Cowie's book … demands to be read. … reader-friendly, quantitative, authoritative but above all, stimulating … intelligently arranged … Cowie is to be congratulated for presenting a highly complex, yet fundamentally vital distil of a problem of literally global proportions that will play out its final scene long into the future.' The Biologist

'… delightful … balanced and reliable - a very good read' The Biologist

'This remarkable book about global warming was written by an erudite biologist rather than a physical scientist. … The result is a very valuable and original contribution about how climate change has affected the earth's biota in the past, what is now occurring and what is likely to occur in the future. … It is a masterpiece in its subject area in the opinion of this reviewer and will be read for many years because much of the material will not become dated. … This book deserves to be widely read as it provides an extremely important and valuable overview of what is happening to our planet due to the irresponsible misuse of valuable resources and fossil fuels for many years in the developed 20% portion of the world. Every scientist should read it carefully and then become involved in explaining what is happening to those unlikely to read about this subject.' Physics in Canada

'Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects, by Jonathan Cowie, is an impressive endeavor that weaves together discussion of both natural and social science processes associated with climate change. … through … roughly one-hundred pages of great detail … Cowie successfully situates our present anthropogenic climate change predicament. … [His] book is useful as a central science text.' Global Environmental Politics

'Overlapping the disciplines of atmospheric and life sciences, this is the first book on aspects of climate change and biological impacts which I have seen for some years which addresses these issues in a comprehensive manner, by showing the co-evolution of climate and life through geological time … The book will make an excellent teaching aid, allowing students from the biological and atmospheric sciences to see fundamental interaction between climate change and life, and an excellent reference for anybody interested in these interactions.' P. J. A. Burt, Meteorological Applications

Book Description

A fascinating introduction to the subject of climate change, this textbook provides a review of past, present and likely future climate change. It will be of interest to life sciences, atmospheric science, geography, and environmental science students, and those involved in environmental monitoring, conservation and policy-making.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and concise 22 May 2008
Format:Paperback
This text provides possibly one of the most up to date examinations of climate change from a scientific point of view, which is to be commended.
The book deals with the scientific methods for detecting climate changes, past climate changes, present changes, as well as the human ecology of climate change (this section in particular is dealt with in a manner often overlooked by other texts).
For an examination of the political implications of climate change at a governmental level in the modern period the section 'Sustainability and Policy' is particularly useful. The section on past climate changes are also very useful for all levels of study. The text raises several issues as to the manner in which climatic data is utilised by scientists and non-scientists alike in the modern period which should prove useful for students of the field who are often faced with a multitude of texts (often of a contradictory nature).
At all times the book encourages the reader to critically examine the masses of information available in the expanding field of climate change studies from multiple points of view. It does not attempt to simplify the issues into clear and concise explanation, which is one of the book's laudable aspects.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Available 22 Aug 2009
By Robert M. Buchanan Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Jonathan Cowie's 2008 volume is the best book available on a critically important subject: how climate change affects life on earth. The book has an admirably broad perspective. Its content is rich and robust. Although Cowie's book is not as easy read (and could have been edited further), it is well worth the effort. Required reading for anyone who wants to understand our world.
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