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Climate Change: Picturing the Science [Paperback]

Gavin Schmidt , Joshua Wolfe , Jeffrey D. Sachs

RRP: 17.99
Price: 16.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 April 2009
Going beyond the headlines, this unprecedented union of scientific analysis and stunning photography by leading climate scientist Gavin Schmidt and master photographer Joshua Wolfe illustrates the ramifications of a shifting climate on the global ecosystem. Marshalling data spanning centuries and continents, the book sparkles with cutting-edge research and visual records, including contributions from experts on atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, technology, politics and the polar regions. As Jeffrey D. Sachs writes in his powerful foreword, 'Climate Change is a tour de force of public education.'

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Original edition (24 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393331253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393331257
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 20.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 737,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A combination of arresting images and lucid explanations of the science of global warming and the pursuit of global cooperation in adopting new, sustainable ways of living .the coverage is clear and bracing....In the midst of sobering reportage, the authors manage to appeal to our fascination with epic challenges. --Donna Seaman"

About the Author

* GAVIN SCHMIDT is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies as well as a co-founder of JOSHUA WOLFE's photography has appeared in Outside, Time Out and the Village Voice. He is a founder of GHG Photos, a leading photography agency specialising in climate change.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fair, Understandable Explanation of the Current Science 24 July 2009
By Scott A. Mandia - Published on
As noted by the authors, this book was structured around a medical metaphor of symptoms, diagnosis, and possible cures. The book is a collection of essays from scientists from many fields: climatology, meteorology, biology, geology, oceanography, chemistry, climate modeling, environmental politics, astrophysics, and other fields, so it becomes clear to the reader how climate change has impacted all aspects of planet Earth. The authors have summarized the latest research in climate science in a style that makes the information very accessible to the non-scientist.

The authors also make it clear what is well known vs. what is not well known in the rapidly evolving field of climate science. A very fair representation of the current science.

For those looking for more actual data, there are better books, but this book is an excellent resource for the general public and I have listed it on my Global Warming Website linked below.

Scott A. Mandia, Professor - Physical Sciences
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific, but accessible 6 July 2009
By David R. Cassatt - Published on
This book provides an excellent introduction to the science behind climate change and the options we have available to us. Climatologist Gavin Schmidt of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and photographer Joshua Wolfe have collected a variety of scientists, photographers, science historians and science writers who tell and show the story of what may be the biggest challenge facing us. Difficult concepts are explained clearly for the reader just trying to sort out the conflicting information that is out there, but there is also something for those who have kept up with the science. The authors do not try to show a false balance, but do explain where the uncertainties lie.

There are a number of books that are worth reading; what makes this book of particular value is the striking photography; from the "bathtub rings" of Lake Meade to the destruction caused by bark beetles. The pictures of scientists in the field and in their labs and offices (Wally Broecker's office is truly notable) are a nice touch. The writing, although contributed by different authors, is excellent and the chapters are well-integrated. The chapters that stand out to this reviewer are 1. "Taking the Temperature of the Planet" by Peter deMenocal, 6. "Climate Drivers" by Tim Hall and 7. "Studying Climate" by Drs. Schmidt and deMenocal. The essays and photo-essays that follow many of the chapters provide further snippets of information.

One quibble I have is that the book does not provide extensive notes. The reader is directed to books, web sites and the IPCC reports, but some original sources and scientific review papers would help the more advanced reader. But the strengths of the book are such that his book belongs up there with other excellent climate-related books such as Elizabeth Kolbert's "Field Notes from a Catastrophe", David Archer's "The Long Thaw" and Joseph Romm's "Hell and High Water". It is truly worth a read.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Showing the real effects of climate change 15 Jun 2009
By Future Watch Writer - Published on
This book brings to life the fact that climate change is not an intellectual theory. It's happening right now as you read this all around the world. Even worse is the fact that the pace of climate change is picking up speed, faster than the worst predictions of most experts. For other books like this I would recommend Extreme Ice Now: Vanishing Glaciers and Changing Climate: A Progress Report and the PBS documentary Extreme Ice.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction 11 Mar 2010
By R. Albin - Published on
For what it aims to do, this book is excellent. The authors aim at a basic but accurate introduction to anthropogenic global warming (AGW)in an accessible and attractive format. Included are not only the basics of AGW per se but also discussion of how the different forms of climate science are done, the consilient evidence, and a brief but useful introduction to policy issues. There are many stunning photographs and the text sections are clear and concise.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Science 6 Sep 2010
By J. D. Fraine - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful combination of the imagery and science. At one level, it could be a fascinating book about the wonders of scientific research, while at another it could be a collection of wonderful photography from scientists around the world. Seamlessly combining these two fronts, while elucidating the truth about climate change in a very real and striking way, "Climate Change: Picturing the Science" allows its readers to literally see what is happening to our world and those who are searching for a cure.
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