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Earth's Climate History [Kindle Edition]

Anton Uriarte
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book aims to chart in chronological order the most important climate changes that have occurred to date on our planet, from its remote origins to the present day. It is not easy to find a publication containing a diachronic narration, a linear charting of the history of the world's climate. I have attempted to provide such a recounting here.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5566 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0069VFEXC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #593,033 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars climate facts - not spin 19 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant wonderful book - so much nonsense published about climate from the established media such as the bbc - a refreshing change to read a book - that provides facts and context - from an author who actually understands this complex topic.
Only criticism is not adapted completly for ipad or kindle eg table of contents ??
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
5 Star Service, Great price, Excellent Read .. Excellent quick delivery
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Climatology 10 April 2012
By Rob Hooft - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book provides a very good overview of Earth's Climate history and is a must-read for anyone with an interest in how current human activity may affect our Climate(s). Also- finally a Kindle version that does contain all the (excellent) graphs and maps that a book like this requires; overall, excellent value for money.

The book is somewhat uneven though, between good didactic treatment of some topics and other sections reading more like a scientific Review in a specialized Journal. There are also a few glaring errors "..Swiss coast of the Baltic" (confusing Switzerland and, presumably, Sweden - I know- all a long way from Spain...). Also, technical terms are thrown in at one point but explained only later in the book (if at all). While the text cites many very interesting facts, it feels sometimes incomplete- for instance, if one mentions that the biological "explosion" in the Cambrian may be related to the emergence of the "Hox" gene, then it should really also be pointed out that this gene family was recently found to be responsible for both arthropod (eg insect) and mammalian body plans. Similarly, when it is stated that the density of leaf stomata (openings that allow exchange of gases) relates to CO2 levels, then it should also be mentioned that plants try to always limit these to avoid water loss, ie must compromise. It is this compromise setting that makes the correlation useful.

In spite of these shortcomings the book conveys very well the way Climatologists think about the global processes that control our Climate. What struck me most is the wild volatility of our Climate in the past few million years with dramatic reversals occurring sometimes within decades. It is still not clear to me if our climate really has started to wildly oscillate or that the record has merely become more precise, closer to present. If the former is true than probably the large ice sheets are responsible (for this volatility), as these did not exist before this "Glacial" era. Second, most of this period was much colder than the rare, comfy, short interglacials such as we enjoy today. Uriarte presents a long, well-balanced discussion over the possible consequences of CO2 increase and the political debate and international efforts to limit these, as well as other pollutants. What I felt missing was a more medium-term future Climate outlook in light of Earth's "natural trends". Uriarte cites a study concuding that "...no less than 35% of the [greenhouse gases] increase over the last 300 years is due to changes in agricultural land use", and also mentions William Ruddiman's hypothesis that human agriculture activity over the past millennia may so far have delayed the return to a new Glacial period (which Orbital forcing suggests should have started a long time ago). The fact that such a hypothesis can even be made by an eminent Climatologist is testimony to the uncertainty in this field regarding natural trends and the effects of human activity.

Studying Earth's Climate history is our best chance to understanding the future, and while clearly much remains to be discovered in this area, Uriarte's book in an excellent guide to our current knowledge in this area.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to know and decide 29 Nov. 2011
By Miguel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Many opinions are said on climate warming, but little first hand info is really obtained. This book adds to our knowledge many concepts and reasons that allow us to be able to speak our own opinion instead of that of others.
Some or most of the graphics in the book can be seen in other books or articles, but here are all together. I am a lover myself of everything that can tell me where we are going in climate change. This book helped me to know more about it, and make to myself more questions.

It is a very good book to me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Climate History Excellent, With Limitations 29 Sept. 2012
By Jim - Oregon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent history of the earth's climate from the beginning until almost the present. I will get to that almost in a bit. This book is not easy reading. I'm an atmospheric sciences professional with a fair climate background. However, there were parts of the book that required rereading and a lot of thought. Not that it was wrong, it is just that it is not an easy subject to grasp, partly due to the writing I suspect. An interesting aspect is that the author does not just lay out the climate but goes into the competing theories behind each major change in the climate. After awhile the reader realizes that our understanding of the earth's historical climate is not that well understood. There are vastly different theories proposed for the changes that have occurred. Enough to make one wonder if our understanding is insufficient to develop reliable models to forecast and "prove" human-caused global warming.

And that is where the book strays. When the author gets to the present time, he ventures into lengthy discussions of each greenhouse gas and each significant pollutant. The competing theories continue to be discussed, leaving the reader wondering what is true and what is not. Then, to make it worse, at one point the author diverts from the science to political, social, etc. theories. That shook the credibility of the entire book. The author, in the lengthy greenhouse gas/pollutant dissertations talks about "climate forcing" of each but never wraps it all up. There are both positive and negative temperature impacts of the various gasses. But the reader would be forced to do the calculations himself to try to come out with an overall assessment of man-caused climate change. And finally, although the author notes some serious discrepancies in the accuracy of current measurements, he then buys off on the official numbers.

Still, even with these shortcomings, I would still rate the book worthwhile (although I did consider giving it 3 stars instead of 4).
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Earth's Climate History 30 July 2012
By Roland G. Sleater - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although the basic data contained in this ebook is well known, this is a good synoptic history that provides good ammunition for refuting the radical environmentalists that believe that anthropogenic CO2 and other man-made causes are precipitating a catastrophic future for mankind. As a result, they obstruct every cogent effort to make us independent of foreign energy sources. If nothing else this is another tool in the armamentarium against well-intentioned misinformation.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What you wanted to know about climate 28 Oct. 2012
By robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author was exceedingly thorough. Each period was given indepth research. He provided information and clarified
several areas of interest.
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