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Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

Mark Maslin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Nov 2004 Very Short Introductions
Global Warming is one of the most controversial scientific issues of the twenty-first century. This is a problem that has serious economic, sociological, geopolitical, political, and personal implications. This Very Short Introduction is an informative, up-to-date, and readable book about the predicted impacts of global warming and the surprises that could be in store for us in the near future. It unpacks the controversies that surround global warming, drawing on material from the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a huge collaborative study drawing together current thinking on the subject from experts in a range of disciplines, and for the first time presents the findings of the Panel for a general readership. The book also discusses the politics of global warming, and looks at what we can do now to adapt to climate change and mitigate its worst effects.

Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (25 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192840975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192840974
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 826,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Maslin's primer packs an amazing quantity and quality of data and debate into its brief span. -- The Independent, December 17, 2004

About the Author

Mark Maslin is Associate Professor at the Environmental Change Research Center in the Department of Geography at the University of London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Introduction 6 July 2005
By A Customer
It's very striking that at least three of Amazon's top 20 books on global warming represent only the sceptical / George W Bush view, which is supplied mostly by economists funded by oil companies rather than publicly-funded climate scientists as it happens. Are readers earnestly searching for a balanced view, or is it that we prefer to read books that confirm our hopes and allow us to go on with our lives reassured?
This little book makes two major contributions to the debate. First it conveys all the essential information about global warming in an accurate and accessible way, soundly based in the author's extensive experience in paleoclimatic studies. But at least as important is the way in which it engages with climate change scepticism, showing how it is based in real scientific argument as well as self-serving dismissal. The arguments of sceptics are fairly represented, with some points frankly conceded and other rebutted with the help of the latest scientific evidence. But as well as arguing the specific claims, the author shows how the debate reflects deeper divisions between participants regarding conceptions of nature and risk. So for example sceptics might view nature as basically resilient, even eternal, thus discounting environmental risks compared with environmentalists who view it as basically fragile and transient. In other words, as well as trying to resolve some of the arguments about global warming, he shows how some are effectively insoluble in purely scientific terms. If you're after real balance, rather than ideologically-motivated reassurance, you can find it here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just want I wanted! 12 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am writing an essay for my global warming module and felt that i wanted something to explain the basics to me before I went into too much depth and this was perfect! The content was consistent with what I was learning on my course and was explained similarly to my lecture making it clear, concise and easy to understand and pick out info as a starting point. Read over one day picking out what i wanted - though to be honest I did read most of it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 19 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brilliant book for many uses, I used it as my only revision guide for a climate change module at university level. Easy to read for interest reading, or finding clear specific facts for writing or whatever. Recommend.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This should be required reading for global warming deniers, not least because it thoroughly and scientifically rubbishes the arguments of naysayers. The future prospects are not good and I doubt that there is enough political will anywhere at present. No doubt it will come, too late.
It should be read in concert with the VSI on "Ice Ages".
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 17 Oct 2009
I believe everyone should read this book.

It is a great little introduction to the current issues of global warming, examining a lot of factors contributing to our knowledge about the science behind our climate and the earth, as well as looking into the arguments of the skeptics.

He quotes a lot of different writers, and there is a comprehensive list of books at the end of the book, which includes other great books like Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist.

This book makes it very clear what things matter, how things work, what can be done, and what should be done. He especially highlights the importance of arriving at a new, better protocol that will help us out of the mess we've gotten ourselves in, by taking drastic measures against further exploitation and pollution of our planet (we only have one). This is the protocol that will be decided in December in Copenhagen, which is why we must make sure to put pressure to our governments to stop talking and start acting - there really isn't much time.

A great little book, and -just like the other books of the series- it provides a very comprehensive insight at a very complicated issue, and does so in an enjoyable and engaging manner.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The facts, but still too much optimism 31 Jan 2010
This pocket-sized book is from the extensive series of `very short introductions' by Oxford University Press. It was very useful to read on trains. It is a solid reference book, with plenty of guides to further reading and study. It was perfect for my purpose - to become an informed amateur on the subject.

It explains the science and the politics of the science very fluently. It is calm and objective, but firmly putting down doubts and canards about whether global warming is actually happening and whether or not humans are a prime cause of the current phase of warming. The conclusions are clear, but still cast in an admirable Popperian humility and willingness to go on searching for truth and facing difficult facts.

Buried in it are some appallingly depressing facts. For instance, the worst case scenario of the IPCC for carbon dioxide emissions in the 21st Century is already being exceeded by a large margin and accelerating. The consensus modelled predictions for consequent temperature rise in by 2100 are around 6 degrees. The impacts of this scenario in terms of weather patterns, sea level, ocean acidity, fresh water scarcity, crop yields, disease, biodiversity and human population are so bad that the author simply writes `Don't go there' - having described the probable outcomes of lower temperature changes.

He tries to inject a positive note at the end by describing solutions and his personal vision of a new urban environment. But, frankly, these ideas seem like pissing in the wind, compared with the possible changes to our sustaining environment soberly examined in the book.

John Vernon
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars greta lil intro
This book gives a great brief introduction to the current information surrounding global warming. Its short, simple and easy to read.
Published 15 months ago by iammeg
1.0 out of 5 stars Over-simplified diatribe
This is yet another hysterical and alarmist book about global warming. It is unclear what qualifications Mr Maslin has to pontificate about the topic, but he appears to accept the... Read more
Published on 13 May 2012 by Dr. P. R. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and Sweet
If you want to give one book to people who want to know what the global warming fuss is, this is it. Read more
Published on 29 Nov 2011 by M. Mainelli
5.0 out of 5 stars readable and largely balanced
This is one of the better ' Very short introductions' being both readable and authoritative. The author covers the causes, effects and solutions to global warming, addressing... Read more
Published on 9 Aug 2011 by Schrodinger's cat
4.0 out of 5 stars Rigorous, informative and thorough - an excellent examination of...
The Very Short Introduction series by Oxford University Press has a good reputation for presenting challenging subjects in an easily accessible manner. Read more
Published on 21 May 2008 by The Wanderer
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review, with some original ideas too - well worth the modest...
Professor Maslin has written a wide ranging, comprehensive and reasonably balanced review of global warming theory, despite declaring himself part of "the consensus" pretty early... Read more
Published on 12 Jan 2008 by Nicholas J. R. Dougan
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