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Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes [Hardcover]

Bill McGuire
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 15.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Feb 2012
Twenty thousand years ago our planet was an icehouse. Temperatures were down six degrees; ice sheets kilometres thick buried much of Europe and North America and sea levels were 130m lower. The following 15 millennia saw an astonishing transformation as our planet metamorphosed into the temperate world upon which our civilisation has grown and thrived. One of the most dynamic periods in Earth history saw rocketing temperatures melt the great ice sheets like butter on a hot summer's day; feeding torrents of freshwater into ocean basins that rapidly filled to present levels. The removal of the enormous weight of ice at high latitudes caused the crust to bounce back triggering earthquakes in Europe and North America and provoking an unprecedented volcanic outburst in Iceland. A giant submarine landslide off the coast of Norway sent a tsunami crashing onto the Scottish coast while around the margins of the continents the massive load exerted on the crust by soaring sea levels encouraged a widespread seismic and volcanic rejoinder. In many ways, this post-glacial world mirrors that projected to arise as a consequence of unmitigated climate change driven by human activities. Already there are signs that the effects of climbing global temperatures are causing the sleeping giant to stir once again. Could it be that we are on track to bequeath to our children and their children not only a far hotter world, but also a more geologically fractious one?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (23 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199592268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199592265
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 356,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

McGuire traces this fascinating and disturbing story from the past in order to alert us to present and future perils (Geographical Magazine)

The author succeeds at interpreting complex earth science into compelling reading for a popular audience. Anyone with an interest in climate change, geology, and atmospheric science will enjoy this work. (Jeffrey Beall, Library Journal)

Professor Bill McGuires new book is a well-timed and beautifully written work on the links between the Earths climate and its geological processes. (The Climate Hub)

About the Author


Bill McGuire is Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London. His books include Surviving Armageddon: Solutions for a Threatened Planet and most recently Seven Years to Save the Planet.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 11 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bill McGuire gives us a new slant on the vexed issue of climate change and its unforeseen effects on the ground beneath our feet. I never suspected that it could also have such a devastating effect on volcanic activity and earthquakes, and the author puts it in such a lucid and flowing way that you are soon convinced. There are still too many people wallowing in the false comfort that climate change is not happening, that there's no evidence for it. Well, Bill McGuire would soon put them right on that score, and with a little added spice to go with it in his explanation of this little known fact that the phenomenon can also be responsible for the Earth shaking itself to remind us of who's really in charge. I recommend this book to anyone who cares about our planet and how it works. Stand by to be enlightened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole Earth Response to Climate Change 17 Sep 2012
By lisa
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bill McGuire's new book is a tour de force-it's importance in the study of climate change is seen in its treatment of the Earth as an interactive system.Melting ice sheets,rising sea levels,warming seas-these all profoundly influence not only the jet stream,our weather and atmosphere but the Earth itself and all that therein is,including the turbulent world of subterranean magma flows and volcanic eruptions.The surprising thing perhaps is the scientific evidence showing how sensitive the Earth's systems appear to be to relatively small rises in sea level or changes in temperature.This book should be mandatory reading for all politicians and decision makers as a wake up call for action and forward planning if we are to seek to preserve life as we know it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wakiing the Giant 17 April 2012
By Jade
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A really good example of the popular science category. An enjoyable style of writing which keeps the reader interested and keen to find out more. There is much in the way of evidence for the subject being described, but none of it is either difficult to understand or will put off even the less interested reader. At this present time of 'global warming' the author does justice to the title and to explaining his ideas. A small niggle is in regard to the illustrations which, I feel, could be of better quality.
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Is there any science in this book? 1 9 May 2012
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