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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and gripping read
I was given this by a friend who accidently purchased two copies with her Amazon 'one click'! I took it on holiday to Brasil with me (!) and loved it. I thought it was a well written book that presented some otherwise impossible to understand data in an entertaining and enjoyable way (if reading about how the end of the human race might look like can be called...
Published on 16 Dec 2009 by J. Nicholson

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different approach with some merit.
The book attempts to show how different rises in temperature for the century will affect us.

It is readable and informative, and thought-provoking. It's flow, however, is interrupted by continual references to the same consequences which were mentioned in previous (degree) chapters, and give the impression that the references were inserted in a slightly tired...
Published on 10 Mar 2012 by Acts5v29


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and gripping read, 16 Dec 2009
By 
J. Nicholson (London) - See all my reviews
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I was given this by a friend who accidently purchased two copies with her Amazon 'one click'! I took it on holiday to Brasil with me (!) and loved it. I thought it was a well written book that presented some otherwise impossible to understand data in an entertaining and enjoyable way (if reading about how the end of the human race might look like can be called enjoyable). It is meant to be an emotive book as the author does want you to get off your behind and do something about it - and to do it NOW. So I guess he has picked and chosen research to back up his beliefs. I don't have a problem with this and thought the author was honest about the fact that no one really knows what is going to happen and the models aren't predictions but are just possible scenarios. The information I found most interesting was about when/how oil was formed (and how this cooled the earth all those years ago) and how by burning it we are basically reheating the planet. If anything this book made me feel less guilty about forgetting to recyle every scrap of cardboard or taking a long haul flight for a holiday, and made me more aware that if governments through-out the world keep putting economic growth first on their agenda then quite frankly it's not looking good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, 7 May 2012
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I am neither a green hippie or a climate change denier so I read this with an open mind.

This book is well written, each chapter covers the possibilities based on each 1 degree rise in temperature. By the end it does become a little tedious but I enjoyed the book and found its arguments compelling.
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68 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six steps to some surprises, 19 Aug 2007
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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It's hard to understand how there could be any climate change "sceptics" remaining. Perhaps they have failed to comprehend the long view of what the circumstances are. What does an increase in global temperatures really mean? Mark Lynas has culled the massive number of reports on the topic and here woven them into a comprehensive picture of likely futures for this planet. In this effective work, he lines out what the changes in our biosphere are likely to be over the next decades. It's a chilling account and one that should be in the hands of every industrialist, policy-maker and tax-paying consumer.

Using the data supplied by his extensive resources, Lynas depicts global and regional changes in environment due to increase over time. His temperature range selection is driven by the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC's reports indicate a six degree Celsius increase over the next century. Integrating the scientific research on the biosphere, IPCC is able to review existing and past conditions and those likely to ensue in the future. Lynas synthesizes the reports to present a picture of conditions likely with each degree of heat will lead to over time. The first degree is typified by examples of drought. The Great Plains of the US trans-Mississippi is already showing signs of that dry-out. The author explains that drought in one place may be off-set by rainstorms elsewhere. Heat over land desiccates, but heat over water increases evaporation leading to greater precipitation. Even with but a single step up in temperature, the rains may be intense in some locales. This seems to be occurring already, with ravaging storms displacing many refugees. Katrina is almost certainly an example of the new environment.

As he progresses through the impact of biosphere heating, he reminds the reader that the social costs will only grow higher. If the North Atlantic Current is flooded by fresh water runoff from North America and Greenland, northern Europe may be facing a cold snap. The cooling will be brief, however, as dry conditions will move into Europe from Africa. The moving warm air will be accompanied by the Mediterranean population fleeing dried-out farms and depleted fisheries. While there remains doubt about how long it might take to shut down the Gulf Stream, the drought conditions are inevitable if the rate of heating continues unabated. Millions of people will be displaced, but whether they will find refuge is problematic. As Lynas points out, the forces and numbers involved here are so staggering that it's difficult for all of us to conceive of them in our minds. Katrina emptied an entire city, but those people were absorbed into other areas. The idea of whole nations on the move is beyond imagining. Yet that is the very prospect we, and our children will be facing.

The point of this book is that during the ensuing decades, we are all, every culture, religion, social group and government, facing a planetary disruption of unpredictable severity. That's a difficult concept to grasp, but the challenge is there and clearly present. Attempts to deny it may give us superficial comfort, but, as Lynas points out, similar crises have occurred in the past. Our civilisations weren't there to experience them and we have few precedents to draw on for planning corrective action. He describes those ancient events with clarity and concern, but leaves to the reader how the conditions might affect their daily lives. It's not an easy task, but obviously must be undertaken.

If there's a serious flaw in this book - and there isn't - the major one is the failure to assess cascade effects through time. Explaining conditions by steps of temperature is a useful and needed exercise. What's lacking is some effort to deal with the population displacement and the results of that movement. While it would necessarily be in the realm of speculation, the questions should have been raised, or where they are noted, been offered with greater clarity. Lynas' own use of language, however, is severe enough. Tackling the social questions more thoroughly might exhaust his lexicon. The human issue is, to us, the big one, but the next step in his analysis might also have prompted some actions we might consider. Several recent books, most notably George Monbiot's "Heat" address this question squarely. Perhaps it's best for readers to seriously consider investing in both. But you must also consider how many copies to purchase. Both these books need to be widely read and acted on. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking!, 16 April 2007
By 
L. N. Harvey "cowmanfred" (london) - See all my reviews
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The premise for the book is immediately appealing- the amount of current research out there to grasp can be daunting (in number and complexity) to say the least but Lynas has done all the hard work and compiled a sort of global overview of what we can expect in the near future- degree by frightening degree. There are a few things that make this book 5 stars to me- firstly, it's written the way science literature should be- every statement backed up with a source. So just when you think he's laying on the rhetoric a little heavy, i.e. global methane fireballs, it's backed up in the substantial (to say the VERY least) list of references. Secondly, his style is never dreamily optimistic, nor is it tiringly depressing- it's written with kind of a straightforward urgency that is very inspiring. Lastly, while being a palaeoclimate student, i get bogged down in relentless detailed science, which he managed to tactfully sidestep here while pointing in the right direction for further detailed reading. Also, maybe it's just me, but the 6th chapter seems like a tactful stab at the IPCC's prediction of a possible 6 degree increase in ave temp as the chapter is nothing short of apocalyptic hell on earth. Sort of like them saying: "mmm, climate is changing- we can expect anything from higher sea levels and economic strain to a fiery hellish mass extinction." Best book i've read in a long time, and probably one i'll revisit many times in the future.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different approach with some merit., 10 Mar 2012
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The book attempts to show how different rises in temperature for the century will affect us.

It is readable and informative, and thought-provoking. It's flow, however, is interrupted by continual references to the same consequences which were mentioned in previous (degree) chapters, and give the impression that the references were inserted in a slightly tired manner. As the book concentrates on temperature rise, the parallel topic of domino-dynamics effects is a shade sidelined. The climate crisis is far more than "mere" warming, so it was inevitable that this - more specifically focused book - would lack in some areas, or risk becoming (another of many) all-encompassing tome and fail in its aim to spark fresh interest in the reader.

If there is a real disappointment, it is a feature common with Environmental Scientist writers - through their concern, I stress, rather than through neglect - that they provide a good and graphic depiction of the climate crisis, then sadly veer toward how to solve it. This is to walk into the quicksand of political intransigence and (most probably) hopeless expectation of movement from the powers that be. It tends to come across as a desperate plea juxtaposed against their fine portrayal of climate crisis science and its consequences, and I believe the book would have benefitted by omitting this portion in favour of leaving the reader to ponder on the very worrying future which it quite vividly portrays.

I would recommend this book, the reader would benefit from its approach and vision.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The future if we continue to act stupidly, 19 May 2010
By 
A. Cotton "AJR" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (Paperback)
An interesting easy to read book. I'm relatively well informed with regards to climate change and issues of sustainability so nothing in this book should really come as a surprise. Nevertheless its discomforting to have it laid out so clearly. This book is worth reading and passing to people who need nudging and their eyes open.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done., 31 Dec 2009
By 
Jamie Osborne (Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (Paperback)
The 2007 IPCC AR4 report predicts a potential increase in global mean temperature before 2100 of between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees C.

That's a broad range...? Why the uncertainty? What do these numbers actually mean? Surely 6 degrees is not such a big deal - we have that kind of difference every week, right?

Popular science writer Mark Lynas has done a Herculean job of sorting through all the reports, scientific papers, climate model predictions etc, and breaking down what these mean in terms of one degree C increments, in terms that everyone can understand.

The book is primarily six chapters, starting at "One Degree" and building up to a truly terrifying "Six Degrees". There is also a brief introduction, conclusion, and more than 50 pages of notes and references...

The conclusion, entitled "Choosing our Future" is particularly well done. Poignant and impassioned, yet measured, pragmatic and very cautiously optimistic... It avoids the pithy platitudes that you often find in such books.

Lynas has done his homework, and he's a good writer. If you want to understand what the science really means to you and your children then add this one to your cart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 26 Feb 2011
This review is from: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (Paperback)
This book should be read by everyone who cares what happens to humanity and our planet. Utterly terrifying, but presented in a reasoned and scientific way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than a degree of understanding, 21 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (Paperback)
As Lynas says, most people have no idea what the rises in the temperature might mean. And nor did I till I read his book.

Excellent book for people who don't get science or figures (like me).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary stuff, 15 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (Paperback)
I've read many climate change books and this is up there with the best. I initially distrusted the book because it was written by a journalist and not a scientist but it soon becomes clear that this is far more a science book than a ranting journo. The author skilfully draws together his research into a terrifying format of a world affected by first one, then two, then three degrees warming. By the time you get to what would happen at six degrees of warming you are pretty much desensitised to the horror.

One of the good things about the book is the author's honesty. Where the science is sketchy he makes it clear. At five and six degrees how the world will react is impossible to say at the moment but Lynas makes this absolutely clear to the reader, explaining that this is almost uncharted territory and that his ideas are more speculative. At this level of warming he delves into past climates to find analogues in earth's history for what might happen.

Another good thing that I particularly liked is the final chapter. Most climate change books cop out by saying that there's still time to change things. Lynas does try to offer hope but also points out how unlikely it is that anything will stop the mess that man has caused, and continues to cause. He talks about the nature of man here, how he can deny or justify anything and this is fascinating. It's also the crux of the climate change problem.
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Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas (Paperback - 4 Feb 2008)
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