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His books include: A Guide to the End of the World: Everything you Never Wanted to Know; Surviving Armageddon: Solutions for a Threatened Planet; and Seven Years to Save the Planet. His current book is Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes; ranked at number five in The Guardian's Top 10 'eco' books. His debut novel, Skyseed - an eco-thriller about climate engineering gone wrong - was published in September2020.
Bill is a volcanologist by inclination and training. In 1996, he was a Senior Scientist at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and in 2010 a member of the Science Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE) addressing the Icelandic volcanic ash problem. He was a member of the UK Government Natural Hazard Working Group established in January 2005, in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami, and a co-author of its report: The Role of Science in Natural Hazard Assessment. His later work focused on climate change and its impacts, particularly upon the solid Earth, and he was a contributor to the 2012 IPCC report on climate change and extreme events.
Bill now works full-time as a writer and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Times, The Observer, New Scientist, Focus and Prospect, and blogs for the New Weather Institute, Scientists for Global Responsibility, Extinction Rebellion and Operation Noah. Bill is co-editor of the anthology: Knock Three Times: Modern Folk Tales for a World in Trouble, published in October 2019.
Bill presented two BBC Radio 4 series, Disasters in Waiting and Scientists Under Pressure, and the End of the World Reports on Channel 5 and Sky News. He has also contributed to many other television and radio programmes and was consultant and main contributor for the lauded BBC Horizon films; Supervolcanoes and Megatsunami - Wave of Destruction, as well as for the BBC drama, Supervolcano. Other TV credits include The Big Breakfast, Richard & Judy and The Terry & Gabby Show. Most recently, he was series consultant for the National Geographic series, X-Ray the Earth. He also co-presented Project Doomsday live with comedy duo, Robin & Partridge. Bill lives, runs (sometimes) and grows fruit and veg in the Peak District, where he resides with his wife Anna, sons Jake (11) and Fraser (16), and cats Dave, Toby and Cashew.
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Jane Haliwell put her head in her hands. To tell the truth, she was still in shock. All the samples she had taken from inside and around the lab contained the enigmatic spheres in huge numbers. She had only had a brief time to think about the implications, but she was pretty sure already what was going on.
For the first time in the history of the world, it was literally raining carbon. Long before it stopped, the guilty would pay, but so would the innocent…
Bill McGuire is an academic, blogger, broadcaster and established popular science and speculative fiction writer. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London, a Co-director of the New Weather Institute and a Patron of Scientists for Global Responsibility. He writes regularly for Prospect magazine and The Guardian, and has also written for many other newspapers and science magazines including The Times, The Observer, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, New Scientist and Science Focus. He blogs for Extinction Rebellion, the New Weather Institute, Scientists for Global Responsibility and Operation Noah. He has contributed to many television and radio programmes and presented two BBC Radio 4 series, Disasters in Waiting and Scientists Under Pressure, and the End of the World Reports on Channel 5 and Sky News. Most recently, he was Series Consultant for National Geographic’s X-Ray the Earth. Bill lives in the Peak District.
Bill McGuire says, “I am a long-established and successful writer of popular science books and a climate scientist. Having started writing speculative short stories a few years back, a novel seemed to be the obvious next step. A narrative combining geoengineering and conspiracy felt like a good way to go. There is also the added intrigue of the book sounding a salutary warning at a time when geoengineering our way out of the climate emergency is gathering support.”
This edition brings together leading experts in climate hazards, earth science, zoology, health, finance, and progressive business together with storytellers, poets, artists and activists. Each contributor works in different ways to make the world a better place and safer from systemic threats, but also sees the limits of simply throwing facts at people in the hope that this will lead to change.
Here they take a different approach and turn to telling stories. Some reveal the unsafe foundations we stand on, others suggest the way ahead. We thank them for their contributions and being willing – in fact enthusiastic – to try something different. These tales are very modern, yet rooted in ancient story telling traditions. We need detailed plans and policies to prevent climate breakdown and build a world where all can thrive. But we also need better stories to first imagine and believe in its possibility. Here are some. We hope you enjoy them. If you haven’t before, and are moved to write your own, we would love to hear from you.
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?
From the likely consequences of global warming to the inevitable destruction of the earth in the far future, McGuire considers a range of 'end of the world scenarios', including the New Ice Age, asteroid and comet impact, supervolcanoes, and mega-tsunami.
Updated with a number of recent case studies from around the world, this new edition brings our understanding of global disasters and risk research up to date.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Massive earthquakes and super-eruptions, collision with vast boulders from space, the insidious, potentially catastrophic dangers of global warming: what can mere humans do against these natural hazards, which have devastated life on Earth in the past and could do so again? Are there real alternatives to simply awaiting our doom? Bill McGuire believes there are. Following on from A Guide to The End of the World, in which he presented a frightening vision of the hazards that face us,
in Surviving Armageddon he guides us through the major threats, assessing the solutions that have been proposed, from the reasonable to the bizarre. There really are ways in which we can, perhaps not prevent, but limit the damage caused by future disasters, he concludes.
As a volcanologist, McGuire has sensed at first hand the dangers of volcanic eruptions, and he was deeply involved in the scientific analysis of the Asian tsunami. In this lively narrative, he combines the science behind natural hazards with enthralling accounts of his own experiences and narrow escapes while working in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. He gives us a down-to-Earth view of how we might (just) deflect Armageddon, and live to tell the tale.
Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards provides a valuable new insight into how climate change is able to influence, modulate and trigger geological and geomorphological phenomena, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and landslides; ultimately increasing the risk of natural hazards in a warmer world. Taken together, the chapters build a panorama of a field of research that is only now becoming recognized as important in the context of the likely impacts and implications of anthropogenic climate change. The observations, analyses and interpretations presented in the volume reinforce the idea that a changing climate does not simply involve the atmosphere and hydrosphere, but also elicits potentially hazardous responses from the solid Earth, or geosphere.
Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards is targeted particularly at academics, graduate students and professionals with an interest in environmental change and natural hazards. As such, we are hopeful that it will encourage further investigation of those mechanisms by which contemporary climate change may drive potentially hazardous geological and geomorphological activity, and of the future ramifications for society and economy.