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Six Degrees: Our Future On A Hotter Planet Paperback – 4 Jan 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (4 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007209053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007209057
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Scientists predict that global temperatures will rise by between one and six degrees over the course of this century and Mark Lynas paints a chilling, degree-by-degree picture of the devastation likely to ensue unless we act now…“Six Degrees” is a rousing and vivid plea to choose a different future.’ Daily Mail

‘The saga of how, in the world as imagined by thousands of computer-modelling studies, global warming kicks in degree by degree. “Six Degrees”, I tell you now, is terrifying.’ Sunday Times

‘Brilliant and higly readable.’ Sunday Times

From the Publisher

WINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE PRIZE 2008

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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