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Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Science Basis: Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC Paperback – 10 Sep 2007
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From reviews of the Third Assessment Report - Climate Change 2001: 'The detail is truly amazing … invaluable works of reference … no reference or science library should be without a set [of the IPCC volumes] … unreservedly recommended to all readers.' Journal of Meteorology
'… structured in the well-established format of all former IPCC Assessment Reports … will surely be the standard reference for … arguments related with the science, the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and with mitigation and adaptation to global warming and climate change in the next years. It should not be missing in the libraries of atmospheric and climate research institutes and those administrative and political institutions which have to deal with global change and sustainable development.' Meteorologische Zeitschrift
'… likely to remain a vital reference work until further research renders the details outdated by the time of the next survey … another significant step forward in the understanding of the likely impacts of climate change on a global scale.' International Journal of Climatology
'The IPCC has conducted what is arguably the largest, most comprehensive and transparent study ever undertaken by mankind … The result is a work of substance and authority, which only the foolish would deride.' Wind Engineering
'… the weight of evidence presented, the authority that IPCC commands and the breadth of view can hardly fail to impress and earn respect. Each of the volumes is essentially a remarkable work of reference, containing a plethora of information and copious bibliographies. There can be few natural scientists who will not want to have at least one of these volumes to hand on their bookshelves, at least until further research renders the details outdated by the time of the next survey.' The Holocene
'The subject is explored in great depth and should prove valuable to policy makers, researchers, analysts, and students.' American Meteorological Society
From reviews of the Second Assessment Report - Climate Change 1995: '… essential reading for anyone interested in global environmental change, either past, present or future. … These volumes have a deservedly high reputation.' Geological Magazine
'… a tremendous achievement of coordinating the contributons of well over a thousand individuals to produce an authoritative, state-of-the-art review which will be of great value to decision-makers and the scientific community at large … an indispensable reference.' International Journal of Climatology
'… a wealth of clear, well-organized information that is all in one place … there is much to applaud.' Environment International
'The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a milestone for climate-change science and policy. It concludes that global greenhouse gas emisssions must peak and decline within the next decade to keep the increase of global mean temperature below limits accepted by some parties.' Science
Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Science Basis is the latest, most comprehensive scientific assessment of past, present and future climate change which forms the standard scientific reference for students and researchers in environmental science, meteorology, climatology, biology, ecology and atmospheric chemistry, and policy makers in governments and industry worldwide.
Top customer reviews
It is clear that to produce such a carefully edited and beautifully presented volume with input from a large number of contributors is an immense organisational task. This must inevitably slow down the incorporation of recent work, with the sad result that regarding some important topics of active research there seems to be little more to be found in the 2007 edition than in that of 2001, in spite of advances in understanding which have been made in the meantime. It seems for instance that we must wait a few more years (until the next edition of 'Climate Change') before the extensive work published during the last decade by R.A. Pielke, Snr and co-workers concerning the direct effects of land use changes on surface temperature and climate are included in the IPCC corpus. There is a risk that such delay may slow down rather than advance the spread of understanding of climate change and global warming.
I have found the subject index at the end of the book particularly useful, as discussion of some topics, for instance the vital issue of 'climate sensitivity' (the quantitative effect of changes in concentrations of greenhouse gases on the earth's mean surface temperature) is distributed among several different chapters. In my opinion climate sensitivity is important enough a topic to warrant a chapter to itself in the next edition of `Climate Change'. If IPCC is to fully carry out the task for which it is being paid, such a chapter should not confine itself to that part of the literature which uses traditional and computer-model-based methods to estimate climate sensitivity, but should also refer to peer-reviewed publications based on a more empirical (i.e. observation-based) approach such as that adopted by workers such as S. Idso, even if the latter appear to `rock the boat'.
Unless IPCC sees fit to take this step itself the way is open for some other agency or research team to fill the gap.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The IPCC does not conduct original research - rather, it synthesizes and summarizes the most up-to-date scientific research regarding climate change - causes, effects, and ramifications of future scenarios ranging from do nothing (business-as-usual) to reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly. Because of the comprehensive and exhaustive consensus policy that IPCC follows, the results are the best science as we now understand climate change, without the usual histrionics of those opposed to reducing greenhouse gases (climate change denyers/delayers) or even those who want to reduce greenhouse gases to near zero (some of the more extreme environmental action groups). In other words, this is an incredibly balanced, sober look at climate change and its potential to negatively impact the entire world in a very short time (if nothing is done).
More than 5 stars, consider this an indispensable reference if you are interested in global warming and climate change. However, I am not sure if I can agree with another reviewer that no scientific understanding is necessary before reading this IPCC report. It helps to have a little understanding of the basic science before reading this (although the "frequent questions and answers" parts of the book are indispensable). At a minimum, I would recommend viewing "An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore before tackling this 1,000 page titan.
If you purchase this (highly recommended), and actually read it (also highly recommended), you will get automatic bragging rights at the next social function you attend, because as the conversation will inevitably touch on global warming, you can just off-handedly comment, "Well, I just finished reading the IPCC complete report on climate change, and it says....".
Impress your environmental friends, keep your finger on the pulse of an important global topic, and broaden your mind, all in one volume. Worth every penny.
(Note that when I entered the ISBN for the Summary (92-9169-121-6) to do this review it did not come up on Amazon. However, the cover and title are the same for both documents.
Climate Change 2007 includes a Summary for Policymakers, FAQs, and a useful glossary. The confidence displayed in this document should convince even the strongest of naysayers that we'll be entering a new climate regime, and fairly rapidly. See especially pages 81-91: 'Robust Findings vs Key Uncertainties'.
Feb. 9 2008--
I just finished Novacek's chapter 'Heat Wave' in TERRA (2007). Here's what this paleontologist had to say about this IPCC Summary, p 314:
"Scientific consensus is now overwhleming. In Feb '07, the IPCC issued the conclusion that global warming is unequivocal and humans are very likely (more than 90% likelihood) to be the cause. Ther last time the IPCC reported in 2001, it assigned a conservative 60% likelihood to warming and stated that the link between human activity and climate change was only 'likely.' Even so, some scientist protested that the IPCC 2007 report was too conservative in its estimates of sea level rise because it discounts the recent disclosures on the melting polar ice caps and sliding glaciers. In years past, many scientists regarded the IPCC results as overextended; now many are saying the opposite."
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