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epub The Discovery of Global Warming: Revised and Expanded Edition (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine) download

by Spencer R. Weart

  • ISBN: 067403189X
  • Author: Spencer R. Weart
  • ePub ver: 1365 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1365 kb
  • Rating: 4.9 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 2 edition (October 31, 2008)
  • Formats: mbr lrf docx lit
  • Category: Math
  • Subcategory: Earth Sciences
epub The Discovery of Global Warming: Revised and Expanded Edition (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine) download

I found the book enjoyable, thoughtful, and an excellent introduction to the history of what may be one of the most important subjects of the next one hundred years.

I found the book enjoyable, thoughtful, and an excellent introduction to the history of what may be one of the most important subjects of the next one hundred years. -Clark Miller, University of Wisconsin. The Discovery of Global Warming raises important scientific issues and topics and includes essential detail.

The award-winning book is now revised and expanded. A pretty good, if rather dry, telling of the history of climate science. In 2001 an international panel of distinguished climate scientists announced that the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The bulk of the Discovery of Global Warming is taken up by passages describing scientists making small improvements in modeling or proposing new theories about how changing global temperatures might affect ocean currents, so and on and so forth.

New histories of science, technology, and medicine. This award-winning book is now revised and expanded

New histories of science, technology, and medicine. The Discovery of Global Warming. This award-winning book is now revised and expanded. In 2001, an international panel of distinguished climate scientists announced that the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last two millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The story of how scientists reached that conclusion-by way of unexpected twists and turns-was the story Spencer R. Weart told in The Discovery of Global Warming.

Series: New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine. The award-winning book is now revised and expanded

Series: New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Published by: Harvard University Press. The award-winning book is now revised and expanded. In 2001 an international panel of distinguished climate scientists announced that the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last two millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The story of how scientists reached that conclusion-by way of unexpected twists and turns-was the story Spencer Weart told in The Discovery of Global Warming.

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Spencer R. Weart lucidly explains the emerging science, introduces . Weart lucidly explains the emerging science, introduces us to the major players, and shows us how the Earth's irreducibly complicated climate system was mirrored by the global scientific community that studied i. Weart unsparingly depicts the conflicts and mistakes, and how they sometimes led to fruitful results. His book reminds us that scientists do not work in isolation, but interact in crucial ways with the political system and with the general public. The book not only reveals the history of global warming, but also analyzes the nature of modern scientific work as it confronts the most difficult questions about the Earth's future.

Book Overview In 2001 a panel representing virtually all the world's governments and climate scientists announced that they had reached a consensus: the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The consensus itself was at least a century in the making.

The award-winning book is now revised and expanded.

Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine .

Unlike familiar tales of Science Triumphant, this book portrays scientists working on bits and pieces of a topic so complex that they could never achieve full certainty-yet so important to human survival that provisional answers were essential.

The award-winning book is now revised and expanded.

In 2001 an international panel of distinguished climate scientists announced that the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The story of how scientists reached that conclusion―by way of unexpected twists and turns―was the story Spencer Weart told in The Discovery of Global Warming. Now he brings his award-winning account up to date, revised throughout to reflect the latest science and with a new conclusion that shows how the scientific consensus caught fire among the general world public, and how a new understanding of the human meaning of climate change spurred individuals and governments to action.

Comments (7)

Quttaro
This is the first book one should read if new to the subject of climate change (global warming). Spencer R. Weart, director of the Center for the History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics, takes the reader on a journey that begins as a scientific detective story about what caused the ice ages and ends up being the story of how scientists realized that humans were influencing climate more than nature.

Excerpt from review by Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times Sunday Book Review, 10/5/2003:

"Debate persists over the extent of human-driven warming and what to do about it. But recognition that in a short span our species has nudged the thermostat of the planet remains a momentous, and sobering, finding. "The Discovery of Global Warming" describes the intellectual journey toward that conclusion, with all of its false starts, flawed hypotheses, inventiveness and persistent uncertainties. It reveals the effort as one of the great exercises in collective sleuthing, with pivotal insights provided by experts in fields as varied as glaciology, physics and even plankton paleontology."
Hbr
History of the discovery of global warming, as the title implies. I first read this book in a course on climate change I took to school myself as a journalist preparing to write about it. It's a must-read. Nothing better for learning about the science as it has developed since the late 19th century until now.
lacki
This book talks about the history of the discovery of global warming. It starts from the early attempts to understand the ice ages, and reveals how scientists work by learning from their mistakes and revising their theories. I would recommend this book not only for those interested in the scientific history of climate change, but also for those interested in how scientists find out about the world we live in. Of course, as we can see from some reviewers, not everybody like the what scientists uncover.

I'm a scientist, and I use this book in a course that teaches different approaches to complex problems. Climate science is one heck of a complex problem, and the history of its science presents a fascinating introduction to how interdisciplinarity is necessary in some cases. Most of my students, many of whom are science phobic, enjoy the book and find it eye opening.

Pros: Really well written, accessible, easy to follow, and tells a fascinating history.
Cons: It may be a little dry to someone not that interested in science.
Bottom line: great intro to climate change science history.
Coiron
This is a fantastic book detailing how, over a period of more than a century and a half, we learned what we now know about this critical topic. It is extremely clear and well-written. In fact, it is the first book I recommend in the "To Learn More" section of my own book on global warming (A Global Warming Primer).
Gigafish
I purchased this book for a class and I really didn't learn too much from it. I'm well educated in this background, but this book would be good for someone who would like to learn more about the issue, without having much of a background in it.
Cezel
Conservative pundit George Will doesn't believe that humans are causing global warming. He often tries to discredit climate science by scoffing at the way a few climate scientists in the 1970s predicted that the world was heading toward a new ice age. Will has no scientific training and his argument is bizarre -- basically, he's contending that science can't be trusted because science does course-corrections and develops over time. However, anyone wanting to put Will's statement into historical context should read "The Discovery of Global Warming," which explains where climate science came from, where it is now, and how it has shaped our view of global warming.

As the book shows, serious climate science is only about 50 years old. Before then, scientists lacked even basic data about the climate and had no models to show how the climate behaved over time. Things are different now. Climate science draws on many disciplines -- from oceanography to solar physics -- and has developed robust climate models. These do a good job of reproducing past changes in global temperatures -- and they warn us to be worried about the future if we don't get our act together soon.

"The Discovery of Global Warming" tells this fascinating story. It is short and clearly written. I took away four main points:

-- the climate is more complicated and less stable (because of positive feedback loops) than anyone imagined prior to the 1970s;

-- climate science (like any science) has developed tentatively and unevenly, with many false starts (especially in its early years), as theories were refined or rejected in the light of new findings and better climate models;

-- the world has been heating up rapidly for several decades and will continue to do so in the 21st century if we don't get greenhouse gas emissions under control; and

-- business interests that profit from the production of greenhouse gases have funded huge campaigns to spread bogus doubts about global warming and to defeat efforts at regulation.

Which brings us back to Will and his ilk. As climate science has matured, it has discarded mistaken theories. These included early beliefs that the oceans would absorb our surplus CO2 and that air pollution might tip the world into an ice age. Although error-discovery and self-correction are signs of a real science, polemicists like Will (whose wife is a business lobbyist and Republican operative) can always cherrypick the history of climate science and use it to impugn the entire field. Fortunately, fewer and fewer people (and virtually no non-Americans) listen to them anymore. I wonder if Will refuses to see doctors because they used to believe in humors.

I took off one star mainly because "The Discovery of Global Warming" has almost no actual climate science in it. The reader learns about the history of research projects and international conferences, about diplomatic agreements and political controversy, about the rise of the environmental movement and the backlash from business groups, and much more. But the book has astonishingly little information about the actual chemistry and physics of the atmosphere! This is a strange omission in an otherwise excellent book.
Abywis
Great read, very informative.
Spencer's book is a seminal work, one that lays out, for the layperson, a clear and easily-followed timeline of how we've come to know that anthropogenic climate change is A) a direct result of humans' activity, and B) offers solutions and ideas to create a paradigm in which we all can own the problem we've created, and how we can be effective in turning around the out-of-control ship that is ACC.

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