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Climate Change in the 21st Century [Paperback]

Stewart J. Cohen , Melissa W. Waddell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2008
Public and media interest in the climate change issue has increased exponentially in recent years. Climate change, or "global warming," is a complex problem with far-reaching social and economic impacts, yet few sources present the whole picture. "Climate Change in the Twenty-first Century" brings together all the major aspects of global warming science and illustrates how each field of research contributes to our collective understanding of the environmental and social crisis on global and local scales.It explains and clarifies fundamental ideas behind different ways of approaching the study of climate change, from the underpinnings of climate models and impact models to the application of dialogue processes and integrated assessment methods. It also covers the historical aspects of climate research and considers adaptation and mitigation strategies, as well as links with sustainable development. In language accessible to a broad audience, "Climate Change in the Twenty-first Century" provides a comprehensive introduction to the world's biggest interdisciplinary challenge.

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"Climate change is not just a science problem - it's a social one - Climate Change in the 21st Century provides a fresh perspective because it primarily focuses on specific examples of societal implications and responses to climate change" Jacqueline J. Shinker, University of Wyoming "The authors bring together various kinds of science-oriented material around a complex topic that is usually addressed from only one perspective, highlighting issues and methods that are at the cutting edge of research about climate change" Elizabeth Malone, Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park, Maryland "For students, major decision-makers, or concerned, college-educated voters, Climate Change in the 21st Century is a valuable guide to a global reality that is abstraction no more." Montreal Review of Books "Recently, "ecophobia" has arisen as a debilitating problematic for ecocriticism. The fear is over performative incapacity. A major aspect of that fear is the sketchy scientific understanding among some ecocritics. Stewart Cohen's Climate Change in the 21st Century can help remedy that. (...) Ecocritics will especially appreciate [Cohen's] discussion of the fraught notion of sustainability that closes the book." David Heinimann, The Goose: Literature, Arts, Environment & Culture in Canada "This book merits a place in every type of library and will be a useful resource for readers from diverse backgrounds." Choice Magazine

About the Author

Stewart J. Cohen is senior researcher in climate change impacts and adaptation, Adaptation and Impacts Research Division, Environment Canada, and adjunct professor, Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia.

Melissa Waddell is a science and technical communicator, specializing in translating complex environmental and health issues for non-specialized audiences.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An In-depth look at Climate Change! Feb. 26 2010
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The authors of this study provide a variety of data that, by itself, should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the earth's climate is undergoing major changes. Cohen and Waddell refer to a number of international scientific groups that produce extensive field tests and theoretical models showing rising atmospheric and water conditions worldwide. While much of this evidence and its extrapolative forms point to different possible doomsday scenarios, there are still skeptics out there who reject the best science can offer them. Where this book really hits home is in its promotion of the idea that the science of global warming is best served by looking at how various factors interact to provide new complex projections and representations. For instance, accurately understanding the development of global warming is not limited to just taking accurate readings on temperature and precipitation, but also including other factors like the changing nature of diverse ecosystems, understanding the interplay of economic forces, and appreciating the influence of social values. When these additional forces are studied and understood, through international, regional and local coopeeration, the planet looks even more vulnerable in terms of the growing price we will eventually have to pay to adapt to the inevitable changes. Though written as an academic text, its authors include well-defined technical language that helps the reader to explore and assess the real extent of this environmental challenge. Realistically, it will all come down to what strategies we choose to use to mitigate or limit the long-term damage. There is no substitute for good science if it brings people together in a common purpose to understand and respond to the intricacies of a very poorly understood problem.
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