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Climate Change and Its Consequences

Sixteen essayists envision life on a hotter planet

1 min read

Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change Exploring the Real Risks and How We Can Avoid Them

Edited by Michael C. MacCracken, Frances Moore, and John C. Topping Jr.; Earthscan; December 2007; 320 pp.; US $39.95 (paper)

ISBN: 978-1-84407-478-5

”We should no longer speak [just] of avoiding dangerous climate change,” writes John Ashton, the UK Foreign Secretary’s special representative for climate change, in the foreword to this book. ”We have dangerous climate change already; what we now need to focus on is avoiding catastrophic climate change.”

The many contributors to Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change: Exploring the Real Risks and How We Can Avoid Them support their arguments well, and they cover all the key topics—weather change, ice melting and sea level rise, coastal and ecosystem impacts, and preventive action. The book’s outrageous price—we can’t even bring ourselves to tell you what’s being charged for the hardback—is additionally justified by a mass of technical charts, graphs, maps, and photographs.

The authors include the chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey, discussing the growing vulnerability of the northern Gulf Coast; a Georgia Tech professor who serves on the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences, writing about hurricanes; a Princeton Ph.D. and Harvard graduate who served as program scientist on NASA’s Landsat 7 mission, evaluating ecosystem futures; and the director of Oxford University’s Policy Foresight Program, writing about policy foresight, a topic also ably addressed by the three editors, who are associated with the Climate Institute and the Earth Policy Institute, both in Washington, D.C.

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