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Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

ISBN: 978-0-470-85019-0
260 pages
June 2003
Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions  (0470850191) cover image
Human-induced climate change is a serious concern, drawing increasing attention from the media, policy makers and citizens around the world. This comprehensive and thought-provoking volume explains in easily understandable language the potential effects of climate change on our planet and our lives.

Climate Change: Causes, Effects and Solutions examines the latest scientific findings without any advanced technical knowledge. It goes beyond a description of changes in the physical environment to consider the broader issues of ecological, economic and human effects of climate change.

The book explains:

  • the causes and effects of climate change from a natural and human environment perspective.
  • mitigation options and policies that could reduce the impacts of climate change.
  • global impacts -  with case studies are taken from North America, Europe, Australasia and elsewhere.

Essential reading for undergraduates and general readers who want to heighten their knowledge and understanding of this important problem.

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Preface.

Section I Climate Change – Past, Present, and Future.

1. Earth and the Greenhouse Effect.

Introduction.

The Greenhouse Effect.

Large-Scale Heat Redistribution.

Greenhouse Gases.

Warming Potentials.

Summary.

2. Past Climate Change: Lessons From History.

Introduction.

Past Climate Change – Six Historic Periods.

Methods of Determining Past Climates and Ecosystems.

Rapid Climate Change.

Lessons of Past Climate Change.

Summary.

3. Recent Climate Change: The Earth Responds.

Introduction.

Atmospheric Temperatures.

Water Vapor and Precipitation.

Clouds and Temperature Ranges.

Ocean Circulation Patterns.

Snow and Ice.

Sea-Level Rise.

Animal Populations.

Vegetation.

Attribution.

Summary.

4. Future Climate Change: The Twenty-First Century and Beyond.

Introduction.

Global Climate Models.

Feedback Loops and Uncertainties.

Scenario-Based Climate Predictions.

Regional Climates and Extreme Events.

The Persistence of a Warmer Earth.

Summary.

Section II Ecological Effects on Climate Change.

5. Effects on Freshwater Systems.

Introduction.

Surface and Groundwater.

Drought and Soil Moisture.

Lake and Stream Biota.

Human Infrastructure.

Wetlands.

The Cryosphere.

Managing Water.

Summary.

6. Effects on Terrestrial Ecosystems.

Introduction.

Geographic Shifts in Terrestrial Habitats.

Vegetation-Climate Interactions.

Effects of Disturbances.

Loss of Biodiversity.

Implications for Forest Management and Conservation Policy.

Summary.

7. Climate Change and Agriculture.

Introduction.

Effects of Agriculture on Climate Change.

Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture.

US Agriculture.

Global Agriculture.

Summary.

8. Climate Change and the Marine Environment.

Introduction.

Sea-Level Rise.

Ocean Currents and Circulation.

Marine Biogeochemistry.

Marine Ecosystems.

Summary.

Section III Human Dimensions of Climate Change.

9. Impacts on Human Settlement and Infrastructure.

Introduction.

Energy.

Environmental Quality.

Extreme Climatic Events.

Human Settlements.

Infrastructure.

Summary.

10. Effects of Climate Change on Human Health.

Introduction.

Direct Effects of Heat Stress.

Infectious Diseases.

Air Quality.

Interactions and Secondary Effects.

Summary.

11. Mitigation: Reducing the Impacts.

Introduction.

Capture or Sequester Carbon Emissions.

Reduce Global Warming or Its Effects by Geoengineering.

Enhance Natural Carbon Sinks.

Convert to Carbon-Free and Renewable Energy Technologies.

Conserve Energy and Use It More Efficiently.

Adapt to Climate Change.

Taking Action.

Summary.

12. Policy, Politics, and Economics of Climate Change.

Introduction.

International Cooperation – From Montreal to Kyoto.

Meeting Kyoto Targets.

Post-Kyoto Developments.

The Politics of Climate Change.

Kyoto Without the United States.

Benefits and Costs of Mitigating Climate Change.

The Future – What is Needed?

Summary.

Appendix A: Units.

Appendix B: Abbreviations and Chemical Symbols.

Appendix C: Websites on Climate Change

Index.

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“...Each chapter of the book is well illustrated with case studies…” (The Holocene, Vol.14 No.6 2004)

" … a valuable contribution to the literature on climate change and does achieve its aim of providing a comprehensive coverage of an enormous subject..." (International Journal of Climatology, January 2006)

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