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Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, 2nd Edition

David Archer

ISBN: 978-1-118-21506-7 November 2011 208 Pages

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Based on the author's highly successful undergraduate course taught at the University of Chicago, Global Warming presents the processes of climate change and climate stability. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, this Second Edition not only summarizes scientific evidence, but also presents economic and political issues related to global warming.

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Online Models v

Preface vii

1 Humankind and Climate 1

Part I The Greenhouse Effect 7

2 Blackbody Radiation 9

3 The Layer Model 19

4 Greenhouse Gases 29

5 What Holds the Atmosphere Up? 43

6 Weather and Climate 57

7 Feedbacks 73

Part II The Carbon Cycle 87

8 Carbon on Earth 89

9 Fossil Fuels and Energy 103

10 The Perturbed Carbon Cycle 119

Part III The Forecast 133

11 The Smoking Gun 135

12 Potential Climate Impacts 153

13 Decisions, Decisions 173

Glossary 191

Index 197

  • The 2nd edition has been updated throughout, reflecting results from the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Scientific Assessment Report, published in 2007. 


  • Provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of global warming, from the distant past to the distant future.
  • Assumes no specialist scientific knowledge.
  • Gives a detailed examination of the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle and discussion of what the future holds for the global climate.