Sunday, April 20, 2014
A BOOK REVIEW
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
If you only read one book on science this year it should be Field Notes from a Catastrophe – Man, Nature and Climate Change; written by Elizabeth Kolbert and published in 2006. This book addresses the issue of climate change with startling examples that verify legitimate science predictions.
For the decades after the industrial revolution the idea that mankind could be instrumental in changing the environment was never considered.
Because of concerns of some scientist a study was undertaken in 1979 by members of the National Academy of Science and NASA on the effect of increase carbon dioxide emissions in our atmosphere. The findings were so startling that President Carter commissioned a special panel led by a distinguished meteorologist from MIT for further study. In the three decades since the predictions of this panel have come to fruition, but at an accelerated rate.
There have been hundreds of more peer reviewed studies since, all verifying the results: until at last we can make a definitive statement that the CO-2 in our atmosphere is increasing beyond the predictions of normal climate variation and that the results is an increase in global temperature – and the results are verifiable by visible and measurable observations.
Starting in 1991 the earth temperatures have exceeded all temperatures recorded since instrumental temperature recording began. The results are most startling in the
glaciers are melting at an alarming rate.
As CO-2 increases more of the suns energy is trapped in our atmosphere. As glacier ice recedes solar energy is absorbed by the ocean causing water temperatures to rise, which results in more glacial recession… As permafrost melts CO-2 trapped in the ice for millions of years is released into the atmosphere… Add this to population increase and industrialization of third word countries and the outcome is bleak.
“Computer models of the earth’s climate suggest that a critical threshold is approaching. Crossing over it will be easy, crossing back quite likely impossible.”
Elizabeth Kolbert has just released a second book The Sixth Extinction; and I have my name on the reserve list at the local library for when it becomes available.
Good science – good reading – a good book