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From the scorching center of Earth's core to the outer limits of its atmosphere, from the gradual process of erosion that carved the Grand Canyon to the earth-shaking fury of volcanoes and earthquakes, this fascinating book-inspired by the award-winning Hall of Planet Earth at New York City's American Museum of Natural History-tells the story of the evolution of our planet and of the science that makes it work. With the same exuberance and expertise they brought to the creation of the Hall of Planet Earth, Edmond A. Mathez and James D. Webster explore the major factors in our planet's evolution: how Earth emerged from the swirling dusts of a nascent solar system; how an oxygen-rich, life-sustaining atmosphere developed; how continents, mountain ranges, and oceans formed; and how earthquakes and volcanic eruptions alter Earth's surface. By incorporating stories of real-life fieldwork, Mathez and Webster explain how Earth is capable of supporting life, how even the smallest rocks can hold the key to explaining the formation of mountains, and how scientists have learned to read nature's subtle clues and interpret Earth's ever-evolving narrative.
The Earth’s climate is already warming due to increased concentrations of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the specter of rising sea level is one of global warming’s most far-reaching threats. Sea level will keep rising long after greenhouse gas emissions have ceased, because of the delay in penetration of surface warming to the ocean depths and because of the slow dissipation of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. Adopting a long perspective that interprets sea level changes both underway and expected in the near future, Vivien Gornitz completes a highly relevant and necessary study of an unprecedented age in Earth’s history. Gornitz consults past climate archives to help better anticipate future developments and prepare for them more effectively. She focuses on several understudied historical events, including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Anomaly, the Messinian salinity crisis, the rapid filling of the Black Sea (which may have inspired the story of Noah’s flood), and the Storrega submarine slide, an incident possibly connected to a sea level occurrence roughly 8,000 years old. By examining dramatic variations in past sea level and climate, Gornitz concretizes the potential consequences of rapid, human-induced warming. She builds historical precedent for coastal hazards associated with a higher ocean level, such as increased damage from storm surge flooding, even if storm characteristics remain unchanged. Citing the examples of Rotterdam, London, New York City, and other forward-looking urban centers that are effectively preparing for higher sea level, Gornitz also delineates the difficult economic and political choices of curbing carbon emissions while underscoring, through past geological analysis, the urgent need to do so.
Climate Change is geared toward a variety of students and general readers who seek the real science behind global warming. Exquisitely illustrated, the text introduces the basic science underlying both the natural progress of climate change and the effect of human activity on the deteriorating health of our planet. Noted expert and author Edmond A. Mathez synthesizes the work of leading scholars in climatology and related fields, and he concludes with an extensive chapter on energy production, anchoring this volume in economic and technological realities and suggesting ways to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Climate Change opens with the climate system fundamentals: the workings of the atmosphere and ocean, their chemical interactions via the carbon cycle, and the scientific framework for understanding climate change. Mathez then brings the climate of the past to bear on our present predicament, highlighting the importance of paleoclimatology in understanding the current climate system. Subsequent chapters explore the changes already occurring around us and their implications for the future. In a special feature, Jason E. Smerdon, associate research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, provides an innovative appendix for students.
The subject of climate change has become an important issue over the past few years. Encyclopedia of Global Warming is designed to help the student or patron understand the environmental science, social issues and controversies surrounding this important issue. Essays explore a wide variety of topics, including fossil fuels, glaciology, conservation, human rights, pollution, society, science and water resources.

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