The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change

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The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change

Robert Henson
Copyright: 2014
ISBN: 978-1-935704-73-7
List Price: $30.00
Member Price: $20.00
Student Price: $20.00

Start a web search for “climate change” and the first three suggestions are “facts,” “news,” and “hoax.” The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change is rooted in the first, up to date on the second, and anything but the last. Graphics from the book are available online.

National Center for Science Education Review (Sept-Oct 2015)

Library Journal Review (June 2015)

CMOS Bulletin Review (April 2015)

Conservation Biology Review (May 2017)

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Title information

Pages: 516
Language: English
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Edition: First
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Combining years of data with recent research, including conclusions from the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Guide breaks down the issues into straightforward categories:

•    Symptoms, including melting ice and extreme weather
•    Science, laying out what we know and how we know it
•    Debates, tackling the controversy and politics
•    Solutions and Actions for creating the best possible future

This fully illustrated reference for nonscientists and scientists alike is an updated and expanded revision of Robert Henson’s The Rough Guide to Climate Change, previously published in the UK. It provides the most comprehensive, yet accessible, overview of where climate science stands today, acknowledging controversies but standing strong in its stance that the climate is changing—and something needs to be done.

Graphics from the book are available online.



Part 1: The Basics
Global warming in a nutshell
1 Climate Change: A Primer
2 The Greenhouse Effect
3 Who’s Responsible?

Part 2: The Symptoms
What’s happening now, and what might happen in the future
4 Extreme Heat
5 Floods and Droughts
6 The Big Melt
7 Oceans
8 Hurricanes and Other Storms
9 Ecosystems and Agriculture

Part 3: The Science
How we know what we know about climate change
10 Keeping Track
11 The Long View
12 Circuits of Change

Part 4: Debates and Solutions
From spats and spin to saving the planet
13 A Heated Debate
14 The Predicament
15 Political Solutions
16 Technological Solutions

Part 5: What Can You Do?
Reducing your footprint and working for action
17 Getting Started
18 Home Energy
19 Transport and Travel
20 Shopping
21 Offsetting

Robert Henson

Bob Henson is a weather and climate blogger at Weather Underground and a former science writer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His other books include Weather on the Air: A History of Broadcast Meteorology, also published by the American Meteorological Society.

CHOICE Editors' Picks

Meteorologist and journalist/author Henson (Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research) makes a strong contribution to the crowded field of climate science. Writing with nonspecialists in mind, Henson dispenses with equations while effectively translating recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change into clear English. The book covers the full scope of climate change, from the evidence supporting the fact that the planet is warming to a range of possible future changes not only to climate, but also to society and ecosystems. Although the content is provided in a just-the-facts style with far less personality than William Hay's Experimenting on a Small Planet: A Scholarly Entertainment (CH, Sep'13, 51-0297), the book is still eminently readable, with the occasional witty pun and some of the clearest explanations written for the general public this reviewer has seen of the physics of greenhouse gases and sea-level rise. Henson also leaves ample room to provide evenhanded discussions of arguments raised by climate skeptics, and avoids making the entire field come off as full of doom and gloom. The book is also well designed, featuring numerous color photographs and illustrations, and frequent sidebars that allow for diversions from the main topic.--S. G. Decker, Rutgers University