Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change by Michael E. MannDire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change by Michael E. Mann

Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change

byMichael E. Mann, Lee R. Kump

Paperback | May 5, 2015

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For any science or social science course in need of a basic understanding of IPCC reports.

Periodic reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) evaluate the risk of climate change brought on by humans. But the sheer volume of scientific data remains inscrutable to the general public, particularly to those who may still question the validity of climate change. In just over 200 pages, this practical text presents and expands upon the essential findings in a visually stunning and undeniably powerful way to the lay reader. Scientific findings that provide validity to the implications of climate change are presented in clear-cut graphic elements, striking images, and understandable analogies.


The Second Edition covers the latest climate change data and scientific consensus from the Fifth Assessment Report and integrates links to media and active learning to capture learning opportunities for students. The text is also available in various eText formats, including an upgrade option from MasteringGeography.


Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).   Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics a...
Title:Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate ChangeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.16 × 7.04 × 0.58 inPublished:May 5, 2015Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0133909778

ISBN - 13:9780133909777

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Climate Change Basics
The relative impacts of humans and nature on climate
Taking action in the face of uncertainty
Why is it called the greenhouse effect?
Feedback loops compound the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide
What are the important greenhouse gases, and where do they come from?
Greenhouse gases on the rise
Could the increase in atmospheric CO2 be the result of natural cycles?
It’s getting hotter down here!
Where is all that heat going?
Is our atmosphere really warming?
Back to the future
Suffocating the ocean
Weren’t scientists warning us of a coming ice age only decades ago?
How does modern warming differ from past warming trends?
Welcome to the Anthropocene
What can a decade of western North American drought tell us about the future?
Signs of things to come? The 2012 North American heat wave
• The 2003 European heat wave
• Does a cold snap in Peoria invalidate global warming?
• A tempest in a greenhouse
• The vanishing snows of Kilimanjaro
• The last interglacial
• How to build a climate model
Profiles: James Hansen, Warren Washington, Stephen Schneider, and Susan Solomon
Comparing climate model predictions with observations
Regional vs global trends
Some climates disappear as others emerge
 “Fingerprints” distinguish human and natural impacts on climate

Part 2 Climate Change Projections
How sensitive is the climate?
Fossil-fuel emissions scenarios
The Faux Pause
Past IPCC projections—how did they do?
The next century
The geographical pattern of future warming
Tipping points, irreversibility, and abrupt climate change
Carbon-cycle feedbacks
Melting ice and rising sea level
Future changes in extreme weather
Stabilizing atmospheric CO2

Part 3 The Impacts of Climate Change
The rising impact of global warming
Is it time to sell that beach house?
Coral reefs
The highway to extinction?
Too much and too little
Is warming from carbon dioxide leading to more air pollution?
Pestilence and death
Earth, wind, and fire
Too wet and too hot
The polar meltdown

Part 4 Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change
Is global warming the last straw for vulnerable ecosystems?
What is the best course for the coming century?
It’s the economy, stupid!
A finger in the dike
Keeping the water flowing
A hard row to hoe

Part 5 Solving Climate Change
Solving global warming
Where do all those emissions come from?
Keeping the power turned on
On the road again
Building green
Reducing industrial CO2 pollution
The water–energy nexus
Greener acres
Waste not, want watts?
But what can I do about it?
Sustainability success stories
What’s your carbon footprint?
Global problems require international cooperation
Can we achieve sustainable development?
The ethics of climate change
The known unknowns and the unknown unknowns
The urgency of climate change

Editorial Reviews

MEDIA REVIEWS A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Research Penn State: "A key element is accurate information debunking the most commonly held myths about climate change, including the ideas that carbon dioxide is causing the holes in the ozone, that the increase in carbon dioxide is the result of natural cycles, and that our atmosphere is not warming at all. The authors consider each myth or misunderstanding and explain any kernel of truth within it before providing its refutation." Dan Vergano, USA Today :  "[Michael] Mann and his colleague Lee Kump have written a terrific illustrated guide to global warming...with graphics that make even the most complex climate questions easily understandable. Our graphics department will be plundering the book for the next few years."   Bud Ward, Yale Climate Forum : "Practically every page spread...is studded with stunning and informative graphics and illustrations. Hear that? Repeat: Stunning AND informative."   Gerry Karey, Platt's The Barrel :  " 'Dire Predictions - Understanding Global Warming,' ... is likely to infuriate climate skeptics because it is so user friendly that it could become a popular default source for information on global warming."   Janet Raloff, ScienceNews :  "[T]he authors have tackled a tough job and given lay readers a nice primer to begin wading into the complexities of Earth's climate.   Margot Roosevelt, Greenspace, Los Angeles Times :  "[A] handy guide for every harried individual daunted by the complexities of greenhouse effects, carbon-cycle feedbacks, ocean conveyor belts and climate modeling."   Jay Gulledge, Nature Reports :  "The main tool of communication and by far the best feature of the book is its high-quality data graphics showing the key observations and projections from which the IPCC developed its conclusions." See also Olive Heffernan's synopsis on Nature's Climate Feedback blog.   Nola Theiss, Sanibel-Captiva Islander :  "[I]t almost reads like a travel guide that helps the reader traverse the difficult terrain of climate change facts and figures through the use of photos, charts, and maps. It doesn’t downplay the science behind the articles, but it really is all about presentation and the implications of that science."   Marcus Schneck, The Harrisburg Patriot-News :  "[I]t's heavily focused on photos and graphics, which made the facts it included even more terrifying. That style forces the writers to encapsulate everything, meaning the presentation on coming extinctions really pops."   Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth, The New York Times : (see "illustrated books" link in 2nd paragraph of piece)   William F. Hewitt, Nature Reports : "Climate Change: Picturing the Science is the latest of various efforts to convey the seriousness of the climate situation through imagery as well as words. In this regard, it follows from Earth Under Fire ... and Dire Predictions."   Robert Brinkmann, University of South Florida in Southeastern Geographer  (Subscription required)   Richard Hilderman, guest columnist, The Greenville News   C. Gregory Knight, Penn State, in Annals of the Association of American Geographers : "[Mann and Kump] take the reader through the basics of global warming and climate change, climate projections, impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and potential solutions" Read PDF>>   Nola Theiss, Kliatt:  "I found [Dire Predictions] to be one of the clearest and easiest to digest explanations of climate change I have ever read."   Katie Lepri, WLRN Television:  "Mann is one of the leading climate experts, yet can write for wide audiences. This book is loaded with powerful illustrations and graphics."   BLOG REVIEWS  DarkSyde, Daily Kos :  "What sets the book apart...is the extraordinary scientific accuracy within. Official documents, peer reviewed papers, and IPCC reports can be tedious and confusing for the layman to slog through. That immense body of work is translated into a well organized overview composed of readable chunks flowing along at a brisk pace, each with just the right touch of technical detail for readers with a reasonably good understanding of basic physical science."   Richard Littlemore, DeSmogBlog :  "[Mann and Kump] have crafted an accessible primer on climate change, how it's happening and who's to blame."   Green LA Girl :  "Dire Predictions is intended for the layperson who wants to understand the wonky science behind climate change without going back to college for a science degree. Basically, the book takes the findings of the IPCC — you know, the United Nations panel that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore — about global climate change and puts it in a language the average person has a chance at following."   David Appell, Quark Soup :  "You can learn something no matter at what level you already understand climate change, but it would be especially suited for people who are not scientifically-oriented but want a nontrivial introduction to the topic -- below a Scientific American level."   The Naib, The Sietch Blog : " If you know someone who just 'doesn’t get it' when it comes to the IPCC and climate change, I recommend you get them this book.   James Wang, Environmental Defense Fund :  "One of the strengths of Dire Predictions is its strong, to-the-point rebuttals of common misconceptions fueled by global warming skeptics. The authors expertly explain why the ongoing rise in atmospheric CO2 is not natural, how today's warming is greater than and fundamentally different from that during the 'Medieval Warm Period', why higher CO2 levels are not beneficial for ecosystems, and why the excuses for inaction on global warming are wrong."   Olive Heffernan, Climate Feedback, Nature : A synopsis of Pew Center's Jay Gulledge's review in Nature Reports.   A Change in the Wind: "This could be described as a book written by two particularly thoughtful experts for National Geographic. Not only does the slim volume of 207 pages rely mostly on brilliantly executed visuals to get its ideas across, but the prose is simple and honest...Highly recommended."   Dickenson College COP15 Delegation Course Blog : "Reading Dire Predictions by Michael Mann and Lee Kump...is...very convincing. Mann and Kump, mindful of counter-arguments, provided a simple and concise account of climate change."   Milan Ilnyckyj, A Sibilant Intake of Breath : "The...book is a quick and easy read, even for those who are not well acquainted with scientific principles and terminology. It responds directly to many issues raised in the media (such as common climate change denier talking points) and it includes a great many illuminating charts and illustrations."   Digerati & Technology Reports: "I rate this book 5 stars out of 5 possible and strongly encourage that it be purchased and read by everyone in your family. This material should be easy enough for people with a high school education to understand, and it has enough detail for people with higher education to enjoy."   QUOTES Here's a powerful, straight-forward guide to how scientists, economists, and engineers really understand the problem of global warming. It makes 20 years of research and consensus-building completely accessible to anyone who cares to know the truth--and to do something about it.  - Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature In Dire Predictions, two respected scientists offer a clear and compelling summary of our understanding of Earth's changing climate. This book is an excellent guide to an issue of fundamental importance to all of us on the planet.  - Sally K. Ride, PhD former astronaut; CEO, Sally Ride Science With its eye-grabbing graphics and reader-friendly prose, Dire Predictions walks us through the findings of the world's leading climate scientists - and places the ultimately responsibility for the human future directly at our feet.  - Ross Gelbspan, author of The Heat Is On and Boiling Point Dire Predictions is a must read for anyone who wants the straight facts on global warming. It cuts to the heart of the massive 2007 IPCC report, presenting major scientific findings in easy to understand language and graphics. Written by two of the scientific community's most thoughtful researchers, Dire Predictions' unbiased message about global warming arrives at a time when people need it most!  - Heidi Cullen, The Weather Channel