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Global Warming
The Complete Briefing

5th Edition


  • Author: John Houghton, Former Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Date Published: May 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107463790
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About the Authors
  • How much of global warming is due to human activities? How far will it be possible to adapt to changes of climate? Sir John Houghton's definitive, full colour guide to climate change answers these questions and more by providing the best and latest information available, including the latest IPCC findings. The simple, logical flow of ideas gives an invaluable grounding in the science, as well as the physical and human impacts of climate change, for undergraduate students across a wide range of disciplines. Accessible to both scientists and non-scientists, the text avoids mathematical equations and includes more technical material in boxes, while simple figures help students to understand the conclusions the science leads to without being overwhelmed by vast amounts of data. Questions for students to consider and test their understanding are included in each chapter, along with carefully selected further reading to expand their knowledge.

    • Fully updated throughout with the latest IPCC results from the 2014 reports
    • Simple, full colour illustrations help students understand the conclusions the science leads to, without being overwhelmed by vast amounts of data
    • Avoids mathematical equations and includes more technical material in boxes, making it accessible to both scientists and non-scientists
    • Written by a leading figure at the forefront of action to confront humanity's most serious environmental problem
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of previous edition: 'It is difficult to imagine how Houghton's exposition of this complex body of information might be substantially improved upon … Seldom has such a complex topic been presented with such remarkable simplicity, directness and crystalline clarity … Houghton's complete briefing is without doubt the best briefing the concerned citizen could hope to find within the pages of a pocketable book.' John Perry, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

    Review of previous edition: 'I can recommend (this book) to anyone who wants to get a better perspective on the topic of global warming … a very readable and comprehensive guide to the changes that are occuring now, and could occur in the future, as a result of human action … brings the global warming debate right up to date … Read Houghton's book if you really want to understand both the scientific and political issues involved.' William Harston, The Independent

    Review of previous edition: '… precise account of the science, accompanied by figures, graphs, boxes on specific points, and summaries at the end of each chapter, with questions for students … ranges beyond the science into the diplomacy, politics, economics and ethics of the problem, which together present a formidable challenge to human understanding and capacity for action.' Sir Crispin Tickell, The Times Higher Education Supplement

    Review of previous edition: '… a widely praised book on global warming and its consequences.' The Economist

    Review of previous edition: '… an interesting account of the topic for the general reader.' Environmental Assessment

    Review of previous edition: '… very thorough and presents a balanced, impartial picture.' Jonathan Shanklin, Journal of the British Astronomical Association

    Review of previous edition: 'I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone concerned about global warming. It provides and excellent essentially non-technical guide on scientific and political aspects of the subject. It is an essential briefing for students and science teachers.' Tony Waters, The Observatory

    Review of previous edition: 'For the non-technical reader, the best program guide to the political and scientific debate is John Houghton's book Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. With this book in hand you are ready to make sense of the debate and reach your own conclusions.' Alan Hecht, Climate Change

    Review of previous edition: 'This is a remarkable book … It is a model of clear exposition and comprehensible writing … Quite apart from its value as a background reader for science teachers.' Andrew Bishop, Association for Science Education

    Review of previous edition: 'Global Warming remains the best single-volume guide to the science of climate change.' Greg Terrill, The Times Literary Supplement

    Review of previous edition: 'This very readable and informative book is valuable for anyone wanting a broad overview of what we know about climate change, its potential impacts on society and the natural world, and what could be done to mitigate or adapt to global warming. To this end, discussion questions are included at the end of each chapter. The paperback edition is an especially good value … Houghton's compact book is an accessible, well-researched, and broadly based introduction to the immensely complicated global warming problem.' Dennis L. Hartmann, University of Washington

    Review of previous edition: 'I have no hesitation in endorsing this important book.' Wilfrid Bach, International Journal of Climatology

    'This book undoubtedly lives up to its billing as 'The Complete Briefing', comprehensively outlining the many areas encompassed in the debate regarding global warming in a clear, accessible and informative manner that I feel cannot be matched. This new edition was definitely required in light of the advances made in the recent IPCC Assessment Report, and you can really see how that work has been integrated into this updated version. It is an essential resource for anybody wishing to learn more or who is educating students about the vast, complex and interdisciplinary topic of global warming.' Peter M. Abbott, The Holocene

    'This book, accurately subtitled The Complete Briefing, summarizes 4,700-plus pages of the latest IPCC assessment. It covers atmospheric physics and past climate variation, explaining the relevancy of paleoclimatic changes to current global warming. The author goes on to describe the increasingly sophisticated climate models and the great differences between them and models for meteorological forecasting. Houghton also explores the impacts expected as the climate warms, including the actions and technologies that might limit those changes. Because the climate is already changing, the author surveys adaptation required of ecosystems and our civilization, even if the causes of climate change are eliminated soon. The book is clearly written, and excellent graphics make the voluminous data understandable to a wide audience. Houghton appropriately dedicates the book to his grandchildren, a viewpoint that policy makers should note … Highly recommended.' M. K. Cleaveland, Choice

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    Customer reviews

    09th Jan 2016 by StephenMClift

    Excellent coverage but the questions are frustrating as there is insufficient information in the text to answer many of them. Assumes a great deal of additional knowledge of basic principles.

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Edition: 5th Edition
    • Date Published: May 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107463790
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 190 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.86kg
    • contains: 173 colour illus. 15 tables 110 exercises
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Global warming and climate change
    2. The Greenhouse effect
    3. The Greenhouse gases
    4. Climates of the past
    5. Modelling the climate
    6. Climate change for the twenty-first century and beyond
    7. The impacts of climate change
    8. Why should we be concerned?
    9. Weighing the uncertainty
    10. A strategy for action to avoid dangerous climate change
    11. Energy and transport for the future
    12. The global village

  • Resources for

    Global Warming

    John Houghton

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  • Author

    John Houghton, Former Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    Sir John Houghton CBE, FRS is a former Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chairman of the UK's Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Vice President of the World Meteorological Organisation, President of the Royal Meteorological Society, and Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Oxford University. He was Chief Executive of the UK Meteorological Office from 1983 to his retirement in 1991. As well as the previous editions of this book, he is author of The Physics of Atmospheres (Cambridge University Press, in three editions), and has published numerous research papers and contributed to many influential research documents.

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