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This is an invaluable textbook for any introductory survey course on the science and policy of climate change, for both non-science majors and introductory science students. The second edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect the most recent science from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and many illustrations include new data. The new edition also reflects advances in the political debate over climate change. Unique amongst textbooks on climate change, it combines an introduction to the science with an introduction to economic and policy issues, and is tightly focused on anthropogenic climate change. It contains the necessary quantitative depth for students to properly understand the science of climate change. It supports students in using algebra to understand simple equations and to solve end-of-chapter problems. Supplementary online resources include a complete set of PowerPoint figures for instructors, solutions to exercises, videos of the author's lectures, and additional computer exercises.Read more
- Provides students with an entire overview of recent climate change - science, economics, and policy
- Covers science in more depth and with more rigor than other introductory textbooks
- Suitable for both science and non-science majors
- Fully up to date with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report findings
Reviews & endorsements
'I'm delighted to see an updated edition of Dessler's textbook; the new edition reminds me why I liked the book so much in the first place. I used the first edition for my climate literacy courses for first-year non-science majors, as I was so impressed with its simple and compelling coverage of the science of climate change, and, just as importantly, its social and political context. The students loved the book - some even commented that it was the first time they had actually understood and enjoyed reading a science book. The revised version brings the book completely up to date, and will ensure it remains my number one recommendation for an introductory text on climate change.' Steve Easterbrook, University of TorontoSee more reviews
'Dessler's book is written so clearly that anyone can read it and understand the major issues in climate change. It hits just the right balance between rigor and comfort, making the whole topic more appealing and accessible to students.' Deborah Lawrence, University of Virginia
'I have used the first edition of Dessler's book in several classes for non-science majors. The contents of the text were well-chosen from the vast amount of information available. The presentation is at an appropriate mathematical and scientific level for these classes. Students liked the text. The second edition includes updates from recent assessments (IPCC AR5 and the 2013 Social Cost of Carbon Update) and I look forward to using it.' James C. Wilson, University of Denver
Review of previous edition: 'Professor Dessler's book is written for 'undergraduate non-science majors'. He must believe in the impossible - that he can bring a topic as complex as climate change into focus for students with little background in science. However, I must say that Professor Dessler has succeeded. Students who read this book will achieve a level of understanding of climate change that they may, first, 'engage in an informed debate of public policy'; second, understand the deep significance of Climategate; and third, explain and act upon the recent explosion of public interest in climate change.' Ted Munn, University of Toronto
Review of previous edition: 'The text provides a readable, concise summary of the science of climate change, but it is the nonscientific aspects of the book that set it apart … a well-crafted textbook. The writing is very accessible without being too simplistic. The combination of a broad overview of the science and policy of climate change is both novel and appropriate for … an introductory-level survey course on climate change. Reading the book was a learning experience for me, and I would happily recommend this book to anyone seeking an introduction to climate change.' Guillaume Mauger, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Review of previous edition: 'The book reads extremely well: it uses stories, analogues, and examples to draw the reader into the story of the science of our changing planet. Despite the complexity of the actual science, Dessler presents the material in a clear manner and does it without drawing on mathematics any more difficult than simple algebra … I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about climate change and the challenges it presents to humanity.' Donald J. Wuebbles, Physics Today
Review of previous edition: 'At last, a textbook about the scientific basis for global climate change that's well balanced, well written, highly illuminating, and accessible to non-science majors.' John M. Wallace, University of Washington
Review of previous edition: 'Understanding the challenges of climate change requires an understanding of the relevant science, economics and policy. However, existing introductory textbooks focus on only one of these disciplines, and there is a need for books covering all aspects. This textbook fills this void. Dessler has done an excellent job of clearly describing the different issues of climate change in a way that will be accessible to both science and non-science majors. I can see this book becoming the standard textbook for the growing number of introductory courses that discuss both the science and policy of climate change.' Darryn Waugh, Johns Hopkins University
Review of previous edition: 'Andy is a natural teacher and writer with such an ease of presentation that he makes complex subjects accessible by his clever use of everyday analogies. Climate change is a subject that [he] cares about passionately, and he really cares about his reader as well. [This] book provides an expert's exposition of climate change in all its facets … written primarily as a textbook, it also provides excellent reading for any layperson …' Gerald R. North, Texas A&M University
'Dessler does an excellent job of simply explaining the science. To a nonexpert, the science of climate change can be extremely daunting, as much as anything due to the scale and complexity of the system under discussion and the many and varied external factors that may (or may not) have significant effects upon it. … well written, clearly presented and is certainly not the 'shrill advocacy' the author sets out to avoid. Written as a student textbook … it certainly would appear to serve that purpose extremely well and should be on the reading list of anyone with an interest in climate science, if for no other reason that it introduces a complex subject in such a coherent and comprehensible fashion.' John Brittan, The Leading Edge
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- Edition: 2nd Edition
- Date Published: October 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107480674
- length: 273 pages
- dimensions: 254 x 178 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.56kg
- contains: 75 b/w illus. 9 colour illus. 5 tables 154 exercises
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. An introduction to the climate problem
2. Is the climate changing?
3. Radiation and energy balance
4. A simple climate model
5. The carbon cycle
6. Forcing, feedbacks, and climate sensitivity
7. Why is the climate changing?
8. Predictions of future climate change
9. Impacts of climate change
10. Exponential growth
11. Fundamentals of climate change policy
12. Mitigation policies
13. A brief history of climate science and politics
14. Putting it together: a long-term policy to address climate change
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