Summary of What We Know About Climate Change

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What We Know About Climate Change book summary
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MIT professor Kerry Emanuel, a climate scientist, calls man-made global warming “perhaps the most consequential problem ever confronted by mankind.” In this primer, Emanuel details the science underlying the causes and impact of global warming. He explains why warming is taking place and discusses options for mitigating its impact. This 2012 update of Emanuel’s 2006 book provides more recent information about current scientific findings. getAbstract recommends his analysis to anyone who wants to stay informed on this vital topic.

About the Author

Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science at MIT, studies moist convection in the atmosphere and tropical cyclones.



Climate Change

Most climate scientists believe that greenhouse gases, which help foment global warming, have increased due to human activity. They believe that the planet’s increasing temperatures have potentially catastrophic consequences. Climate scientists who hold these conclusions form a broad consensus within the research community. Hardheaded scientific research and verifiable data shape their beliefs.

About every four years, climate scientists issue a comprehensive report under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summarizing the current scientific knowledge about global warming. Climate scientists don’t dispute these facts from the IPCC:

  • The average surface temperature of the earth is about 1.2oF [0.67oC] hotter than it was from 1920 to 2010. The warmest years since record keeping began were 2005, 1998 and 2010.
  • “Carbon dioxide, methane, ozone and nitrous oxide,” which trap the planet’s heat, are increasing in the atmosphere due to the “burning of fossil fuels and biomass.”
  • The total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher now than it was at any time in the past...

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    J. B. 7 years ago
    Bias is political. It is not our greatest threat to humanity. It is academically written but in the way one massages the data to support ones thesis. It does not compare to other times in global history when high levels of green house gasses were also generated without any assistance from humanity. In their own worlds there are a dozen contributing factors and only one is the small slice that human-made gases adversely affect the total situation. It is good to read what know what MIT is producing.