Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Mark Maslin

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0198719043

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Climate change is still, arguably, the most critical and controversial issue facing the world in the twenty-first century. Previously published as Global Warming: A Very Short Introduction, the new edition has been renamed Climate Change: A Very Short introduction, to reflect the important change in the terminology of the last decade.

In the third edition, Mark Maslin includes crucial updates from the last few years, including the results of the 2013 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, the effects of ocean acidification, and the impact of changes to global population and health. Exploring key topics in the debate, Maslin makes sense of the complexities of climate change, from political and social issues to environmental and scientific ones. Looking at its predicated impacts, he explores the controversies, and explains various proposed solutions.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


















future than in the present. In other words, future consumption should be discounted simply because it takes place in the future and people generally prefer the present to the future. For example, William Nordhaus used inherent discount rates of up to 3 per cent, which means an environmental benefit occurring 25 years in the future is worth about half as much as the same benefit today. The Stern Report has also been criticized for being overly optimistic about the costs of adapting to a low-carbon

to be calculated until about the middle of the 19th century. Sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) and marine air temperatures (MATs) were systematically recorded by ships from the mid-19th century, but even today the coverage of the Southern Hemisphere is extremely poor. All these data sets require various corrections to account for changing conditions and measurement techniques. For example, for land data each station has been examined to ensure that conditions have not varied through time as a

shelf will fall, removing the weight and thus the pressure of the seawater on the marine sediment. Pressure removal is a much more efficient way of destabilizing gas hydrates than temperature increases, and so huge amounts of methane could be released from around the Arctic and Antarctic. There is another secondary effect of gas hydrate release: when the hydrates break down, they can do so explosively. There is clear evidence from the past that violent gas hydrate releases have caused massive

chapter. 35. Stabilization wedges to achieve an atmospheric concentration of 450 ppm carbon dioxide Table 5. Princeton stabilization wedges Option Equivalent to 1 gigatonne of carbon per year wedge Energy efficiency and conservation Economy-wide carbon intensity reduction (emissions/GDP) Reduce carbon intensity by an additional 0.15% per year 1. Efficient vehicles Increase fuel economy for 2 billion cars from 30 to 60 mpg 2. Reduced use of vehicles Decrease car travel for 2 billion 30-mpg

most authoritative scientific and technical voice on climate change, and its assessments have had a profound influence on the negotiators of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The IPCC is organized into three working groups plus a task force to calculate the amount of GHGs produced by each country. Each of these four bodies has two co-chairmen (one from a developed and one from a developing country) and a technical support unit. Working Group I assesses the

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