The Weather of the Future

Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet

By Heidi Cullen
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061726880, 352pp.)

Publication Date: August 1, 2010

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Description

Droughts. Floods.
Climate refugees.
Global warming isn't just about polar bears anymore.

Let's assume we do nothing about climate change. Imagine that we just continue to emit carbon at our current levels or even exceed those levels. How would our weather change? What would our forecast be? Welcome to The Weather of the Future.

In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Heidi Cullen, one of the world's foremost climatologists and environmental journalists, puts a vivid face on climate change, offering a new way of seeing this phenomenon not just as an event set to happen in the distant future but as something happening right now in our own backyards. Arguing that we must connect the weather of today with the climate change of tomorrow, Cullen combines the latest research from scientists on the ground with state-of-the-art climate-model projections to create climate-change scenarios for seven of the most at-risk locations around the world.

From the Central Valley of California, where coming droughts will jeopardize the entire state's water supply, to Greenland, where warmer temperatures will give access to mineral wealth buried beneath ice sheets for millennia, Cullen illustrates how, if left unabated, climate change will transform every corner of the world by midcentury. What emerges is a mosaic of changing weather patterns that collectively spell out the range of risks posed by global warming—whether it's New York City, whose infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to even a relatively weak category 3 hurricane, or Bangladesh, a country so low-lying that millions of people could become climate refugees due to rising sea levels.

Provocative and convincing, The Weather of the Future makes climate change local, showing how no two regions of the country or the world will be affected in quite the same way, and demonstrating that melting ice is just the beginning.




About the Author

Dr. Heidi Cullen is a senior research scientist with Climate Central, a nonprofit climate news and research organization, and a visiting lecturer at Princeton University.




NPR
Monday, Jul 25, 2011

This summer of record-breaking heat followed a spring that brought some of the most extreme weather on record. In her book The Weather of the Future, climatologist Heidi Cullen writes, "It's time to face the fact that the weather isn't what it used to be." More at NPR.org

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