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
List Price: $25.99*
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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 warmingwhether 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.
“Vivid and compelling, this book shows what life will be like in a warming world. Essential reading for anyone who’s planning to inhabit the planet for the next few decades.”
-Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe
In this important and timely book, Heidi Cullen breaks ground...simplifying the connection between weather and climate and bringing the true impact of the problem, literally, right to your front door.
-Laurie David, Academy Award winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth
“A scorching vision of what life might be like in the warmer world that is already on its way. ”
-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“Heidi Cullen’s beautifully crafted study provides the human detail that has been missing from most reports on climate science…This book sets a new benchmark for accessible writing on the likely weather of the future.”
“In an accessible way, [Cullen] details the Earth’s climate history and forecasts what might happen if we’re not more careful.”
-New York Post
“[Cullen] accepts weather as a local matter, just as Tip O’Neill, longtime speaker of the House of Representatives, proclaimed all politics to be local...The Weather of the Future,” uses a broad itinerary to illustrate the threats she perceives.”
“Fact-filled and entertaining yet disturbing depiction of our world as temperatures rise...A lively and troubling but not entirely doomsday scenario of our warmer future.”
“Engrossing…the book presents a surprisingly optimistic view of humanity’s determination to come to terms with a daunting future.”
“This is a woman to whom attention must be paid.”
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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