is a timely and highly researched book that illustrates the effects of climate change. It lays bare, beyond a shadow of a doubt, where we are with current global warming, where we are going and includes a very credible timeline of impending catastrophes if we don’t rapidly and radically scale back our carbon based emissions.
An internationally renowned climate hazards scientist, Chris Funk works as the Director of the Climate Hazards Center (CHC) at University of California, Santa Barbara.
A great deal of effort was put into this book. It is well written and well laid out into distinct categories that depict climate change repercussions on human and animal populations. Specifically: drought and its impacts on farming and global food production; fire and it’s effects on forests and air quality as well as its catastrophic effects on human and animal habitat and the destructive power of floods and storm events.
There are two big things that stood out for me. One is that the cumulative effect of global warming results in the “whole being greater than the sum of its parts”; each catastrophe adds to the others causing even more damage and destruction. The other is the lumpiness of global warming. We tend to think of climate change as a steady drift towards a gradually warming planet. But in fact it is an uneven process whereby climate variations concentrate their energy in different parts of the world and then move around. The result is we are finding our weather extremes becoming more acute.
According to Mr. Funk, (and I believe him), our climate will keep warming for several years (if not decades) even if we stop adding to the global emissions load. He warns that it is imperative that we sharply reduce our emissions so that our children and grandchildren do not inherit a planet that cannot comfortably sustain life in 30 years. The goal is to not only stop climate change but to reverse it and understanding the problem is one key to change.
If you still have doubts that climate change exists and is already contributing to the destruction of our habitable home then please read this book. If you are seeking greater understanding of the workings of climate change and you want a data rich reading experience then this is a must for you. If you teach a high school and up science classes that focus on climate change, this would be excellent reference material. Certainly the information in this book should be required reading for all government policy makers.
I am a non-scientific person who failed chemistry a long time ago and I found the copious data a bit hard to follow. A basic understanding of science/chemistry/math would help one to appreciate the richness of information that is provided in this book.
With the publisher’s permission we have donated it to the Cornwall Public Library. More information on Chris Funk and his work can be found at https://www.chc.ucsb.edu/people/chris-funk