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Climate Change
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Book description

In recent years climate change has become recognised as the foremost environmental problem of the twenty-first century. Not only will climate change potentially affect the multibillion dollar energy strategies of countries worldwide, but it also could seriously affect many species, including our own. A fascinating introduction to the subject, this textbook provides a broad review of past, present and likely future climate change from the viewpoints of biology, ecology and human ecology. It will be of interest to a wide range of people, from students in the life sciences who need a brief overview of the basics of climate science, to atmospheric science, geography, and environmental science students who need to understand the biological and human ecological implications of climate change. It will also be a valuable reference for those involved in environmental monitoring, conservation, policy-making and policy lobbying.


'This book provides a useful review of past, present and likely future climate change from the viewpoints of biology, ecology and human ecology. It is a useful introduction to the subject, giving a brief overview of the basics of climate science, … The book is also a useful reference for those involved in environmental monitoring, conservation, policy-making and lobbying.'

Source: Petroleum Review

'Cowie (formerly, Inst. of Biology, UK) offers an excellent overview of the foremost environmental problem of the 21st century.'

Source: Choice

'… refreshing to step back and look at the bigger picture of global change that this book addresses. It should be a useful starting point for environmentalists, policy makers, and teachers. The book does an excellent job of pulling together the complex web of evidence for climate change by carefully setting the current conditions in the context of climate change over the recent and distant past. It will benefit anyone trying to understand the tremendous human consequences of these changes. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels.'

D. F. Karnosky - Michigan Technological University

'… a perceptive approach to the subject. … Cowie uses his pen without waving his arms, and has put together a book that is measured, informative, balanced, scientifically sound, and as up-to-date as a book can possibly be in these days of rapid information accretion.'

Source: Bulletin of the British Ecological Society

'… anyone who wants to understand climate change and its impacts, but who doesn't have time to earn a PhD on the topic, should by this book.'

Source: Bioscience

'[This book] is written to be accessible to undergraduates, scientists outside of the life sciences, specialists reading outside of their field, and policy makers and analysts interested in climate change and its relevance to society. … Cowie excels in clearly describing complex interactions and explaining the need to consider the influences of multiple interacting factors, the relative importance of which can vary across time. … Cowie makes it easy both to appreciate the degree of societal impact associated with historical and current climate variations and to consider what could happen in the future if more severe climatic changes occur. … Overall, Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects is a fine treatment of global climate change and interactions with biological systems that can be used to inform a variety of readers. It has value as an educational introduction to climate change for nonscientists as well as a refresher for scientists. Almost everyone is likely to gain a fresh perspective or learn something new.'

Diane E. Wickland Source: EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union

'The descriptions of the biological interactions with climate are enlightening. The scientist reader will come away with a better idea of how his/her work applies to policy and will gain a better perspective on the big picture.'

Source: American Meteorological Society

'Cowie's book … demands to be read. … reader-friendly, quantitative, authoritative but above all, stimulating … intelligently arranged … Cowie is to be congratulated for presenting a highly complex, yet fundamentally vital distil of a problem of literally global proportions that will play out its final scene long into the future.'

Source: The Biologist

'… delightful … balanced and reliable - a very good read'

Source: The Biologist

'This remarkable book about global warming was written by an erudite biologist rather than a physical scientist. … The result is a very valuable and original contribution about how climate change has affected the earth's biota in the past, what is now occurring and what is likely to occur in the future. … It is a masterpiece in its subject area in the opinion of this reviewer and will be read for many years because much of the material will not become dated. … This book deserves to be widely read as it provides an extremely important and valuable overview of what is happening to our planet due to the irresponsible misuse of valuable resources and fossil fuels for many years in the developed 20% portion of the world. Every scientist should read it carefully and then become involved in explaining what is happening to those unlikely to read about this subject.'

Source: Physics in Canada

'Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects, by Jonathan Cowie, is an impressive endeavor that weaves together discussion of both natural and social science processes associated with climate change. … through … roughly one-hundred pages of great detail … Cowie successfully situates our present anthropogenic climate change predicament. … [His] book is useful as a central science text.'

Source: Global Environmental Politics

‘Overlapping the disciplines of atmospheric and life sciences, this is the first book on aspects of climate change and biological impacts which I have seen for some years which addresses these issues in a comprehensive manner, by showing the co-evolution of climate and life through geological time … The book will make an excellent teaching aid, allowing students from the biological and atmospheric sciences to see fundamental interaction between climate change and life, and an excellent reference for anybody interested in these interactions.'

P. J. A. Burt Source: Meteorological Applications

'… a valuable, balanced and informative text, pulling together complex materials from a wide range of disciplines … I recommend it to anyone looking for a reader friendly introduction to climate change and its potential impacts.'

Nigel Richardson Source: Geography

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