The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)

The Discovery of Global Warming New Histories of Science Technology and Medicine THIS EDITION HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A NEWER EDITION In a panel representing virtually all the world s governments and climate scientists announced that they had reached a consensus the world was wa

  • Title: The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)
  • Author: Spencer R. Weart
  • ISBN: 9780674016378
  • Page: 266
  • Format: Paperback
  • THIS EDITION HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A NEWER EDITION In 2001 a panel representing virtually all the world s governments and climate scientists announced that they had reached a consensus the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity The consensu THIS EDITION HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A NEWER EDITION In 2001 a panel representing virtually all the world s governments and climate scientists announced that they had reached a consensus the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity The consensus itself was at least a century in the making The story of how scientists reached their conclusion by way of unexpected twists and turns and in the face of formidable intellectual, financial, and political obstacles is told for the first time in The Discovery of Global Warming Spencer R Weart lucidly explains the emerging science, introduces us to the major players, and shows us how the Earth s irreducibly complicated climate system was mirrored by the global scientific community that studied it Unlike familiar tales of Science Triumphant, this book portrays scientists working on bits and pieces of a topic so complex that they could never achieve full certainty yet so important to human survival that provisional answers were essential Weart unsparingly depicts the conflicts and mistakes, and how they sometimes led to fruitful results His book reminds us that scientists do not work in isolation, but interact in crucial ways with the political system and with the general public The book not only reveals the history of global warming, but also analyzes the nature of modern scientific work as it confronts the most difficult questions about the Earth s future 20030815

    One thought on “The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)”

    1. This is a good book about global warming. More importantly, it's also good for understanding how science works. This kind of historical exposition of how a specific field developed is a good way of illustrating broader concepts. Science is not something that happens in a flash when an apple falls on some dude's head. Nor is it an opinion poll. The author does a nice job illustrating how science is about searching the unknown. And it involves scientists, who are people and therefore prone to erro [...]

    2. The book presents a lively narrative of bickering scientists. It is full of momentous scientific incidents and discovery and wide historical analyses and perspectives. It sustains an enthusiasm in a subject that is gaining more and more import as new researches and global computer models give uncomfortable predictions about the future of humankind. Even as the book discusses complex concepts from seemingly disparate but actually well connected scientific disciplines, it successfully lays down th [...]

    3. Excellent book on the history global warming/climate change. This book will give you a good understanding of the basic technical concepts underlying the science of climate change. It does so by telling the history of how this knowledge accumulated and built upon itself. The book is meant for a lay audience, and author tells the story in pretty readable manner. Even though climate science has advanced in the past 10 years since the book was published (2004), the material covered should still prov [...]

    4. This book is unique in the ouvre of global warming literature in that it is about the history of the development of knowledge about climate change, starting 100 or more years ago. Great for the needed context.

    5. While the message -- global warming -- deserves "five star" attention, regretfully this novel does not. The author admits his work is a review or culling from over 1,000 of the top articles on the subject over the last 50 years or so, this book does little to expand our knowledge other than to show how confusing and all-encompassing the subject of global climate really is and, frankly, what a hapless bunch of half-wits we are to continue to spew garbage into the atmosphere and expect it not to h [...]

    6. How scientists confirmed global warmingDrawing from scientific discoveries in oceanography, meteorology, geochemistry, biology and astrophysics, author Spencer R. Weart draws you into the puzzle of climate change as it is unfolding through time. No one person had an “aha” moment and discovered global warming. Instead, today’s understanding required an accumulation of theories from disparate areas of research, shaped by the rigors of the scientific method. These discoveries convinced most s [...]

    7. A history of the steps leading to the discovery and acceptance of global warming. It's interesting to see how it happened, slowly, and more recently than some of us realize (those of us born not so terribly long ago). One of the main things I took away from the book was how the discovery and subsequent research was slowed by many factors including having little commercial/industrial appeal, disbelief that humans could ever permanently alter the climate because the resources and flexibility of th [...]

    8. A 0.6 degC average temperature increase over the last century? I wonder if the instrumentation can be trusted to that kind of accuracyMaybe it's just me, but I found Weart to be a bit long-winded at times. Still, overall, a decent read, though.The book is pretty much true to the title - a history of the discovery of global warming. You'll come away from this book with an appreciation for the complexity of global climate, and the people who try to model it mathematically (or I did, at least).

    9. Intellectual history of global warming and how science progressively wrapped their heads around the fact that the Earth's climate may not be very stable. Reading it gives a great perspective on the current debate, including a sense for where the uncertainties lie (like how aerosols function in the atmosphere) and where they do not (many models have predicted the last 2 decades of warming remarkably well). The writing isn't always stellar, but my main quibble is that there aren't enough charts to [...]

    10. I really wanted to find a book that cut through all the hype about global warming. I'm not sure if this was the book, but I did like the historical approach. I wish the book was updated to more recent times ( I think it stopped with evidence for global warming through 2001). I think there may be a more recent edition that does this. On the whole I think this book stuck to the facts, and I did learn about some of the techniques used to assess global warming. I certainly know more now than I did b [...]

    11. This was another book for my History of Energy course for Spring 2013 that had us read selections but not the whole book. I wanted to finish it, not because of its reading value (as I didn't find it particularly enjoyable), but because I hate to leave books unfinished. However, I didn't have enough room to take it back from college, so I had to part with it before finishing. As it was unfinished, I'll abstain from rating it.

    12. A history of scientists bringing together the clues and evidence for global warming. This book shows the nature of scientific work; how scientists interact with each other, politics and the general public. A bit of a dry read at times (written by a physicist and historian of science), nonetheless, there are some twists and turns and formidable opponents on this journey which reveals that significant global warming is coming, most likely in our lifetimes.

    13. This book is a very chill take on the development of the science behind climate change, and how it has developed over the last hundred years or so. It's awesome to look at how some very brilliant insightful people came to their theories and found ways to test them, and the honest reserved treatment of the subject is very compelling, unlike most bleeding heart environmentalist texts.

    14. Interesting an factual but a bit dry/repetitive for me (I study this in class, so have learned a lot of this). Took some effort to finish it.

    15. This is a pretty decent history of how theories about global warming developed and have evolved. I was hoping for some more details on the science, but it covers the general concepts.

    16. Although this book has some interesting information in it it is poorly structured and not well written. I'm currently looking for better books on the subject.

    17. This is an excellent, concise history of the effort by scientists over the last 200 some-odd years to understand the effect of fossil fuel emissions on the planet.

    18. Nice little tour of the development of climate science, and the history of collaboration leading up to today's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    19. An excellent, in-depth history of how climate change came to be understood and became the consensus view in the scientific community.

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