Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate by Elizabeth Kolbert

By Elizabeth Kolbert

An argument for the pressing risk of worldwide warming in a publication that's absolute to be as influential as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
Known for her insightful and thought-provoking journalism, New Yorker author Elizabeth Kolbert now tackles the arguable topic of world warming. americans were warned because the past due nineteen-seventies that the accumulation of carbon dioxide in our surroundings threatens to soften the polar ice sheets and irreversibly swap our weather. With little performed for the reason that then to change this harmful path, now's the instant to salvage our destiny. by means of the top of the century, the area will be warmer than it's been within the final million years, and the sweeping effects of this variation will be sure the way forward for existence in the world for generations to come.

In writing that's either transparent and independent, Kolbert techniques this huge challenge from each attitude. She travels to the Arctic, interviews researchers and environmentalists, explains the technology and the reports, attracts scary parallels to misplaced old civilizations, unpacks the politics, and offers the non-public stories of these who're being affected most--the those who make their houses close to the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are staring at their worlds disappear. becoming out of a groundbreaking three-part sequence for the New Yorker, Field Notes from a Catastrophe brings the surroundings into the cognizance of the yank humans and asks what, if something, will be performed, and the way we will store our planet.

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Extra info for Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

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Temperatures are so low that when trees and grasses die they do not fully decompose. New plants grow on top of the half-rotted old ones, and when these plants die the same thing happens all over again. Eventually, through a process known as cryoturbation, organic matter is pushed down beneath the active layer into the permafrost, where it can sit for thousands of years in a botanical version of suspended animation. ) This is the reason that permafrost, much like a peat bog or, for that matter, a coal deposit, acts as a storage unit for accumulated carbon.

At that point, although there would continue to be seasonal ice that forms in winter, in summer the Arctic Ocean would be completely ice-free. "That's not in our lifetime," he observed. " Later, back in his office, Perovich and I talked about the 33 FIELD N O T E S F R O M A C A T A S T R O P H E long-term prospects for the Arctic. Perovich noted that the earth's climate system is so vast that it is not easily altered. "On the one hand, you think, It's the earth's climate system; it's big, it's robust.

Weather Bureau to start using his technique to monitor CO 2 at its new observatory, eleven thousand feet above sea level, on the flank of Mauna Loa, on the island of Hawaii. These same C 0 2 measurements have been taken at Mauna Loa nearly continuously ever since. The results, known as the "Keeling Curve," may well be the most widely reprinted set of natural science data ever collected. 42 A W A R M E R SKY Presented in the form of a graph, the Keeling Curve looks like the edge of a saw that is being held at a tilt.

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