Understanding the Earth System: Global Change Science for Application

Understanding the Earth System: Global Change Science for Application

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Cambridge University Press, 8/9/2012
EAN 9781107009363, ISBN10: 1107009367

Hardcover, 291 pages, 25.2 x 19.6 x 2 cm
Language: English

Explaining the what, the how and the why of climate science, this multidisciplinary new book provides a review of research from the last decade, illustrated with cutting-edge data and observations. A key focus is the development of analysis tools that can be used to demonstrate options for mitigating and adapting to increasing climate risks. Emphasis is given to the importance of Earth system feedback mechanisms and the role of the biosphere. The book explains advances in modelling, process understanding and observations, and the development of consistent and coherent studies of past, present and 'possible' climates. This highly illustrated, data-rich book is written by leading scientists involved in QUEST, a major UK-led research programme. It forms a concise and up-to-date reference for academic researchers or students in the fields of climatology, Earth system science and ecology, and also a vital resource for professionals and policymakers working on any aspect of global change.

List of editors, scientific editorial team and contributing authors
Foreword Sir John Lawton
List of notation
1. Earth system science and society
a focus on the Anthroposphere Sarah E. Cornell, Catherine J. Downy, Evan Fraser and Emily Boyd
2. Fundamentals of climate change science I. Colin Prentice, Peter G. Baines, Marko Scholze and Martin J. Wooster
3. How has climate responded to natural perturbations? Eric W. Wolff, Sandy P. Harrison, Reto Knutti, Maria Fernanda Sanchez-Goñi, Oliver Wild, Anne-Laure Daniau, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, I. Colin Prentice and Renato Spahni
4. The Earth system feedbacks that matter for contemporary climate Pierre Friedlingstein, Angela V. Gallego-Sala, Eleanor M. Blyth, Fiona E. Hewer, Sonia Seneviratne, Allan Spessa, Parvadha Suntharalingam and Marko Scholze
5. Earth system models
a tool to understand changes in the Earth system Marko Scholze, Icarus Allen, Bill Collins, Sarah E. Cornell, Chris Huntingford, Manoj Joshi, Jason Lowe, Robin Smith and Oliver Wild
6. Climate change impacts and adaptation
an Earth system view Richard A. Betts, Nigel W. Arnell, Penelope Boorman, Sarah E. Cornell, Joanna I. House, Neil Kaye, Doug McNeall, Michael Sanderson and Andrew Wiltshire
7. Mitigating climate risks by managing the biosphere Joanna I. House, Jessica Bellarby, Hannes Böttcher, Matthew Brander, Nicole Kalas, Peter Smith, Richard Tipper and Jeremy Woods
8. How our Earth system science understanding shapes society's options - key findings, implications and a forward look Sarah E. Cornell and I. Colin Prentice
List of acronyms

'This beautifully organized and written book connects the fundamental natural sciences - meteorology, oceanography, ecology and many others - to provide the most complete understanding yet of how our planet works. But it doesn't stop there. It lays out a seamless storyline from the deep past through the present and into the future that contextualises the current phenomenon of global change. Critically, the book brings humanity fully into the picture, from the impacts of environmental change to potential stewardship of the planet, while always maintaining the rigour that good Earth system research demands.' Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute, Australian National University

'With a scope extending across paleoclimate, current climate, feedbacks, human dimensions impacts, adaptation, and mitigation, this ambitious book succeeds in providing a deep yet comprehensive view of the Earth system in all its facets. Particularly impressive and novel is its rich set of clear and original figures to illustrate each issue in vibrant ways that will be especially useful for educators and students.' Susan Solomon, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

'Offering clear, colorful figures and a minimum of mathematical detail, this book would be useful for a general audience … Recommended.' T. N. Chase, Choice