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Title : Climate of Extremes : Global Warming Science The Don't Want You to Know
Author : Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling Jr.
Publisher : Cato Institute
ISBN : 978-1-935308-17-1
Climate of Extremes : Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know, brings to fore the facts and revelations about the most debatable topic of our times. When all possible media channels are invariably inundated with news on global warming and increasing earth's surface temperatures, here is a book which strives to bring sanity and correct perspective into this whole discussion.
First and foremost the attention has been drawn to the basic issues -
*How much of the earth's surface has warmed
*How much of that warming is caused by the human activity and
*Can the human activity and present temperatures be used as an indicator to project future warming and estimate its effects.
Looking into details about the global warming and the hype about everything related to this topic, the authors - Michaels and Balling state the unadulterated and unbiased truth first - our planet is definitely warming up and there is no denying the fact that nothing would qualify to change this global trend of increasing temperature. Longer summer heat waves owing to the increase in the greenhouse gas levels would be there for us to witness in the times to come. The temperature variation between upper and lower layers of the atmosphere shows the presence of greenhouse gases which trap the radiation close to the surface and emit it back hence warming the lower layer more than the upper one. Carbon dioxide , water vapor molecules and methane are supreme contributors of greenhouse gases.
Besides these greenhouse gases already making their presence felt, colossal amounts of such gases are in store to be released in the atmosphere soon. One typical case is that of - Permafrost. Permafrost is more like a time bomb which is gradually reaching its stage of explosion eventually putting our planet into a more vicious warmer cycle.
The book very objectively presents all these facts and phenomena and then moves on to discuss the huge chasm between what the reality is and what is presented to the public globally.
In very clear terms and backed by data and statistics, the authors reject the observations that global warming will mean sky rocketing death rates. Instead, with some relatively simple adaptive measures, death rates could go down significantly and that has been the case when the heat wave which took 35000 lives in France in 2003 saw its repeat occurrence after a few years again.
There is no rationality behind the news in making global warming the only reason for many climatic changes happening in the planet. Mother Nature also has her own way of expression which is evident in some of these phenomena:
*If the changes in the ice content in Arctic are observed scientifically, they reveal that much of this has been triggered by non-human induced climate variations.
*Kilimanjaro glacier which is nearing its extinction, reached its current state mainly because of its geometry than anything else.
*Droughts have been a natural part of the climate of Pacific Southwest and whether the future is warmer or not, they are going to be there.
*Forest fires in CA are blamed on warming of surface, which is very debatable. Data reveal that the burned area in the last 20 years has not increased. Tree rings in that region affirm that fire frequency for the last 500 years has been the result of natural ocean climate cycles and not global warming.
*Global warming is conveniently made responsible for the increasing number of powerful hurricanes hitting Florida but there is a contrary view which states that besides surface temperatures, some other factors like wind shear and jet streams, affecting this phenomenon cannot simply be ignored.
The authors have highlighted various factors which have contributed significantly in ruling out the possibility of rational thinking based on facts alone and having a balanced discussion on this topic :
*Unreliability of some of the methods of observing the climate makes it a humungous task to differentiate the part showing real climatic trends from the results of observational difficulties.
*The politicization of the climate science reduces the possibility to having free exchange of data and information.
*Media obsessed with the mantra - "Bad news sells" fabricate some of the facts so that the news item looks more gory and fetches more eye balls.
*Scientific journals prejudiced for "positive" results do not feel the need of responsibly reporting the findings of 'no relationship' between hypothesized variables too.
*Politicians turned climatologists (having no training in climate science) have been instrumental in broadcasting some untested facts which makes the whole matter even more complicated and the future looks extremely perilous. The science Washington lobby is not helping the matters either.
*Publication bias and exaggerated reporting assist in putting the final nails in the coffin of climate science being a fact based science only.
The book successfully presents the clear picture and very courageously talks about the actual issues and the impediments in the path of having a free discussion and sensible decision making on global warming. The observations made throughout the book are very well supported by the graphs and pictures wherever necessary showing the amount of research that has gone into bringing this end product for the readers.
Could have been made a complete package by extending the study to include the climatic conditions and trends observed in other parts of the planet like Atlantic ocean, Indian ocean and the continents other than North America.