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The Discovery of Global Warming

Spencer R. Weart (Author)
Synopsis 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 lest 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.
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About the author

Spencer R. Weart

Spencer R. Weart is Director of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics and the author of Scientists in Power and Nuclear Fear (both from Harvard).

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Bibliographic information

Title The Discovery of Global Warming
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8176498807
length xii+228p., Figures; Notes; Index; 23cm.