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$105.33 $17.00
1. Environmental Science: Toward
$17.16 $15.78 list($26.00)
2. Big Weather: Chasing Tornadoes
$75.42 $61.99 list($97.95)
3. Meteorology Today : An Introduction
$9.75 $5.45 list($13.00)
4. Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time,
$90.95 $70.00
5. Essentials of Meteorology (with
$14.96 $11.88 list($22.00)
6. Boiling Point: How Politicians,
$81.00 $37.87
7. The Atmosphere: An Introduction
$14.28 $13.74 list($21.00)
8. The USA Today Weather Book : An
$18.45 $16.24 list($27.95)
9. Climate Crash: Abrupt Climate
$88.95 $80.80
10. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
$32.40 $32.08 list($40.00)
11. Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary
$83.95 $71.45
12. Global Physical Climatology (International
$6.36 $5.50 list($7.95)
13. The Little Book Of Snowflakes
$59.95 $53.55
14. An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology
$13.99 list($25.00)
15. Catastrophe: An Investigation
16. Ionospheres : Physics, Plasma
17. Handbook of Atmospheric Science:
$89.80 $65.00
18. Understanding Weather and Climate,
$11.53 $10.38 list($16.95)
19. The Little Ice Age: How Climate
$15.39 $10.00 list($21.99)
20. Weather for Dummies

1. Environmental Science: Toward A Sustainable Future (8th Edition)
by Richard T. Wright, Bernard J. Nebel
list price: $105.33
our price: $105.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130325384
Catlog: Book (2002)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 51028
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Book Description

Known for its currency and readability, this book focuses on enabling readers to critically evaluate the latest environmental issues and to apply that understanding to situations and events in their everyday lives. It explores the interactions of humans within the natural environment and probes issues thoroughly examining their scientific basis, their history, and society's response. The authors discuss sustainable development and public policy in terms of how they shape the present and future.Topics covered include ecosystems and how they work; the human population; renewable resources; energy; pollution and prevention; and more.For anyone interested in environmental science, environmental studies, and environmental biology. ... Read more

2. Big Weather: Chasing Tornadoes in the Heart of America
by Mark Svenvold
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 0805076468
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 13319
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Following an eccentric band of storm chasers during tornado season, a writer delves deep into our fascination with catastrophic weather

Why do some people chase the kind of storms that would send most people running for their lives? Why is it that devastating weather-and tornadoes in particular-maintain a primal hold on our collective imagination? How to account for the spectacular success of a company like the Weather Channel-not just a show, but an entire cable network with 86 million regular viewers, hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, and one abiding subject, the passing clouds?
With his guide Matt Biddle, an Ahab-like veteran storm chaser, Mark Svenvold draws a portrait of a culture enamored by extremes during a 6,000-mile journey through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. Along the way, the author encounters an assortment of characters out of a Fellini film: A duo named The Twister Sisters, from St. Cloud, Minnesota; a crowd-pleasing trio from CUPP (California University of Pennsylvania-at Pittsburgh); a team of chaser-scientists who have partnered with an IMAX film-maker from Los Angeles with an armor-plated truck; and a stock car racer from North Carolina whose goal is to drive through a tornado.
At the heart of the excitement are the awe-inspiring events themselves-a tornado that levels a small Nebraska town and the look back at the central Oklahoma tornado outbreak that included the single-most destructive tornado in US history. Similar weather disasters occur each spring in a kind of reverse lottery that has spawned a subculture of catastrophilia. Want to know what a tornado actually sounds like as it blows over or through your house? Big Weather answers this while also tracing the ways the sublime, in the classic sense, still has a profound claim upon our imagination.
Big Weather is a wryly observed meditation upon the weather as block-buster event that explores, with an ironic touch, our paradoxical relationship to the biggest story of our age-global warming-and the fate of the earth.
... Read more

Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad Weather - Bad Writer
It's very difficult for me to give this book any form of praise.In a wordy attack, the author makes several inaccurate and otherwise misleading statements about me and my background -- which has always been of the highest regard. For example, the author says I never worked as a technical consultant for the motion picture "Twister." This is inaccurate and false. I was one of the initial consultants in 1995 after I received a call from Ian Bryce the producer of the film. I assisted the art department. One of my images was used on the movie poster and music CD. I have a letter from Warner's posted on my web site. The other accusations are equally false and can easily be debunked. The author and editors were well aware of these issues before the book was published but decided to leave the damaging and incorrect text in place. (The reader might notice last minute endnotes placed next to the text -- illustrating the author may have known there were issues before the book was printed -- but he decided to leave everything in place instead of re-writing the body of the text.)Judging by my own case, the reader could question other elements in the book. Although I'm sure some uninformed reviewers and readers will find this book interesting - I can say, -- as one of the "best-known" storm chasers in the world -- the overall theme of the book missed the mark. This is not an "Into Thin Air" level of literature. The author overlooked the true story of chasing. In my opinion, he made the mistake of making close friendships with only one side of the chasing world and his text was unbalanced.Ironically, of all the chasers mentioned in the book, I am the only individual mentioned in such a venomous manner -- even though volumes could be written about the truly negative, irresponsible and dangerous elements of chasing. One could surmise why the author decided to attack me only -- we both have published storm chasing-themed books and will now compete for speaking engagements, press, etc. I should note other reviewers have added their own comments concerning the book including: "Inaccuracies and inadequate research." As for the rest of the book, in my opinion, it's not the classic or gripping type of literature that I enjoy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Half about chasing and the other half should have been cut
If you buy this book based on the cover or subtitle, you will have been misled. While perhaps half of this book is based on a few week's chasing that Svenvold did in May of 2004, much of the rest of the book is not about chasing at all. Svenvold's background is literary, and much of the book reads like literary criticism rather than a work on storm chasing.Like much literary criticism it suffers from a lack of focus, and the feeling that the author is trying to show off his vocabulary.An editor that cared about the book structure would have cut out much off the irrelevant verbiage and asked that the author replace it with text salient to the topic. Like Larry McMurtry, Svenvold brings the ghost of social critic Walter Benjamin into Tornado Alley, although to even less purpose.It's unfortunate that Svenvold drifts off into various political and literary diatribes, because when he is writing about chasing it's actually quite well-written and compelling, although perhaps too judgmental considering his lack of real knowledge of the cast of players. His comments about some coeds from the California University of Pennsylvania he meets along the way are hurtful and are obviously based on bias and not evidence. He makes similar value judgments about other people, corporations and countries, all from a very one-dimensional perspective. There are various other errors and inaccuracies scattered throughout the book, which can at least partly be ascribed to his unfocused approach. Parts of this book are very good, but unfortunately you will have to wade through the rest of it to find those parts.

1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading and dissapointing
As a ten-year storm chasing veteran I am appalled to think this book represents any reality of what real storm chasing is about. The author is not a storm chaser. He may fool those who may not know better, but not me. This book was not what I expected.The dangerous driving habits of chasers and their lack of respect for the horrors of bad weather are never addressed. The guy he chased with is a well known big mouth in the world of chasing. I would not give him much credit. His writing is not accurate. For example: the part about the "tornado intercept car is a joke."Is the author so blind he does not understand the car is only a publicity ploy for a TV production? No one is going to drive into a tornado. And what if the car is hurled into a school bus? The author's lack of research and his lack of desire to write about the real issues is odd. If the author plans to write in the future, he would do much better to do a little more research and not mislead the reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tornado Chasers Need To Get A Life
As one with a meteorology degree (B.S. University of Oklahoma 1977) and former severe weather geek, I am not surprised that this book is being slagged by the chaser community. People who spend their lives in a worthless endeavor are prone to bouts of self-justification.

Now that I have that out of the way I can safely tell you this is the best book ever written about Tornado Alley. Mark Svenvold brought a keen outsider's eye to the pathology of tornado chasing and ornamented his story with trenchant observations about what it's like to live on the Great Plains. His very relevant point about these people burning gallon upon gallon of gasoline in order to satisfy their obsession was right on, actually it probably encourages them to keep on chasin' because contributing to the speed-up of global warming might just spin up a few more F5's for them to drool over before they die. As for you poor people that happen to have your lives destroyed by one of those F5's, well, maybe they will make a video of your home being torn apart and sell you a copy as a souvenir. Just try to ignore their cheering when they watch it being replayed ad nauseam on the local news.

The only people that have any real business chasing are those in the position to give "ground truth" observations to radio and television outlets with the ability to warn people of the impending danger. Storms like the F5 that hit the Oklahoma City metro in 1999 are long-track and will probably be broadcast live for several minutes, maybe even over an hour, so people in harm's way should receive plenty of warning before the power is knocked out.

The researchers that chase are only kidding themselves, chaos theory guarantees that unless you have simultaneous observations for every piece of the atmosphere to load into your computer program, the results can't be trusted, and we are NEVER going to have that fine a level of observational detail.

To the rest: you are wasting gas and polluting the air in order to gratify your selfish quest.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor Mark
Mark Svenvold fails at his attempt to write an entertaining or informative book because of his misguided derision toward his subjects. It is more important for Mr. Svenvold to ramble at length about long dead and obscure authors, The Weather Channel, and global warming than to explain anything about storms or storm chasing. The whole book smells of the insecurities of an out of place liberal loud mouth who lives in the grip of fear that someone, somewhere might be receiving more attention than he is and might, God forbid, actually be doing something they love with their lives. Maybe if he is so concerned with the environment, he should have saved several pounds of paper and just stayed home. ... Read more

3. Meteorology Today : An Introduction to Weather, Climate, and the Environment (with InfoTrac and Blue Skies CD-ROM)
by C. Donald Ahrens
list price: $97.95
our price: $75.42
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Asin: 0534397719
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 87585
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

METEOROLOGY TODAY has for many years been one of the most widely used and authoritative texts for the introductory meteorology course. Each edition is extensively reviewed by leading researchers in the field to ensure that the text remains completely up-to-date and reflects today's current understanding of meteorological concepts. Author Donald Ahrens has been widely praised for his ability to explain relatively complicated ideas so that even under-prepared students can understand them. The text's clear and inviting presentation is supplemented by numerous pedagogical features that help augment students' understanding. Introductory stories found at the beginning of each chapter draws students naturally into the discussion. In-chapter reviews then help students to consolidate their understanding as they read, while four types of end-of-chapter exercises provide opportunities for everything from further review to in-class discussion questions. Graphics are carefully designed and subsequently refined so that the key ideas clearly emerge. Many of the photos in the book are taken by the author and provide unmatched images of dramatic weather phenomena. A unique and popular feature over this title's seven editions has been the foldout cloud chart at the back of the book. A wealth of online resources accompanies METEOROLOGY TODAY, Seventh Edition, allowing professors to integrate striking and illuminative interactive weather exercises into their course. Many of the exercises on the BLUE SKIES CD-ROM packaged FREE with each new copy of the text are tied to downloadable real-time weather data, offering instructors an easy way to bring the exploration of current weather events into the course discussion. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I am enrolled in a Meteorology course right now. I bought this book sometime ago to get ready for the coursework in Meteorology. I had read a bunch of books prior to this one and I found this book to be well written. Easy to understand and great illustrations make it easy for anyone to understand it. May be a bit too basic for some. If you need to know more about Meteorology and want to know more than the average Joe...then buy this won't regret it. I love it!

3-0 out of 5 stars Fairly good introduction to the subject of meteorology
This text is a very basic introduction to the world of meteorology. The writing style is very simplistic, as the book seems to be intended for non-science majors. There are very few quantitative portions and the few math portions that are there could use a little more expansion. All in all, this book is suitable for anyone who wants an introduction to the weather without having to do numerous calculations.

4-0 out of 5 stars Overall, an excellent intro level text book
Overall, an excellent intro level text book to meteorology. Fantastic diagrams and photographs. The only thing wrong with it is that some of the cloud photos could have been a little more precise and done a better job at picking that type of cloud for the photo. Nonetheless, it's a great book overall, and I do plan to keep this one even after the semster is finished.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Meteorological textbook: from a students viewpoint
Well worth the price! Gorgeous photographs, clear diagrams, and easy to understand text combine to make this introductory textbook a great value. I have spent way too much money on textbooks, but this time I actually got my monies worth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introductory text
This is the best college level introductory meteorology text I have seen. It has a wide range of topics, covering most if not all meteorological phenomena, but does so in a way that non-scientists can understand. Excellent photographs and diagrams. ... Read more

4. Isaac's Storm : A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 0375708278
Catlog: Book (2000-07-11)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 2995
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devestating personal tragedy.

Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude. Riveting, powerful, and unbearably suspenseful, Isaac's Storm is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets the great uncontrollable force of nature.
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Reviews (197)

5-0 out of 5 stars Isaac's Storm a near-perfect book -- 4 1/2 stars
At the turn of the century, the most vicious hurricane in recorded history hit Galveston, Texas, with such fury that it knocked the city back to the 1800s.

Erik Larson, using the diaries of survivors, builds a classic tale of tortured humanity. The narrative grows like the mounting winds of the hurricane, reaching a sudden crescendo that surprises the reader as much as the storm might have surprised its victims.

I'd give this book five stars but for the lack of photographs. Larson describes existing photos in vivid detail, but for some reason hasn't included them in the book. After reading about the devastation and heartbreak, I wanted to see it for myself, however morbid that may be. It's hard to believe that one storm could do so much damage and kill so many.

Isaac's Storm surpasses The Perfect Storm, its closest rival in storm-disaster books, in narrative, structure, language, detail, and pacing. Well done, Mr. Larson.

Next up: In the Heart of the Sea.

4-0 out of 5 stars A review from a decendent of survivors of the 1900 Storm
My mother was born on Galveston, so I grew up hearing about Galveston hurricanes. This included the 1900 storm.

Larson's book is a superb historical account of the 1900 storm. I give "Isaac's Storm" very high marks for it's huge wealth of information. This is most significant considering the scope of the disaster and the limited amount of literature concerning it.

On the other hand, Larson's account of the storm failed to convey to me the horror and sheer magnitude felt by those who survived. I recall hearing of the 1900 storm as a boy. I can remember still the raw and hollow feeling those tales left inside me, not unlike how the world felt after another horrible September tragedy, September 11th, 2001. The lack of emotion was as if Mr. Larson were writing one of Isaac's Cline's reports to Moore - rather dry and impersonal.

For those interested in a little less history and more of the impact the storm had on the lives of Gavlestonians, I would recommend another book that I have read more than once about the 1900 storm. It is "A Weekend In September" by John Edward Weems and is available through Of the two books, Larson's has greater depth of historical information. Weems' book conveys more of the personal tragedy. Weems' book also includes much about Isaac Cline, but is written from the perspective of a young Galvestonian school teacher.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another solid Larson book
Just as in Devil in the White City, Larson brings a time and place to astonishing life in this tale of turn of the century scientific hubris. Galveston literally jumps off the page, with every ill-fated decision draped with tragic historical significance. As with other Larson titles, the prose can occasionally drag with details that may not be immediately relevant or interesting; however, sticking with the narrative is nicely rewarded by page-turning drama once the hurrican kicks into gear. Overall, a compelling read about a shocking disaster that many of us know nothing about.

4-0 out of 5 stars WOW - great and scary....
Another one of those tremendous events that most people today know nothing of. More people died in this hurricane than many battles fought and this gets little to no attention.
Go read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The best book
Students of the 1900 storm that destroyed Galveston "cut their teeth" on older books like "Death From The Sea" and "Weekend In September". But Larson's work has become the definitve. ... Read more

5. Essentials of Meteorology (with MeteorologyNow and InfoTrac)
by C. Donald Ahrens
list price: $90.95
our price: $90.95
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Asin: 0534422640
Catlog: Book (2004-08-03)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 251952
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Book Description

This updated and enhanced Fourth Edition of ESSENTIALS OF METEOROLOGY is written by the most widely read, trusted author in introductory meteorology. Ahrens' ability to explain relatively complicated ideas in a student-friendly, manageable fashion allows even non-science students to visualize the principles of meteorology. Introductory stories at the beginning of each chapter draw students naturally into the discussion while "Did You Know?" sections highlight interesting weather facts and recent meteorological events. Updated material in this edition includes new Weather Watch and Focus boxes, as well as updated art, maps, and figures. The package of teaching and learning tools to accompany this text will now include course management, and a FREE, brand-new, student tutorial system - MeteorologyNow. MeteorologyNow is Web-based, assessment-driven, completely flexible, and contains a wealth of book-specific interactivities. It also offers a personalized learning plan based on each student's assessment results, helping the student focus on the concepts they don't yet understand. This complete teaching package provides each student with fun, interactive learning opportunities and an even greater chance for success. ... Read more

6. Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis--And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster
by Ross Gelbspan
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
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Asin: 046502761X
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 22341
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Book Description

In Boiling Point, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ross Gelbspan argues that, unchecked, climate change will swamp every other issue facing us today. Indeed, what began as an initial response of many institutions-denial and delay-has now grown into a crime against humanity. Gelbspan's previous book, The Heat Is On, exposed the financing of climate-change skeptics by the oil and coal companies. In Boiling Point, he reveals exactly how the fossil fuel industry is directing the Bush administration's energy and climate policies -payback for helping Bush get elected. Even more surprisingly, Gelbspan points a finger at both the media and environmental activists for unwittingly worsening the crisis. Finally, he offers a concrete plan for averting a full-blown climate catastrophe.

According to Gelbspan, a proper approach to climate change could solve many other problems in our social, political, and economic lives. It would dramatically reduce our reliance on oil, and with it our exposure to instability in the Middle East. It would create millions of jobs and raise living standards in poor countries whose populations are affected by climate-driven disease epidemics and whose borders are overrun by environmental refugees. It would also expand the global economy and lead to a far wealthier and more peaceful world. A passionate call-to-arms and a thoughtful roadmap for change, Boiling Point reveals what's at stake for our fragile planet ... Read more

7. The Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology (8th Edition)
by Frederick K. Lutgens, Edward J. Tarbuck, Dennis Tasa
list price: $81.00
our price: $81.00
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Asin: 0130879576
Catlog: Book (2000-07-24)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 212618
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This user-friendly book makes a current and comprehensive introduction to the atmosphere—its components, problems, and applications. It contains easy-to-understand and everyday examples that reinforce basic concepts and related science principles.Chapter topics include moisture and atmospheric stability; forms of condensation and precipitation; air pressure and winds; weather patterns; thunderstorms and tornadoes; hurricanes; air pollution; and global climate change.For weather watchers who want to know why. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy it unless you have to!!!
As a college student I was forced to buy the textbook per my professor's curriculum and request. He often cited inaccuracies claiming he often had called the publisher to complain. The answers to the review questions (at the end of the chapters) were very challenging to find within the chapter. It's rough reading (I love to read and read often.) Unless you are required to buy the book, DON'T! I hope this helps.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best intro to meteorology out there
If you are looking for a nice intro to weather or even a nice thorough review then this would be the book for you. Clearly defined and many illustrations available to help you grasp the info without reading it over several times.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introductory weather text.
Lutgens and Tarbuck made this a very readable text by writing in a stratightforward manner and by focusing on fundamental principles. The typical non-science major undergrad or general reader should be able to grasp the important concepts, while the more scientifically literate readers will find plenty of material to wrap their minds around. For example, much of the quantitative stuff is presented in separate boxes, for those who want to go beyond the basics as presented in the text. The illustrations by Dennis Tasa are, of course, excellent, as are most of the photos. I used this text for a weather and climate class I taught and would use it again. ... Read more

8. The USA Today Weather Book : An Easy-To-Understand Guide to the USA's Weather (Weather Book)
list price: $21.00
our price: $14.28
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Asin: 0679776656
Catlog: Book (1997-07-14)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 10011
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The best, most readable and visually stimulating guide to our nation's weather--featuring the full-color graphics of the most popular section of America's most popular newspaper. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
This is a great book to refer to when you want to explain to the public in lamens terms or if you are a beginner this is the book for you. There are PLENTY of color diagrams to folow along with as well a detailed explanations...

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Base for Understanding Weather
A simply wonderful book to better understand (almost) all there is to know about weather. Large, clear graphics help illustrate some of the more difficult topics, occasional little weather tid bits thrown in for fun, and easy-to-read style makes this book a must have for anyone wanting to learn more about our atmosphere. I've even used this book to teach a "Weather for Non-Science Majors" college course.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional
A very exceptional book with regards to an introduction to weather and meteorology. Three dimensional drawings and plain language make understanding weather systems much more understandable. A great aid for weather chasers and pilots who want to understand more about the weather ;)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best weather book for the layman ever written
Reading this book is a lot like watching a TV weather report. It is concise yet entertaining, and it is always accurate down to every detail. The colorful graphics and the easy to understand explanations make this book a winner. I constantly refer viewers that call me with questions about weather to this book. If you only buy one book in your life about weather, buy this one, you won't be disappointed!

4-0 out of 5 stars No one serious about weather should miss this book
Bits and pieces of weather are put together systematically. Never too brief. Never too technical. A must-read for all laymen interested in weather on earth.

The text and colourful pictures succinctly explain how the different weather systems form on earth. Though the book's focus is on US weather, many of the theories, principles and processes explained apply to other locations too. ... Read more

9. Climate Crash: Abrupt Climate Change And What It Means For Our Future
by John D. Cox
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
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Asin: 0309093120
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press
Sales Rank: 22689
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Book Description

Watch out for natural climate change. From warm to cold, wet to dry, it doesn't behave the way scientists thought it did. A drastic climate shift more sudden and troublesome than we'd ever imagined could already be underway.

As scientists carefully search for clues in the sun and storm patterns from our distant past, they are gradually writing a new history of Earth's climate. Layers extracted from cores drilled into glaciers and ice sheets, sediments collected from the shores of lakes and oceans, and growth rings exposed in ancient corals and trees all tell the same surprising story.

It is now apparent that alterations in our climate can happen quickly and dramatically. Physical evidence reveals that centuries of slow, creeping climate variations have actually been punctuated by far more rapid changes. While this new paradigm represents a significant shift in our picture of Earth's past, the real question is what it means for our future.

Many researchers are now quietly abandoning the traditional vision of a long, slow waltz of slumbering ice ages and more temperate periods of interglacial warming. While they've long recognized the threats posed by global warming, they must now consider that the natural behavior of our climate is perhaps a greater threat than we'd imagined. And though there is no need for immediate alarm, the fact that changes in our climate can happen much more quickly than we'd originally thought—perhaps in the course of a human lifetime—makes it clear that science has a lot of questions to answer in this area.

What are the mechanisms for triggering a significant climate change? In what ways should we expect this change to manifest itself? When will it likely happen? Climate Crash seeks to answer these questions, breaking the story of rapid climate change to a general public that is already intensely curious about what science has to say on the topic. ... Read more

10. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics : From Air Pollution to Climate Change
by John H.Seinfeld, Spyros N.Pandis
list price: $88.95
our price: $88.95
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Asin: 0471178160
Catlog: Book (1997-10)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 271024
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The only single-source reference available on atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and atmospheric models

This fully revised and expanded version of John H. Seinfeld's successful Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics of Air Pollution provides a rigorous, comprehensive treatment of the chemistry of the atmosphere. With new chapters on such important topics as cloud physics, nucleation, and wet deposition, this book offers a truly up-to-date examination of atmospheric chemistry today, including:
* Chemistry of the stratosphere and troposphere
* Formation, growth, dynamics, thermodynamics, and properties of aerosols
* Meteorology of air pollution
* Transport, diffusion, and removal of species in the atmosphere
* Formation and chemistry of clouds
* Interaction of atmospheric chemistry and climate
* Radiative and climatic effects of gases and particles
* Formulation of mathematical chemical/transport models of the atmosphere.

Complete with solved examples, problems graded according to difficulty, and hundreds of illustrations, this state-of-the art reference is an ideal resource for both students and professionals in all areas of engineering as well as atmospheric science.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible
As if this needs a review... its a bible for atomspheric scientists of all genre. A must have. Especially good for any grad student preparing for the random question during an oral exam. Not that you could read the thing cover to cover, but there is something for everyone.

If you need a great reference, then this is it. If you are not sure you should buy one of the best references for atomsopheric chemistry and physics, then there is no reason to. That's just a sign that you probably don't need it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about Atmospheric Science
This book has it all. If you are in the field of atmospheric sciences, it is a muct have. If you're not in the field, but are interested in learning about atmospheric science, I'd highly recommend it. It's a technical book, with plenty of math, but it is written in an engaging, easy to read format. It's packed with information on eveything from tropospheric ozone formation to industruial plume dispersion modeling. It has everything you need to know about atmospheric science. ... Read more

11. Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach
by William James Burroughs
list price: $40.00
our price: $32.40
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Asin: 0521567718
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 523479
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Book Description

This volume provides an up-to-date presentation of climate change and its implications for society. Burroughs, an expert on the subject, begins with balanced coverage of the physical principles of the global climate, its behavior on all timescales, and the evidence for and consequences of past change. He then reviews the methods used to measure climate change and the statistical methods for analyzing data.A comprehensive guide, the volume also explores the causes of change and how this behavior can be modeled. The final sections discuss predictions of future climate change and the economic and political debate surrounding its prevention and mitigation. This is a valuable undergraduate textbook for a wide range of courses, including meteorology, oceanography, environmental science, earth science, geography, history, agriculture and social science. It will also appeal to a wider general audience of readers in search of a better understanding of climate change. ... Read more

12. Global Physical Climatology (International Geophysics Series)
by Dennis L. Hartmann
list price: $83.95
our price: $83.95
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Asin: 0123285305
Catlog: Book (1994-05-31)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 80326
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Global Physical Climatology is an introductory text devoted to the fundamental physical principles and problems of climate sensitivity and change. Addressing some of the most critical issues in climatology, this text features incisive coverage of topics that are central to understanding orbital parameter theory for past climate changes, and for anthropogenic and natural causes of near-future changes--

Key Features
* Covers the physics of climate change
* Examines the nature of the current climate and its previous changes
* Explores the sensitivity of climate and the mechanisms by which humans are likely to produce near-future climate changes
* Provides instructive end-of-chapter exercises and appendices
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Hartmann!
Simply put, this is the only assigned text I kept from my college years. It's compact size and overall readability are excellent. Although intended for advanced undergrads and beginning graduate students, it's still a great reference for multi-disciplinary scientists, basic global circulation modellers, researchers, and professors. The appendices are particularly noteworhty, especially the list of English and Greek symbols commonly used in just about all the physical sciences, and the derivation of SI Units. If anything, the book is pricey (as all in the International Geophysics Series are), but this one is worth it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The standard of comparison for global systems science.
This is the most thorough, most rigorous, well-written textbook in global systems climatology that I've seen. If you're bright, interested, and aren't allergic to equations (you don't need to read them to understand the book, you just have to not freak out) then this text will teach you more about the planet as a dynamic system than any other that I've seen -- plus, unlike most texbooks, it's not chuck full of stupid mistakes. I've used it in my upper division climatology class since it came out. ... Read more

13. The Little Book Of Snowflakes
by Kenneth Libbrecht
list price: $7.95
our price: $6.36
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Asin: 0896586529
Catlog: Book (2004-10-31)
Publisher: Voyageur Press (MN)
Sales Rank: 2140
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Book Description

This companion book to Voyageur Press’ "The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty" features new, super-detailed photographs of snowflakes, detailed captions containing the science behind their beauty, and literary quotes relating to nature and snow. ... Read more

14. An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology (The International Geophysics Series, Vol 88)
by James R. Holton
list price: $59.95
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Asin: 0123540151
Catlog: Book (2004-03-31)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 35133
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This revised text presents a cogent explanation of the fundamentals of meteorology, and explains storm dynamics for weather-oriented meteorologists. It discusses climate dynamics and the implications posed for global change. The Fourth Edition features a CD-ROM with MATLABr exercises and updated treatments of several key topics. Much of the material is based on a two-term course for seniors majoring in atmospheric sciences.

* Provides clear physical explanations of key dynamical principles
* Contains a wealth of illustrations to elucidate text and equations, plus end-of-chapter problems
* Holton is one of the leading authorities in contemporary meteorology, and well known for his clear writing style
* Instructor's Manual available to adopters

* A CD-ROM with MATLABr exercises and demonstrations
* Updated treatments on climate dynamics, tropical meteorology,middle atmosphere dynamics, and numerical prediction
... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Text
This book, often simply referred to as "Holton", has been roundly cursed by undergraduates since it was first published. I know, because I was one of them. However, as the years went by, and as the number of classes requiring Holton as a text went by, I realized two things. First, that this book was not meant to hold your hand through all the derivations. It requires a competent instructor who can use Holton as a detailed companion to rigorous coursework. This book is NOT for the average person who wishes to study alone. The second thing is that this book was written to fill a gap. There were no similar atmospheric dynamics texts. As a consequence, it must cover a large amount of material in a rather small, college textbook-sized space. It does this well. Yes, the author's writing style is dry to the extreme, and yes, physical explanations are often lacking. However, if you have access to a competent professor, neither of these are problems. One final thought... as we call the book simply "Holton" remember that Frankenstein's monster is often called simply "Frankenstein", but we will leave comparisons to the reader - and to the author!

5-0 out of 5 stars Paramount
Useful introduction to dynamic meteorology. Covers many fundamental concepts and concisely. It is not a good fluid dynamics book. It is developed for the atmospheric scientist. It contains an exceptional chapter on waves. Also, there are some elementary concepts related to stratospheric dynamics and general circulation that are very well-written.

3-0 out of 5 stars a tough textbook, definitely not one for the coffee table
Okay, this book doesn't strike me as fantastic either. I like math...and when Holton uses the phrase "it can be shown that..", I cringe. Even meteorologists (like myself) can have difficulty following certain sections of Holton's text, simply because he glosses over (often major) details in derivations and explanations of topics.

That said, the book has come in handy on a couple occasions as a reference tool. Had it not been required, I doubt I would ever have purchased this text. Even in the first four chapters, which I believe are extremely important to all atmospheric scientists, Holton dodges mathmatical rigor and instead gives derivations as end-of-chapter problems.

For a first-year graduate student with a solid math background, this book has more worth. As an undergraduate, I never used the book other than to work the problems my professor assigned out of it. If you are looking for a book to introduce you to meteorology, this will suffice but you can find better!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Confusing for Students
As a meteorology student (a college student of an age significantly greater than 12), I found this book far too confusing. It introduces equations and variables seemingly from nowhere, frequently using the standard dodge "it can be shown that ...," and hence leaving the numerous highly mathematical concepts herein contained far removed from the theoretical and mathematical backing requisite for comprehension and insight. Moreover, the book employs rather complicated notation, oftentimes without making reference to the meaning of variables or the various "operators" acting upon them in the surrounding text. Physical reasoning in the book is lacking and ill-developed at best. The text leaves numerous critical questions unanswered. Even more poorly written than most [confusing] fluid dynamics books, this abnormally dry textbook uses an insufficient quantity of text and covers too many topics for its length in an overly superficial in a badly condensed manner.

Do not buy this book unless you will face repercussion for failure to do so, i.e. unless a higher power (professor, employer, etc.) imposes a rigid requirement of ownership.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good basics review but that's all.
Well, if you are a student new to the field I am sure you will find this book extremely helpful but if you are looking for elegant mathematical derivations and further explanations of baroclinic instabilities, for instance, it is not the book you want to buy. The emphasis is on physical principles rather than the math. Thus, I am not really found of his notation too. ... Read more

15. Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of Modern Civilization
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345408764
Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 181467
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Everybody knows the Dark Ages weren't really dark, right?Not so fast, counters archaeological journalist David Keys, maybe it's more than just a slightly judgmental metaphor.His book Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World, based on years of careful research spanning five continents, argues that sometime in A.D. 535, a worldwide disaster struck and uprooted nearly every culture then extant. Given contemporary reports of the sun being blotted out or weakened for nearly a year and a half, followed by famine, drought, and plague, it's hard not to think that so many reports from all over the world must be related.

Keys shows a keen grasp of both the written historical record from Asia, Africa, and Europe and the archaeological evidence from the Americas, and tells many tales of great havoc destroying old empires and laying the ground for new ones.Rome may have fallen, but Spain, England, and France rose in its place, while farther east, Japan and China each unified and gained strength after the chaos.Could an enormous volcanic eruption have had such influence on the world as a whole, and could the same thing happen tomorrow?Catastrophe makes no predictions, but leaves the reader with a new sense of history, nature, and destiny. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (45)

4-0 out of 5 stars How Forces of Nature Shape Human History
"Catastrophe" refers to a mid-6th century climactic cataclysm that author David Keys believes destroyed the geopolitical status quo of late antiquity and gave birth to the protomodern era from which our current world circumstances derived. According to the hypothesis put forward in "Catastrophe", around the year 535 AD there occurred a major atmospheric disturbance that blocked out much of the Earth's sunlight all over the globe. Tree ring and ice-core evidence, as well as archeological and contemporary written accounts indicate that there was, indeed, severe climactic disruption at this time, and that it almost certainly was the result of a tremendous volcanic explosion. In "Catastrophe", David Keys describes the ways in which he believes the famine, drought and plague that resulted from this explosive event directly and indirectly led to the downfall of the contemporary political powers and the emergence of the new political entities and forces which shaped the world we live in today. As every continent was affected by the loss of sunlight, Keys hypothesizes that the fall of the Roman Empire, the emergence of Islam and the Arab and Ottoman Empires, the reshaping of Eastern Europe, the creation of the modern nations of Japan, China, and Korea in the East and the European powers in the West, the collapse of the great Mesoamerican Empire of Teotihuacan and the emergence of the Mayans, among other great shifts in power, were all indirect results of the climactic changes unleashed in 535 AD.

I find it unlikely that all of the developments that David Keys attributes to the "catastrophe" would not have occurred otherwise. While the direct consequences of a single event are predictable and substantiable, the indirect consequences of something are, of course, impossible to know for sure as there are other factors involved. How many of the developments which occurred in the centuries following the eruption of 535 AD would not have occurred, or would have occurred at a different time, or would have occurred by different means, if the climactic catastrophe had not set change in motion is impossible to say. But David Keys' point is well taken: "Forces of nature and other mechanisms" beyond human control have played -and may continue to play- a fundamental role in human history, culture, and achievements. "Catastrophe" reintroduces the concept of determinism to the discussion of human history, which has been unfashionable for a while now and is due for reconsideration by the academic community. Keys also gives the reader a nice overview of the transition from the order of late antiquity to that of protomodern nations all over the globe, which is interesting and informative regardless of what may have instigated the changes.

4-0 out of 5 stars A New Explanation for the 535AD Catastrophe
That the Earth suffered catastrophic weather conditions starting around 535AD and lasting for many years thereafter, is becoming a scientifically accepted "fact." As explained in "Catastrophe: a Quest for the Origins of the Modern World," these conditions weakened the Eastern Roman Empire; created horrendous living conditions in the western part of Great Britain that were remembered and later incorporated into the Arthurian legend; contributed through drought in the America's to the fall of the Teotihuacan civilization in Mexico; and through flooding to the collapse of a major center of civilization in Yemen.

Almost wherever in the world that there was significant use of writing in the 6th century AD, from Constantinople to China, references to this catastrophe have shown up in contemporary documents. Many such documents are cited in this book. In the 20th century, the occurrence of the catastrophe and its worldwide impact has been confirmed by the analysis of ice-cores from Greenland and Antarctica and by the study of annual growth rings in wood from across the world that can be safely dated to the 6th century.

The author of "Catastrophe," David Keys, has a theory about the event - or closely related events - that caused of this catastrophe. I found his theory plausible and frightening. Plausible because of the way he lays out his facts, and frightening because there appears to be no reason such dramatic and devastating events could not happen occur again - in the next thousand years or in the next ten years.

Mr. Keys is an excellent writer. He certainly makes this book fully accessible to the non-scientist. He also is apparently quite well informed about both the historic and archeological record from around the world during the 6th century and for a long time afterwards. In fact, most of his book consists of plausible - usually directly climate related - explanations for all kinds of civilization collapses, barbarian migrations, and shifts in economic and political power in different parts of the world following the "event" of 535AD. These explanations are fascinating, and, as just mentioned, always plausible. On the other hand, I doubt that they can all be right, and wished that author had given a little more credit to happenstance and the decisions of individuals in shaping the "origins of the modern world."

5-0 out of 5 stars Rethinking the Dark Ages and the Origins of the Modern World
"Catastrophe" rocketed to fame as a result of a PBS series which devoted two one hour episodes to its thesis: that an eruption of what was probably a monstrous earlier version of the volcano Krakatoa created weather disruptions and tidal phenomena which wiped out many Classical civilizations, brought on LITERAL "dark ages" in many societies, and helped to create the Medieval world and lay the foundations of the modern.

The Keys theory is so widely accepted now (just five years after the publication of the book) because it is not only backed by masses of contemporary documentary evidence, but also because it explains, better than any other theory, the global decline of civilization in the 6th Century of the Common Era. In mathematical terms, it is "elegant." It is a latter-day Occam's Razor cutting through generations of theories based upon individual cultures or isolated events to show that they could all have at their heart a single event which triggered, as the title says, global "Catastrophe." (Definitely with a capital "C"!)

Keys uses Chinese records to show that a loud bang was heard over hundreds of square miles around 535, and that this was followed by a fall of yellow ash. Other records, from Japan and parts of modern Indonesia, support this occurence. Keys, after weighing and rejecting alternative theories, suggests that only a massive volcanic eruption could be the culprit for the event recorded by the Chinese, and shows, decade by decade, using historical records, dendrochronological (tree ring) records, ice samples, and other measurements, that what happened was no ordinary eruption, but possibly the largest volcanic eruption in history, which darkened skies around the world, creating a "volcanic winter" which brought famine and plague in its wake. Amazingly, he does it in plain, easy-to-read language, a hallmark of historiographic greatness.

Keys documents major climatic disruptions and uses established scientific models to project the impact of these changes on people as diverse as the Central Asian Avar and Turkish horse nomads, East African herdsmen, South American fishermen, and Anglo-Saxon and Britannic farmers in the modern British Isles. His conclusion is stunning: the eruption triggered waves of nomadic migrations which helped to bring about the decline of the recently revived Byzantine empire (which was well on its way to reconquering much of the old Roman Empire), destroyed flourishing urban cultures in the Americas, ruined the powerful Southern Arabian kingdoms which had existed for centuries (thus creating the power vacuum later filled by Mohammad's follwers), and also wrought devastation remembered in Arthurian romances.

One of the crucial contributions which Keys has made is an explanation of the otherwise unexplainable irruption of the bubonic plague out of Africa and into the Byzantine and Indian worlds. The plague -- which spread as far as Britain and permanently ended any chance that an independent Celtic Church would be established, separate from Rome -- killed millions of then and former Romaions (inhabitants of the original Roman Empire) and blasted any hopes of re-establishing the Empire, relegating it instead into an ever-dwindling Greek-centered Eastern Empire, subject to nomadic incursions from Arabia and central Asia.

In the Americas, Teotihuacan and Tikal alike suffered from near-simultaneous climatic disruption which ended their civilizations -- contemporaneously with the decline of the great cities of the Classical Eurasian world. Only the Keys Catastrophe theory explains BOTH phenomena -- the end of urban cultures in the Americas AND in Africa-Eurasia.

In east Asia, Keys blames the super-eruption for the famines whch led to the revolt of Hou Jing, which ended southern Chinese independence and led ultimately to the establishment of the Sui Dynasty and the near-continuous unification of China as a single cultural entity since then. In 535, the very year which Keys gives for the eruption, the Korean state of Silla, probably faced with climatic turmoil and famine as bad as China's, abandoned its pagan past and adopted Buddhism, laying the groundwork for the unification of THAT country, too. Again, no other theory provides a unified explanation for the near-simultaneous events.

The Keys theory is not without its weaknesses. I have particular doubts about the Indonesian chronicles which he utilizes, but which, if authentic, indicate that the Sunda Strait is a relatively modern phenomenon, and, until 535-536, Java and Sumatra formed a super-island, dominated by an unfortuante civlization (called Holotan by the Chinese). If the records Keys uses are correct, Holotan was destroyed (along with much of the island) by the super-eruption, putting it alongside Thera as a major cultural center destroyed by a single volcano. Undeniably, however, major changes took place in Southeast Asia after 535, including the establishment of Proto-Cambodia and Proto-Thailand only one generation later, along with other, more diffuse civilizations, presumably filling the gap left by the vanished Holotan.

The Keys theory will likely be subject to much criticism in the years ahead, and further refinements, but it is already so well-established as a convenient explanation for the catastrophic events of the Sixth Century C.E. that anyone who wants to understand histories of the period being written nowadays simply MUST be familiar with "Catastrophe."

I give "Catastrophe" Five Stars, the highest rating, for its historiographic significance, ease of reading, and current impact on historical thinking.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating historical detective story
Recent years have seen the publication of several books offering radical new explanations of ancient events or presenting sweeping revisionist theories of history. Examples include Noah's Flood, Eden in the East, Voyages of the Pyramid Builders, and 1421: The Year China Discovered America.

Catastrophe is one of the best of these. Archaeological writer David Keys has assembled multiple arguments supporting his theory that a major natural disaster around the year 535 altered the world's climate for years, causing famine and plague and triggering the collapse of existing political systems. He gives us brief but well-written summaries of events that sprang from this catastrophe, including the rise of Islam. According to Keys, this event ended an old world and gave birth to a new one whose patterns we still see today. After a process of elimination, Keys proposes that the cause of this disaster was a volcano in what is now the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. He warns that natural catastrophes in the future could change the world we know. Even if you don't agree with his conclusion, you will learn much from his reviews of historical events. This is fascinating stuff, and highly readable.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Catastrophic....But a Little Suspect in Places
Catastrophe, by David Keys, is an effort to attribute several significant changes in history that occurred in or near the 6th Centuary AD to drastic global weather changes, and to attribute those changes to a volcanic eruption. Keys ammasses an enormous amount of evidence to support these attributions, enough by itself to make the work impressive. However, on the whole his trail of evidence is a bit suspect.

Keys offers ample convincing evidence that the 6th century AD saw startling changes in weather. In doing so, he presents data from literally around the globe; moreover, his various sources of information seem to corroborate one another. This represents the most solid part of his argument, although he didn't tell us if he omitted evidence that didn't support his conclusions. From here, Keys proceeds to suggest what affects this weather pattern may have had on the world.

Some of these suggestions are more believable than others. His attribution of plague outbreaks to the weather patterns seems reasonable. Similarly a discussion of impacts on the Roman Empire is well argued and somewhat supported. From there, though, Keys trots about the globe presenting marginal evidence that most of the major events of the 6th Century (and some thereafter) are directly attributable to this weather pattern. In doing so, Keys includes a lot of marginal evidence and reaches for some causal relationships that are probably a lot more complicated than his book suggests. In particular, I found his version of events in the Middle East, Europe and China not so well supported.

I was a little bothered by the language and evidence of some of these chapters. Frequently, Keys uses phrases such as "almost certainly" to describe a cause-and-effect relationship, without providing any real supporting evidence. In one place, his endnote to such a comment simply repeats the "almost certainly" phrase without offering any additional information or citing a source. I think this fact really weakens the credibility of his work.

As he moves toward the end, Keys tries to pinpoint the source of the weather patterns. Toward this end, he nominates the eruption of a volcano in Java. However, in doing so, he needs to significantly re-interpret Javan historical accounts based on second and third hand sources. And while there's some limited basis for doing so, the connection is, from my point of view, far from a slam-dunk. It's easy to see that Keys left this section for the end because it's the least supported part of his chain of argument and potentially unravels the whole thesis.

On the whole, the book is an impressive projection of a lot of focused research. Sadly a lot of the evidence presented is weak in supporting Keys premise. In the end, it's easy for the reader to see that some, perhaps even a lot, of the things that Keys suggests caused major historical changes are credible. Still, a lot aren't. I give the book three stars for pulling together and presenting this information, which is in itself an impressive feat. Keys is not convincing in telling us that a volcanic eruption in 535 AD rewrote most of human history from that point on, however. Other than that, the book is interesting and fairly readable, and worth the time to take a look. ... Read more

16. Ionospheres : Physics, Plasma Physics, and Chemistry (Cambridge Atmospheric and Space Science Series)
by Robert W. Schunk, Andrew F. Nagy
list price: $120.00
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Asin: 0521632374
Catlog: Book (2000-06-26)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 662785
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Book Description

Ionospheres provides a comprehensive description of the physical, plasma and chemical processes controlling the behavior of ionospheres. The relevant transport equations and related coefficients are derived in detail and their applicability and limitations are described. Relevant wave processes are outlined and important ion chemical processes and reaction rates are presented. The various energy deposition and transfer mechanisms are described in some detail, and a chapter is devoted to the various processes controlling the upper atmosphere and exosphere. The second half of the book presents our current understanding of the structure, chemistry, dynamics and energetics of the terrestrial ionosphere, and other solar system bodies. The final chapter describes ionospheric measurement techniques. The book will form a comprehensive and lasting reference for scientists interested in ionospheres, and it will also prove an ideal textbook for graduate students. It contains extensive student problem sets, and an answer book is available for instructors. ... Read more

17. Handbook of Atmospheric Science: Principles and Applications
list price: $315.95
our price: $315.95
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Asin: 0632052864
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers
Sales Rank: 673273
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18. Understanding Weather and Climate, Third Edition
by Edward Aguado, James E. Burt, James Burt
list price: $89.80
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Asin: 0131015826
Catlog: Book (2003-06-24)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 290018
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Book Description

This meteorology book focuses on explanation about the processes that produce Earth's weather and climate. It emphasizes a non-mathematical understanding of physical principles as a vehicle for learning about atmospheric processes. Additionally, difficult-to-visualize topics are reinforced with a series of software tutorials presented on a CD-ROM packaged with the book.Accompanying CD-ROM is available featuring Tutorials, Interactive Exercises, and illustrative movie loops all keyed to the book. Also, this book includes up-to-date coverage of severe weather events For professionals in the meteorology field. ... Read more

19. The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
by Brian M. Fagan
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0465022723
Catlog: Book (2001-12)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 18035
Average Customer Review: 3.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"[The Little Ice Age] could do for the historical study of climate what Michel Foucault's classic Madness and Civilization did for the historical study of mental illness: make it a respectable subject for scholarly inquiry." --Scientific American.

The Little Ice Age tells the story of the turbulent, unpredictable, and often very cold years of modern European history, how this altered climate affected historical events, and what it means for today's global warming. Building on research that has only recently confirmed that the world endured a 500year cold snap, renowned archaeologist Brian Fagan shows how the increasing cold influenced familiar events from Norse exploration to the settlement of North America to the Industrial Revolution. This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in history, climate, and how they interact. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pertinent even to our own times.
Since I had found Brian Fagan's book Floods, Famines and Emperors very thought provoking, I decided to read his more recent book The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850. I was not disappointed.

Professor Fagan carries on a tradition (which he freely admits was discredited in the past but is now enjoying a renaissance because of newer information) of viewing history through the eyes of a paleoclimatologist. Much of what he had said in the earlier text, namely that many of mankind's major social and cultural transitions have been climate and weather driven, made a good deal of sense to me. Episodes such as the Sea People's invasion of the ancient Levant with the ultimate collapse of the Hittite empire and the reduction of the Egyptian during the late second millennium B.C.E. have long been thought to have been the result of droughts experienced in northern Europe. Similarly the demise of the Moche in Peru, of the Mayan civilizations in Middle America, and of the pueblo cultures in the Southwestern US are believed to have been the result of el Nino/la Nina weather changes, massive rains in the case of the Moche and severe drought in the latter two cases. Although no one would say that any of these historic human changes occurred purely in response to climate, it is abundantly apparent that the economic impact of especially prolonged climate changes on large subsistence level populations tend to leave the more inflexible social systems at great risk.

The earlier book described the probable role of el Nino/ la Nina cycles on world climate, while more briefly discussing the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and it's effects. It was also concerned with much earlier cultures. The current book discusses the North Atlantic Oscillation in much greater detail and outlines it's specific effects on the climate and social environment of Europe and North America during more recent times. The material is dealt with in a very clear manner and was not difficult to understand even with my average person's more casual understanding of weather and climate.

Because the history is of events in more recent time, especially in the last half of the book, the narrative clearly has greater implications for the modern reader than the earlier book does. The Irish potato famine, for instance, was an event of great social significance whose impact on the modern politics in the United Kingdom and on the population demographics of the United States and Australia continues to this day. Certainly pertinent is the lesson of the political upheavals suffered by European governments in the 18th and 19th centuries. Those that ignored the precariousness of the lives experienced by the bulk of their population, choosing to do little or nothing to alleviate their suffering during famines, did so at their own peril. Those that refused to improve their management of their agricultural and natural environment also suffered more acutely. Even now as over half of the world's population suffers from hunger, poor sanitation, little or no health care, and a growing sense of hopelessness, the governments and people of the developed world face similar challenges and choices. Dealing with the inequities and injustices has now grown from a national to a global scale, but ignoring them could easily have the same consequences as it did for the upper and lower classes of the nascent nations. Similarly, the degeneration of the environment through overpopulation and mismanagement is looming large on our international horizon and can not be ignored for much longer.

My only complaint is that the last half of the book is riddled with dates to the point of distraction. I realize that accuracy is much to be appreciated when it comes to historic events, but in this case "before" and "after," "earlier" or "later" might have been perfectly adequate. I found that as long as I was aware of the general character of the times, its historic personalities and events, I could ignore the dates without being too misled as to time frame. I am aware that individuals like Eric the Red and Lief Erickson were not contemporary with Louis the XVI or Napoleon but that Thomas Jefferson was, etc. Someone less familiar with the events of history might find the dates more helpful.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in climatology, paleoclimatology, social change, and early modern history. For those with an interest in earlier cultures, I'd suggest Fagin's previous book Floods, Famines and Emperors

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting history with a loose scientific connection
This book describes the climatic hardships experienced by the Western world during the period 1300 to 1850, known informally as The Little Ice Age. Fagan, an experienced writer of books on archeology and history, does a fine job of conveying the past impacts of climate shifts on societies. He writes that "climate change is the ignored player on the historical stage." He extrapolates forward, warning us of the potential for major climatic changes in the future caused at least in part by human activity. He is less successful in drawing linkages between the scientific findings of climatology and historical events, leaving those connections implied rather than stated. More description of the science would have been helpful, as well as an acknowledgement that the degree of scientific certainty still is under debate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Drought, discontent and decapitation
A few years ago historians proposing history was driven by climate aroused a squall of controversy. Global warming, so clearly impacted, if not driven, by humanity is leading to greater acceptance of the interaction of weather and society. Fagan's history of a period of mildly cooler conditions shows how a little change can have immense impact on the human situation. It takes little variation in "temperature", he shows, to change patterns of rainfall, crop success or failure and resulting social disruption. A phase of the Little Ice Age may not have brought the downfall of the French monarchy, he notes. Crop failures compounded with a selfish aristocracy demonstrates capped a long period of discontent with decapitation.

Reading Fagan's account of the impact of climate over half a millennium can be a daunting task. Although the focus on the period from 1300 to 1850 is largely European, that's merely due to the extensive written records kept there. The variations in climate were global and Fagan rushes you from place to place to demonstrate the impact of trends and "weather events". Scampering about the planet in time and space can be disconcerting, but there's a reason for his peripatetic approach. He wants you to avoid falling into the trap our ancestors did - thinking that a few freak storms or dry years will smooth out over time. If these events impinge on a weak social framework, disaster can, as it has before, follow. In modern times, with our huge global population, he reminds us, "smoothing out" is unlikely. Without the means to counter the effects on society of global warming, the result will be far more serious than ridding the world of another monarch.

Fagan's challenge to the reader is far greater than tripping about the globe. He wants you to understand the wide variety of subtle changes inherent in global weather patterns. A small change here means the loss of a whole fishery industry. Small drops in temperature there result in widespread drought, population dislocation or deprivation. Governments, and their supporting societies, need to instill programmes that can adjust to these changes. Social adjustments that modify lifestyle or inhibit vague promises of prosperity in order to provide survival mechanisms must be implemented. Short-term benefit programmes must be viewed with suspicion, he reminds us. Too many have already been proven illusory, and must not be repeated. And wholly unanticipated events, such as volcanoes, must be factored into the planning. The book's cap, "The Year Without A Summer", has been shown to be a significant time in the history of North America. When an eruption half-way around the world leads to crop failure in New England, the need for planning becomes starkly evident. Today's global warming suggests many little volcanoes are compromising climate stability. All those little volcanoes are called "automobiles".

With a captivating theme and an expressive prose style, this book is an excellent read. Fagan's use of graphics and maps enhances an already fine volume. Although the title gives the impression that it's a work of history, Fagan demonstrates clearly that conditions long ago are exemplary for modern times. We may have mechanised farming, for example, but the world exists on conditions no less marginal than they were in Medieval times. The same triggers, volcanic eruptions and, most importantly, the North Atlantic Oscillation controlling Europe's rainfall, El Nino and other anomalies, are set to invoke unpredictable conditions. He explains these forces with skill and clarity. You will learn much more than some historical pedantry from this book. If you fail to read it, your children, huddled around a weak fire, may ask you why. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

4-0 out of 5 stars Climatic shifts and the course of history
Brian Fagan claims that "we can now track the Little Ice Age as an intricate tapestry of short-term climatic shifts that rippled through European society during times of remarkable change - seven centuries that saw Europe emerge from medieval fiefdom and pass by stages through the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the Enlightenment, the French and Industrial revolutions, and the making of modern Europe."

The interesting question is to what extent did these climatic shifts alter the course of European history?

In some distinct cases, in my opinion, the answer is quite clear-cut. Norse settlement in Greenland, for example, became impossible because of the cooler temperatures after the 13th century. Famine in rural areas throughout the Middle Ages was also an undisputed consequence of sudden weather shifts. The damage done to the Spanish Armada in 1588 by two savage storms is patently climatic in origin, too.

In most cases, however, the climate is just one - mostly minor - factor out of many that contributed to the occurrence of major historical events like the French Revolution, for example. Fagan rightly calls climatic change "a subtle catalyst." Finally, if we look at historical developments that unfolded over centuries - like the Renaissance or the making of modern Europe - the influence of the climate does not explain anything.

A book like Fagan's "The Little Ice Age" is most interesting for historians who examine grass roots history, such as the daily lives of farmers and fishermen in the Middle Ages. At first I thought the climate would provide answers for economic historians, too. But as Fagan shows, the human response to deteriorating weather differs widely from region to region. The conservative French farmers stuck to growing wheat, which is notably intolerant of heavy rainfall, whereas English and Dutch farmers diversified their crop (and became much less vulnerable to bad weather). The weather alone does not explain this development. Obviously, an economic historian who is interested in the question "why are people better off in this country (or region, society, etc.) than elsewhere?" has to look to other factors than the weather when he seeks for answers.

So far, the climate has been a footnote in World History. Nonetheless, this footnote can be quite interesting, as "The Little Ice Age" shows. The book is divided into four parts. Part One describes the Medieval Warm Period, roughly from 900 to 1200. Parts Two and Three describe how people reacted to the cooling weather, and how devastating climatic changes are for societies whose agriculture is at subsistence level. Part Four covers the end of the Little Ice Age and the sustained warming of modern times. All four parts make for fascinating, sometimes even disturbing reading; and for the reader new to the field Fagan offers the basic explanations of the effects of oceanic currents and air pressure on the climate in Europe.

Bottom line: A good introduction to the subject aimed at the general reading public. It largely exploits earlier literature on the subject, however. And while asking very broad questions, the book bases its answers on a narrow range of data mostly pertaining to northern Europe.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Different Historical Perspective
The Little Ice Age is an examination of the effects of the five hundred year long period from 1300 to 1800, when Europe suffered through a period of intense and unstable weather. Fagan does not blame every historical incident on the NAO, or North Atlantic Oscillation, but does make a good case that fluctuations in the NAO have intensified the effects of such disparate incidents as the Black Death epidemic, the Irish potato famine, the Great Fire of London, and many other events. Fagan also does a good job of pointing out that we are presently living in an apparent warm spell, intensified by the greenhouse effect, and helps us recognize the potential for sudden, perhaps catastrophic change in our weather systems. I'm amazed by the amount of research Fagan did in tracking the rise and fall of glaciers and the paths of five hundred year old storms. A great read which will help you recognize the delicate balance of our global weather systems. ... Read more

20. Weather for Dummies
by John D. Cox
list price: $21.99
our price: $15.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764552430
Catlog: Book (2000-09-25)
Publisher: For Dummies
Sales Rank: 10462
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What’s going on up there when the rain falls, when the wind blows, when the clouds roll in and the lightning flashes? How do hurricanes arise and where to tornadoes come from? Why do seasonal conditions sometimes vary so much from one year to the next? Our ways of life, our very existences depend on knowing the answers to questions like these. Economies have been wiped out, civilizations have risen and fallen, entire species have come into being or gone extinct because of a temperature shift of just a few degrees, or a brief shortage or glut of rainfall. With so much riding on the weather, it makes you wonder how you’ve lived this long without knowing more about it.

Don’t worry it’s never too late to find out about what makes the weather tick.

And there’s never been an easier or more enjoyable way to learn than Weather For Dummies. In know time, you’ll know enough of weather basics to be able to:

  • Identify cloud types
  • Make sense of seasonal differences in the weather
  • Understand what causes hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme events
  • Make your own weather forecasts
  • Avoid danger during severe weather
  • Understand the global warming debate
  • Get a handle on smog, the greenhouse effect, El Niño, and more

Award-winning science writer John D. Cox brings the science of meteorology down to earth and, with the help of dozens of cool maps and charts and stunning photographs of weather conditions, he covers a wide range of fascinating subjects, including:

  • What is weather and how it fits into the entire global ecosystem
  • What goes into making a professional daily weather forecast
  • The basic elements of weather, including air pressure, clouds, and humidity
  • Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, and other extreme forms of weather
  • Seasonal weather effects and why they vary
  • Lightening, rainbows, sundogs, haloes, and other special effects

Featuring clear explanations, stunning illustrations, and fun, easy experiments and activities you can do at home , Weather For Dummies is your guide to making sense of  the baffling turmoil of the ever-changing skies above. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Reader-Friendly Reference
Weather is a subject that everyone knows something about. However that's just where John Cox starts. So one knows about Doppler radar? How about polar orbiters? So one has always heard the expression "it's too cold to snow?" Is it really?

Of course this is a reader-friendly book. But I will wager that it will soon turn into a handy reference book that is frequently pulled from the shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Weather for Dummies
This is a great book for those of us interested more in the weather and less in stuffy meteorology. I now have an understanding of "relative humidity" and why a "dry heat" is more comfortable than humid heat. I now know where some weather proverbs come from, such as "Red sky at night, sailor's delight." (There's actually factual basis for this proverb.)

This book makes a nice coffee table book, and it lends itself to casual reading. But if you're serious about the weather, you can get a lot from this book as well. There's a chapter on setting up your own weather instruments at home and keeping a weather diary. And the appendix lists a number of websites where you can learn even more about the weather. No more glib answers from me when someone says, "How about this weather?"

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Weather
Very good book on the topic. It gives a great description and count on how weather forms for example hurricanes like el nino. I am glad that dummies finally put out a book on weather. Nice job John D. Cox. It's good to see a new writer in this field!! ... Read more

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