"This book makes the study of climate and its changes enjoyable, yet challenges the reader to better understand how the atmosphere works."
—Dr. Howard Bridgman
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
University of Newcastle, Australia
"Randy Ceveny has written a fascinating book describing major weather and climate catastrophes of the past, from the dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago to the present, by way of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, the Mayans, the Little Ice Age, and much more. It will intrigue the general reader but also serve as complementary readings for courses on climatic change as there are extensive lists of references. A new and original work!"
—Roger G. Barry
Director, World Data Center for Glaciology and Distinguished Professor of Geography,
University of Colorado, Boulder
"Dr. Cerveny has crafted insightful and entertaining vignettes, anchored by a sound understanding of the climate system and achieved through meticulous research. This work further enhances his status as the premier historical climate sleuth of this generation."
—Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist, Rutgers University
"Another superb accomplishment by this acclaimed professor and author … eclectic, entertaining, and enlightening."
—Russell S. Vose, Chief
Climate Analysis Branch, National Climatic Data Center
"A fascinating collection of vignettes illustrating the dramatic impacts that short term ‘natural’ climate change has had on humanity. Reading these makes one re-evaluate the risk associated with anthropogenic climate change."
—Dr. Joe Schaefer
Past President, National Weather Association
Why did T-Rex become extinct? Why did the Mayan civilization disappear? If the ancient Israelis did indeed cross the Red Sea, as reported in the Bible, what weather phenomena might have produced the parting of the waters? Why was nearly all human life swept away 73,000 years ago? And what factors created the Great American Dustbowl of the 1930s?
The extraordinary people who are interested in asking—and answering—such questions are known as climatologists. In a lively narrative full of intriguing facts, award-winning, internationally known climatologist Randy Cerveny takes the reader on a fascinating tour of some of the world’s most perplexing and provocative climate mysteries, past and present. Cerveny explains the science of climate study—from digging ice cores in Antarctica to counting tree rings in Arizona—and the various specialists whose ingenious techniques help to sort out climate’s intricate components. He also delves into the human impact of weather through fictional introductions to each chapter that depict how climate change might have affected a typical inhabitant of the ancient Sahara or Indus Valley, a peasant during Europe's "Little Ice Age," or an aviation expert probing a deadly jet crash in New York City. Finally, he discusses research that attempts to forecast the weather of the next 10,000 years—essential information for planning the nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
For readers of An Inconvenient Truth
, devotees of the Weather Channel, history buffs, popular science fans, or anyone who wonders what makes our weather tick—and how it will impact our future, this engaging book offers much to ponder and to enjoy.
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Randy Cerveny, PhD (Tempe, AZ), is President’s Professor in Geographical Sciences specializing in weather and climate at Arizona State University. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Freaks of the Storm and has appeared on the Today show, ,em>CBS Morning Show, CNN, Good Morning America, ABC News, NPR, the BBC, and the Weather Channel. His work has been featured in People magazine, USA Today, National Geographic, the New York Times, Science, and Nature, among other publications.