2nd Edition of the Book Human Impacts on Weather and Climate

The second edition of my book with Bill Cotton entitled “Human Impacts on Weather and Climateâ€? published by Cambridge University Press will appear January 2007. We returned the page proofs this past week. The new edition provides a discussion of weather modification and of inadvertent climate change on regional and global scales, and uses the topic of weather modification to show the consequences when the science that is communicated to policymakers is not robust. Accuracy in the presentation of scientific results needs to occur regardless of how it is used in advocacy.

The book is a substantial update of our first edition. The framework on the 2nd Edition is the same, however, and is summarized as

PART I. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SCIENCE OF WEATHER MODIFICATION BY CLOUD SEEDING/ The rise of the science of weather modification by cloud seeding/ The glory years of weather modification/ The fall of the science of weather modification by cloud seeding/

PART II. HUMAN IMPACTS ON REGIONAL WEATHER AND CLIMATE/ Anthropogenic emissions of aerosols and gases/ Urban-induced changes in precipitation and weather/ Other landuse changes/ Concluding remarks regarding human impacts on regional weather and climate/

PART III. HUMAN IMPACTS ON GLOBAL CLIMATE/ Fundamental principles important to understanding global climate change/ Climatic effects of anthropogenic aerosol/ Nuclear winter/ The greenhouse gas theory/ Human impacts on biosphere forcing of climatic variability

There will be hardback and paperback versions of the book as listed on the Cambridge University Press web site;

Human Impacts on Weather and Climate (2nd Edition)
William R. Cotton, Roger A. Pielke
Hardback (ISBN: 0521840864 | ISBN-13:9780521840866)
DOI: 10.2277/0521840864
Not yet published – available from January 2007

The Reviews of our first Edition include

“‘Contents-wise this is an excellent book … It is written with great honesty and courage, attacking many of the sacred tenets of weather modification and of climatic doomsday predictions.’ Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

‘I can recommend the book to anyone concerned to understand the present debates with regard to climate change on both a local and global scale. The style of writing makes for easy reading, and the layout of the book is such that sections of particular interest can be found easily.’ Open University Geological Society Journal

‘… offers a valuable perspective that will be useful particularly for undergraduate courses in earth and atmospheric sciences. Students without a strong grounding in mathematics and physics will find this straightforward account quite approachable and welcome.’ Allen Perry, International Journal of Climatology”

In light of the recent proposal for deliberate global climate modification (see “Extreme Global Warming Fix Proposed: Fill the Skies With Sulfur” ), our book provides warning bells of past attempts to oversell our understanding of the climate system (i.e. in the history of weather modification). The National Geographic News article is by Kate Ravilious. The last quote in this article is the message that needs to be emphasized when such proposals are made. The quote is attributed to Paul Crutzen (who received the Nobel Prize for his very important research on the “ozone hole”), and is with respect to the statement

“There may still be time for nations to reduce greenhouse emissions enough to make such extreme measures unnecessary, Crutzen concludes, but no one can know for certain. ”

His quote is

“‘We don’t know the future, so this question is impossible to answer,'” he said.”

Dr. Crutzen intented his quote with respect to greenhouse gas emissions. However, it should appropriately be generalized to all human intervention in the environment .

A conclusion that should be taken from my book with Bill Cotton is that the climate and other environmental consequences of filling the sky with sulfur would likely have undesirable and unpredictable consequences. We do not know the future with a level of skill that justifies such radical manipulation of the climate system.

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