Dr. Charles Fletcher, Associate Dean and Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, released this month the first edition of "Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us" (published by J. Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ). Fletcher offers the first real textbook to present the science surrounding climate change at the right level for an undergraduate student.
"Our climate is changing NOW in rapid and dangerous ways. But by and large, we are not teaching the current generation of students about the reality of this phenomenon," stated Fletcher. "Without this knowledge, our ability to manage the impacts of a changing climate is limited."
This text places strong emphasis on the peer-reviewed scientific literature in reporting the impacts of climate change on the ocean, terrestrial ecosystems, the water cycle, human communities, hazardous weather patterns, and potential future Earth systems. The text offers detailed discussion of greenhouse gases, oceanic and atmospheric processes, paleoclimate, the human fingerprints of climate change, global climate models, sea level rise, climate impacts on economic sectors, and dangerous weather patterns associated with climate change.
"Earth's climate has always changed. Modern climate change does not, however, fit geologic history," noted Fletcher. "In the past half century, the rate and extent of climate change has been extraordinary. Despite extensive searching, no known natural processes can account for the present climate trend of extremely rapid warming of the temperature of the lower atmosphere. Furthermore, industrial exhaust, deforestation, and large- scale agribusiness are known producers of heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. It is only logical to hypothesize that there is a strong likelihood that these human activities are causing the extraordinary warming. Vigorous testing of this hypothesis demonstrates that modern climate change is a consequence of human-caused global warming; in fact, among scientists, this has been known for decades."
Today's scientists know that if strong action to counteract climate change is not successfully achieved, within one generation the world will be a place characterized by intense heat waves, widespread disease, drought, food shortages, and deadly super storms. The early signs of these disasters are already evident. "Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us" brings this reality into the college classroom.