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November 2006

The end of the world as we know it?

New books by UCAR staffers detail catastrophes, climate change


Two UCAR staffers recently published new books of popular interest, one about natural disasters and the other about an emerging human one. Both are available for sale in the NCAR Science Store.

Catastrophes in our own backyard

Lisa Gardiner’s Catastrophic Colorado!, by Westcliffe Publishers, is aimed at readers aged 7–11. The book describes the history and science of the wide and varied natural disasters that make living in Colorado an adventure: thunderstorms, lightning, hail, tornadoes, floods, wind, wildfires, altitude, blizzards, snowstorms, avalanches, earthquakes, rockfalls, landslides, and mudslides. The catastrophes are brought to life with riveting photos, including some by UCAR photographer Carlye Calvin, as well as by Lisa’s hand-drawn illustrations.

“Since moving to Colorado I’ve been fascinated with how many natural hazards we have,” Lisa says. “The prospect of events like avalanches, lightning strikes, or floods can be very scary. I think that learning about how these things happen and how to stay safe makes them a bit less scary and much more exciting.”

An educational designer, Lisa develops science curricula and writes about Earth sciences for EO. This is her second book for young readers. Last year, she published What’s Up with Altitude: Mr. Moffat’s Class Investigates How Altitude Affects Our Bodies. She also illustrated the five books of the recently released Elementary GLOBE curriculum.

An overview of climate change

climate change

Bob Henson’s new book, The Rough Guide to Climate Change, published by Rough Guides, offers readers an unbiased look at one of the most pressing problems facing humanity. More than 75 experts from eight countries provided input on the book, including several NCAR scientists. The book includes a foreword by James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia theory.

“I joined NCAR in 1989, right when ‘greenhouse effect’ became a household phrase, and ever since then I’ve become increasingly interested in climate change,” Bob says. “When Rough Guides expressed an interest in a book on the subject, it felt like a great opportunity to get into climate change in some depth but in an accessible format.”

The book covers every aspect of climate change, including the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere, the basics of global climate modeling, present and anticipated impacts of global warming, the viewpoints of skeptics and activists, and the portrayal of global warming in U.S. and international media. It describes what scientists, activists, and governments are doing to solve the problem, and offers tips for consumers who want to make a difference through their lifestyles. The book contains a glossary of Web sites for further information, as well as numerous photos, maps, and illustrations.

Bob, who works in Communications as editor of UCAR Quarterly, is also the author of The Rough Guide to Weather, published in 2002, and Television Weathercasting: A History, published in 1990.

• by Nicole Gordon


In this issue...

NCAR scientists predict a warmer, wetter Earth

The end of the world as we know it?

“A New Light on Science”

Keeping science in the news

Short Takes

Random Profile: Chrystina Tasset

Delphi Question: Webhire formatting issues

Just One Look


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