Causes and Effects of Climate Change

Dana Desonie, Ph.D.



An imprint of Infobase Publishing


Copyright © 2008 by Dana Desonie, Ph.D.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact:

Chelsea House

An imprint of Infobase Publishing 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Desonie, Dana.

Climate : causes and effects of climate change / Dana Desonie.

p. cm. — (Our fragile planet) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-6214-0 (hardcover) ISBN-10: 0-8160-6214-5 (hardcover)

1. Climatic changes. 2. Global warming. 3. Climatology I. Title. II. Series.

QC981.8.C5D437 2007 551.6—dc22


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Text design by Annie O'Donnell Cover design by Ben Peterson

Printed in the United States of America

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

All links and Web addresses were checked and verified to be correct at the time of publication. Because of the dynamic nature of the Web, some addresses and links may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid.

Cover photograph: © AP Images vii ix x

Climate Change 1

1. How Climate Works 3

2. Natural Causes of Climate Change 24

3. Human Causes of Climate Change 33

4. How Scientists Learn About Past, Present, and Future Climate 39

5. Climate Change Through Earth History 49

6. Climate Now 62

Visible Effects of Climate Change 73

7. Effects of Climate Change on the Atmosphere and Hydrosphere 75

8. Effects of Climate Change on the Biosphere 91

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