Climate Change in Practice

Climate Change in Practice : Topics for Discussion with Group Exercises

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Description

Derived from an undergraduate course taught by the author, this accessible book seeks to challenge and provoke readers by posing a series of topical questions concerning climate change and society. Topic summaries provide answers to technical, socio-economic and moral questions surrounding the deployment of climate science. These include how to build and test a climate model, whom and what is most at risk from climate change, and whether we should geoengineer the climate. Practical exercises and case studies provide deeper insights by taking readers through role-play activities and authentic climate change projects. Supporting materials, including notes for instructors and students, graphics, video-clips, games, and online resources, offer scope for further private study and group work. With a focus on applying climate science in practice, this book is ideal for students of geography, natural science, engineering and economics, as well as practitioners involved in the climate service industry.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 291 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 16mm | 590g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 16 Maps; 66 Halftones, color; 14 Halftones, black and white; 8 Line drawings, color; 6 Line drawings, black and white
  • 1316507777
  • 9781316507773
  • 722,093

Table of contents

Preface; 1. What is the average global temperature and how has it changed?; 2. Why does climate change?; 3. What does it take to build a model of the climate system?; 4. How trustworthy are climate models?; 5. What is the purpose of regional climate downscaling?; 6. What is the 'uncertainty cascade' and why does it matter?; 7. What shapes climate vulnerability?; 8. When are climate forecasts good enough to take action?; 9. Whom or what are most at risk from climate change?; 10. How can urbanites avoid becoming climate victims or villains?; 11. What is dangerous climate change?; 12. Why and how are carbon footprints measured?; 13. How to decarbonise economies?; 14. How is it possible to adapt to an uncertain climate?; 15. Could or should humankind geoengineer Earth?; 16. How is climate change communicated?; 17. Who are climate experts?; 18. How connected is climate change to other global challenges?; References; Index.
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Review quote

'The most engaging book I have read about climate change in many years. I found it difficult to put down! It takes a fresh and novel perspective on climate change science, through critical analysis of the utility and applicability of the science for use in society. Comprehensively researched and up to date, many of the issues discussed relate to recent debates and developments in the field of climate change science and policy. At each stage, the scientific and societal challenges of the production and use of the scientific material is considered. The exercises are novel, thought-provoking, and will engage today's students - I look forward to applying them in my own classroom. The book is extremely well written, in accessible language, and is brimming over with relevant and attractive photographs, maps and diagrams. It will appeal to students, instructors, decision-makers, and researchers of climate change alike.' Rachel Warren, University of East Anglia 'Climate Change in Practice is an excellent and much needed book that challenges the reader to think broadly about a range of issues surrounding the climate change debate. The author has a unique range of expertise and experiences to tackle such broad topics. While intended for students and practitioners in the climate services industry, the book also provides a very valuable context not only for the climate-interested public but also for climate researchers, regarding the technical, socio-economic and moral questions surrounding the applications of climate science.' Judith Curry, Georgia Institute of Technology 'Wilby's Climate Change in Practice could hardly have come at a more timely moment as the debate around climate change mitigation is sharpened by recent political developments. Illustrated throughout by relevant real world problems, accessible to the lay person, and informative for experts, this is an enjoyable and fascinating read for anyone with an interest in one of the major challenges for human society in the 21st century. Addressing the climate change science-policy interface, it provides a discussion of competing perspectives based on critical evaluation of supporting data and analyses. Wilby is uniquely well qualified to write about this boundary area, with a background that includes academic research, a senior advisory role for government, and extensive consultancy experience, and the book consistently impresses with its wide range of authoritative and up-to-date material.' Howard Wheater, University of Saskatchewan, Canada 'Climate Change in Practice certainly meets its stated aims of challenging and provoking using contemporary societal problems and is an ideal resource for students and their teachers. However, the final chapters of the book also demonstrate that its worth lies beyond that of a classroom manual, as it reinforces the assertion that how we address the challenges posed by climate change matters and it concludes with serious messages around the ethics of climate change science and practice, alongside a call for openness and inclusivity in our approach to meeting the diverse problems associated with climate change. The book therefore serves as a manual for both teaching and applying climate change practice.' Stephen Blenkinsop, Progress in Physical Geography 'The book is a distillation of [Professor] Wilby's extensive and deep knowledge of a wide range of issues related to global warming within the context of climate change, its possible consequences and what might be done about it. At GBP29.99, the book must surely be good value as a supplementary handbook, where the target audiences '... are university students and their instructors, postgraduate students and researchers, as well as climate service providers'.' Ian Littlewood, Circulation 'A well chosen title! ... This is a textbook, though the object is not to unravel the science of climate change - it's what follows that is the subject of the book. It also claims to be relevant for undergraduates in many degree courses. I think that the author and publisher are doing themselves a disservice. It is for all of us to contribute solutions to the problem and to do something positive, as well as convincing others to do likewise. So I recommend that you find time to read it.' Martin Hutchins, Royal Meteorological Society 'The most engaging book I have read about climate change in many years. I found it difficult to put down! It takes a fresh and novel perspective on climate change science, through critical analysis of the utility and applicability of the science for use in society. Comprehensively researched and up to date, many of the issues discussed relate to recent debates and developments in the field of climate change science and policy. At each stage, the scientific and societal challenges of the production and use of the scientific material is considered. The exercises are novel, thought-provoking, and will engage today's students - I look forward to applying them in my own classroom. The book is extremely well written, in accessible language, and is brimming over with relevant and attractive photographs, maps and diagrams. It will appeal to students, instructors, decision-makers, and researchers of climate change alike.' Rachel Warren, University of East Anglia `Climate Change in Practice is an excellent and much needed book that challenges the reader to think broadly about a range of issues surrounding the climate change debate. The author has a unique range of expertise and experiences to tackle such broad topics. While intended for students and practitioners in the climate services industry, the book also provides a very valuable context not only for the climate-interested public but also for climate researchers, regarding the technical, socio-economic and moral questions surrounding the applications of climate science.' Judith Curry, Georgia Institute of Technology `Wilby's Climate Change in Practice could hardly have come at a more timely moment as the debate around climate change mitigation is sharpened by recent political developments. Illustrated throughout by relevant real world problems, accessible to the lay person, and informative for experts, this is an enjoyable and fascinating read for anyone with an interest in one of the major challenges for human society in the 21st century. Addressing the climate change science-policy interface, it provides a discussion of competing perspectives based on critical evaluation of supporting data and analyses. Wilby is uniquely well qualified to write about this boundary area, with a background that includes academic research, a senior advisory role for government, and extensive consultancy experience, and the book consistently impresses with its wide range of authoritative and up-to-date material.' Howard Wheater, University of Saskatchewan, Canada 'Climate Change in Practice certainly meets its stated aims of challenging and provoking using contemporary societal problems and is an ideal resource for students and their teachers. However, the final chapters of the book also demonstrate that its worth lies beyond that of a classroom manual, as it reinforces the assertion that how we address the challenges posed by climate change matters and it concludes with serious messages around the ethics of climate change science and practice, alongside a call for openness and inclusivity in our approach to meeting the diverse problems associated with climate change. The book therefore serves as a manual for both teaching and applying climate change practice.' Stephen Blenkinsop, Progress in Physical Geography 'The book is a distillation of [Professor] Wilby's extensive and deep knowledge of a wide range of issues related to global warming within the context of climate change, its possible consequences and what might be done about it. At GBP29.99, the book must surely be good value as a supplementary handbook, where the target audiences '... are university students and their instructors, postgraduate students and researchers, as well as climate service providers'.' Ian Littlewood, Circulation 'A well chosen title! ... This is a textbook, though the object is not to unravel the science of climate change - it's what follows that is the subject of the book. It also claims to be relevant for undergraduates in many degree courses. I think that the author and publisher are doing themselves a disservice. It is for all of us to contribute solutions to the problem and to do something positive, as well as convincing others to do likewise. So I recommend that you find time to read it.' Martin Hutchins, Royal Meteorological Society
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About Robert L. Wilby

Robert L. Wilby is Professor of Hydroclimatic Modelling in the Department of Geography at Loughborough University. His research expertise covers climate risk assessment and adaptation planning for freshwater systems, regional climate downscaling and hydrological modelling, climate services, capacity development, and environmental monitoring and management. In addition to his academic positions, Professor Wilby has spent time at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, as well as in commerce for Severn Trent Water, in consultancy for the Department for International Development, the World Bank and the World Wildlife Fund, and in government at the Environment Agency of England and Wales.
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