Global Warming: The Hard Science presents a comprehensive, qualitatively rigorous, and critical discussion of the science underlying the global warming issue. The major processes in the climate system needed to understand projected human-induced climatic change are presented in detail. Observational systems used to monitor changes in the climate system and the ways in which the raw data are analyzed in order to produce estimates of current trends are also critically reviewed.
The author discusses the hierarchy of computer models used to project changes in the carbon cycle, in climate, and in sea level and examines the physical principles underlying the greenhouse effect and projected warming. The text also presents a detailed discussion of the carbon cycle, of climate sensitivity, and of projected patterns of climatic change through time. Sea level rise and issues of risk and potential surprises are also critically assessed. Emphasis is placed throughout on developing an intuitive understanding of those results that do not depend on the details of any one computer simulation model. A series of boxes illustrate the key points through step-by-step calculations.
Table of Contents
1. Preface 2. Acknowledgements 3. Chapter Highlights 4. Part One Introduction 5. Climatic Change and Variability - Past, Present and Future 6. The Climate System and Climatic Change 7. The Physics of the Greenhouse Effect, Radiative Forcing, and Climate Sensitivity 8. Factors Driving Anthropogenic Emissions to the Atmosphere 9. Observed Changes in the Climate System and Sea Level During the Recent Past 10. Part Two Climatic Change - from emissions to climate system response 11. Models used in Projecting Future Climatic Change and Sea Level Rise 12. Computation of Direct and Indirect Radiative Forcings Associated with Changes in the Concentration of Greenhouse Gases and Aerosols 13. Response of the Carbon Cycle and other Biogeochemical Cycles: Translating Emissions of GHGs and Aerosols into Concentrations and Radiative Forcing 14. Climate Sensitivity 15. The Regional Equilibrium Response to a Doubling of the Atmospheric Concentration of Carbon Dioxide 16. The Transient Climatic Response and the Detection of Anthropogenic Effects on Climate 17. Sea Level Rise 18. Part Three The Science-Policy Interface 19. Scenarios of Future Climatic Change 20. The Prospects for Surprises 21. Glossary 22. References 23. Web Sites Used 24. Index