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Waking the Giant: How a changing climate…

Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis,…

by Bill McGuire

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The author takes a look at claims that global warming is causing volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis, and finds them wanting. Then, after evaluating those claims (which he does quickly), he spends the rest of the book examining the impact that climate change, particularly increases in sea level and decreases in ice cover, will have on the geologic phenomena of the earth. He is both pessimistic and cautious, with the proper caution of a scientist working from a limited data base. Since other rapid warming periods have happened in the past, we are able to collect some data, and he discusses the scope of that, as well as what the findings are. The problem is, the findings are frequently contradictory. The author wraps up with his own conclusions and his own predictions. The book is a solid piece of work, and doesn't move past the data without extreme caution, which is a plus. The main down side is the frequent annoying comma errors; fortunately, they are not the sort that render the book difficult to read. I feel I can recommend this book to my students. ( )
  Devil_llama | Aug 16, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199592268, Hardcover)

An astonishing transformation over the last 20,000 years has seen our planet changed from a frigid wasteland into the temperate world within which our civilization has grown and thrived. This dynamic episode in our planet's history, right at the close of the Ice Age, saw not only a huge temperature hike but also the Earth's crust bouncing and bending in response to the melting of the great ice sheets and the filling of the ocean basins--dramatic geophysical events that triggered earthquakes, spawned tsunamis, and provoked a series of eruptions from the world's volcanoes. In Waking the Giant, Bill McGuire argues that now that human activities are driving climate change as rapidly as anything seen in post-glacial times, the sleeping giant beneath our feet is stirring once again. When and if it finally wakes, we should all be afraid--very afraid. Could we be leaving our children not only a far hotter world, but a more geologically unstable one too?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:37 -0400)

"The ground beneath our feet may seem safe and solid, but earthquakes, volcanic blasts and other hazardous natural phenomena leave us in no doubt that this isn't the case. The Earth is a dynamic planet of shifting tectonic plates that is responsive to change, particularly when there is a dramatic climate transition. We know that at the end of the last Ice Age, as the great glaciers disappeared, the release in pressure allowed the crust beneath to bounce back. At the same time, staggering volumes of melt water poured into the ocean basins, warping and bending the crust around their margins. The resulting tossing and turning provoked a huge resurgence in volcanic activity, seismic shocks, and monstrous landslides -- the last both above the waves and below. The frightening truth is that temperature rises expected this century are in line with those at the end of the Ice Age. All the signs, warns geophysical hazard specialist Bill McGuire, are that unmitigated climate change due to human activities could bring about a comparable response. Using evidence accumulated from studies of the recent history of our planet, and gleaned from current observations and modeling, he argues convincingly that we ignore at our peril the threats that presented by climate change and the waking giant beneath our feet."--Cover.… (more)

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