Contents

Preface viii

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction xiv

Ice Ages 1

Ice Ages—What They Are and Why They Occur 1

Sources of Information 12

Climate Cycles 16

Prominent Cooling Events 19

The Hockey Stick Theory 22

Will There Be Another Ice Age? 24

Changes Today Because of Warmer Temperatures 25

The Phenomenon Called Global Dimming 26

2 Glacial Retreat and Meltdown 28

Glacial Morphology 29

Past Glacial Evidence 33

How Ice Melts 34

How Glaciers Reflect Climate Change 37

Evidence of Global Warming 40

Glacial Retreat 42

Impacts of Glacial Retreat 52

Computer Modeling Applications 54

The Cryosphere and Isostasy 57

The Water Cycle—The Earth's Water Stored in Ice and Snow 58

Ice Shelves and Ice Sheets 60

Cryospheric Facts 71

Ice Caps 72

Glacial Isostasy 76

4 Ocean Currents and Climate 78

Understanding the Role of Oceans in Regulating Climate 78

The Role of Oceans in Climate Change 81

Cyclic Ocean Circulation That Influences Climate 88

Rising Sea Levels 92

Sea-Level Rise 93

Measuring Sea Level 95

A Historical Perspective 99

Variations in Sea Level 100

Effects of Sea-Level Rise 106

Future Projections 109

6 Abrupt Climate Change 111

Abrupt Changes in Climate 112

Evidence of Past Abrupt Climate Change 113

Causes of Abrupt Climate Change 114

Using Paleo Evidence to Predict the Future 118

Warning Signs Today 119

Global Warming as a Trigger 120

The Day after Tomorrow 124

Misconceptions about Abrupt Climate Change 126

Tropical Cyclones and Other Severe Weather 129

Hurricanes and Global Warming 129

Storm Surge Prediction and Simulation 134

How Hurricanes Are Named 135

Global Warming and the Hurricanes of 2004-2005 137

Cyclic Theory 139

Hurricanes of the Past 144

Hurricane Katrina and Global Warming 144

The Costliest U.S. Hurricanes 149

Hurricane Research 151

Tornado and Thunderstorm Research 152

The Ten Worst Places for an Extreme Hurricane to Strike 153

8 Climate Research—What the Experts Say 157

Tracking the Ocean's Circulation 158

CO2 Sequestration 160

Large-scale Salinity Changes 162

Locating 64°F Water 163

Atlantic Freshwater 164

Southern Ocean Currents 165

Trade Wind Changes 166

Past Warmer Oceans 168

Breaking the Temperature Record 168

Arctic Melt 169

Conclusions and a Glance into the Future 171

Water Resources 172

Sea-Level Rise 174

Research 177

Chronology 180

Links to Global Warming Sites 186

Glossary 189

Further Resources 195

Index 201

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