cases possibly even as a textbook. And, finally, the di- not have occurred had it not been for the unprecedented verse array of scientists, policy makers, and advocates (global) warmth of that decade. One could also ques- involved in the global warming debate will find this tion whether the link between global warming and ex- book useful as a status report on the science at the turn treme weather events is as well established or as of the millennium. widely accepted in the scientific community as por- The book is so well written that there is little in it trayed in the concluding section of chapter 11. that one can take issue with. I was amazed at how The reader interested in Stevens's own opinions much complex and detailed scientific information the gleaned from his experience as a science writer can author was able to convey without the use of a single find hints of them in his choice of protagonists, and illustration or equation and with very few acronyms. in the passion with which he writes about various top- The tutorial on weather and climate processes contains ics. But it is very much to his credit that he has treated a fe w minor flaws, but fe w readers other than pedan- the arguments and the scientists on both sides of the tic professors will be bothered by them. (Ironically, the global warming debate with fairness and respect. Some explanation of the atmosphere's compressibility con- readers are bound to think he is partial to the "activ- tain s the same error that thwarted Sir Lewis ist/environmentalist" wing of the scientific commu- Richardson in his historic attempt to forecast the nity, while others will think he has given the arguments weather based on the governing equations.) A bit more of the "contrarians" more space than they deserve. As troubling is the author's treatment of the role of glo- the author soberly concludes in the book's final sen- bal warming in increasing the frequency of occurrence tence , "The experiment is running and time will of extreme weather events. Although it is clearly not tell."—John M. Wallace. his intent, his dramatic portrayal of the deluges and blizzards of the 1990s in chapter 11 could give some John M. Wallace is a professor at the University of readers the impression that many of these events would Washington in Seattle. • 3n jf/temcuam SBwume ,MedC£. 1923-2000 1917-2,000 . Vcmc^ &. ^(M-SftaM fjfJvn ^ccdtmn 1959-2000 1946-1999 1MA 'i&litmen . i/imcdo . i/tumAami 1915-2000 1946-2000 198 7 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 1, 2000
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