Ice, Mud and Blood by Chris Turney
Subtitled Lessons From Climates Past, this excellent book summarises everything known in 2007 about the lessons we are learning regarding climate change and the mechanisms which bring it.
Turney is both a professional climate scientist and a good author, his chapters concise and clear, his conclusions definite when they need to be or given with caveats where that is more appropriate. Chapters cover the role of carbon dioxide, water vapour and methane in the atmosphere, Snowball Earths, the PETM (massive global heating 55 million years ago), variations in the Earth’s orbit, atmospheric positive feedback mechanisms, ice, icebergs, and much, much more. I particularly liked the emphasis on climate proxies, that is, evidence which implies climate information rather than giving it directly. Turney is diligent in his presentation and use of these indicators – good to read in an author of science. Excellent prose and overall clear-headedness improve the mix even more.
Written with skill and insight, this is a highly readable and enjoyable work. Recommended for non-scientists and scientists alike.