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CO2 Rising: The World's Greatest Environmental Challenge [Kindle Edition]

Tyler Volk

Kindle-Preis: EUR 12,65 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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"[T]his book is an excellent introduction for undergraduate students and the general public with a keen interest in knowing more about climate change. It is equally informative for scientists and professionals specializing in different fields who would like to have an interdisciplinary view of the wonderful carbon cycle." -- Ning Zeng, T he American Meteorological Society Bulletin "Carbon atoms with personality. That is the interesting literary device biochemist Tyler Volk uses to illustrate the fantastic convolutions that define the many and varied pathways of the carbon cycle... The public hears a lot about climate change but too little about just why too much CO2 -- a natural part of our atmosphere -- is bad news. Volk does an impressive job of illustrating, in engaging prose, the dangers to humanity of pushing the carbon cycle too hard and too fast." Barry Brook The Quarterly Review of Biology "I confess to initial doubts regarding a narrative about an anthropomorphized carbon atom... But this skeptic got caught up in the story and was impressed by the effectiveness with which Volk conveys complex concepts, the time scales involved, and some illuminating statistics." (For the full review, visit Issues/September-October 2009/Books-so09.html) Gregg Marland Environment Magazine "... the book is well written and engaging... Volk clearly and fairly communicates complex and sometimes difficult concepts. CO2 Rising provides the basic information about the global carbon cycle that is needed to understand the scope, challenges, and options for dealing with climate change. This understanding should be part of everyone's scientific literacy." (For the full review, visit -- Kristie L. Ebi, Environmental Health Perspectives "The MIT Press has released CO2 Rising-The World's Greatest Environmental Challenge by Tyler Volk. This is the ultimate guide to the subject. A basic understanding of the carbon, CO2, and its cycle is necessary in order to understand what is driving global warming. This engaging and compelling book provides everything you need to know. It is jargon-free and easy to follow."(For the full review, visit -- Connie Krochmal, BellaOnLine: The Voice of Women "Tyler Volk takes the reader on a journey of the carbon cycle from the viewpoint of individual carbon atoms. He then compares the natural release of carbon into the biosphere to that released by our use of fossil fuels. Both serve to bring the science of the carbon cycle to the reader in understandable terms." -- Wildlife Activist Magazine "Tyler Volk's CO2 Rising is a finely crafted introduction to the greenhouse problem, taking as its protagonist a little carbon atom called Dave... If there is one book on climate change that President-elect Barack Obama should read, it might well be Tyler Volk's CO2 Rising. Its clear, simple exposition of atmospheric chemistry is so well-written that it might even convince past-presidents." (For the full review, visit -- Euan Nisbet, Nature Reports: Climate Change "... Volk introduces readers to Oiliver, Coaleen, and Methaniel, who unlike Dave were purposively extracted from the earth and have been in the biosphere for a much shorter period... more than competent tour guides to the complexities of the carbon cycle." (For the full review, visit -- Zoe Marquardt, Chemical Heritage Newsmagazine "... what sets CO2 Rising apart from other climate change books are its clear, concise and concrete explanations of how Earth's carbon cycle works... Dave and his fellow carbon atoms will give readers a new appreciation of how connected the world is -- at least through the carbon we all share." -- Erin Wayman, Earth Magazine


The most colossal environmental disturbance in human history is under way. Ever-rising levels of the potent greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) are altering the cycles of matter and life and interfering with the Earth's natural cooling process. Melting Arctic ice and mountain glaciers are just the first relatively mild symptoms of what will result from this disruption of the planetary energy balance. In CO2 Rising, scientist Tyler Volk explains the process at the heart of global warming and climate change: the global carbon cycle. Vividly and concisely, Volk describes what happens when CO2 is released by the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), letting loose carbon atoms once trapped deep underground into the interwoven web of air, water, and soil. To demonstrate how the carbon cycle works, Volk traces the paths that carbon atoms take during their global circuits. Showing us the carbon cycle from a carbon atom's viewpoint, he follows one carbon atom into a leaf of barley and then into an alcohol molecule in a glass of beer, through the human bloodstream, and then back into the air. He also compares the fluxes of carbon brought into the biosphere naturally against those created by the combustion of fossil fuels and explains why the latter are responsible for rising temperatures. Knowledge about the global carbon cycle and the huge disturbances that human activity produces in it will equip us to consider the hard questions that Volk raises in the second half of CO2 Rising: projections of future levels of CO2; which energy systems and processes (solar, wind, nuclear, carbon sequestration?) will power civilization in the future; the relationships among the wealth of nations, energy use, and CO2 emissions; and global equity in per capita emissions. Answering these questions will indeed be our greatest environmental challenge.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 2381 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 240 Seiten
  • Verlag: The MIT Press (24. September 2010)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #110.350 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.3 von 5 Sternen  12 Rezensionen
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent for those trying to understand CO2 14. Mai 2009
Von S. D. Mayor - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
First, a little about my credentials: I have a PhD in atmospheric & oceanic sciences. While my expertise is not in climate, I certainly have a significant interest in the subject and am often asked by friends, family, and acquaintances about the physics of CO2 and global warming. Even with my familiarity of a lot of the scientific basis for climate change, I must say this book made a huge contribution to my understanding of the concepts involved.

Summary: this is one excellent little book. I found it to be really enjoyable reading about an extremely important topic. The author has made a very complex subject understandable to the non-scientific reader. If you are wondering how the global carbon cycle works, how carbon is related to carbon dioxide, and projections on energy usage and CO2 emissions in the future, I highly recommend it. I thought the few charts and graphs were excellent and appropriate.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Accessible & Academic Journey -- Beautiful and Fun Read 10. Januar 2009
Von F. C. Mataska - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
CO2 Rising accompanied me on my Amtrak ride to Chicago for the holidays and I really enjoyed it! Although I learned a lot of new things, it was also a great refresher of the basics of physics and chemistry that many of us may have forgotten. I really appreciated the explanations of the varying phenomena that build up to a complete understanding of the C02 picture. Like when Volk describes how William Herschel first inferred the existence of infrared rays using a prism. These building block vignettes paint a clearer picture of all of the different elements that come together to create an understanding of greenhouse gases.

Very impressed with the imagery in the book; it is a really unique gift to be both scientist and artist and some of the descriptions [and connections] in CO2 Rising really attest to that combination. Especially Volk's Michener-esque descriptions of carbon cycling through time, making the weathering of limestone a beautiful experience with which to bookend his story.

Volk employs a really great writing device by naming the individual carbon atoms that appear in the book as "characters". It really highlights the difference between carbon sources and mixing, and the difference between molecules and atoms that would have been so much more confusing otherwise. It was also more fun to read about these characters' journeys through time in this way.

Volk reminds us all that there is not likely going to be a single development that frees us from the problem of pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Especially in a world where the news media tends to look for those types of sensational, be-all and end-all solutions, we seem less excited [or even cognizant] as a people by the concept that many contributions from different fields [sequestration, efficiency, CO2-neutral technologies] can work together to have a great impact. At least this point [which Volk also tempers by calling for policy-motivated research efforts] allows us to feel empowered to act now.

I also appreciated the psychological connection Volk makes to illustrate the current carbon crimes committed by developed countries on those mostly-tropical, developing countries. Volk compares the current reaction to CO2 emissions with the hypothetical reaction to a country placing mirrors into outer space to cool the planet. It is a really interesting scenario to help the reader put into perspective the difference between acting on something directly to cause change, and acting remotely or indirectly.

All in all a great read that poses so many more great questions, but gives you a solid block of knowledge to stand on when thinking about CO2 and climate change. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the most serious environmental challenge of our time, and it is both accessible and academic.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Animating complex carbon systems 19. Dezember 2008
Von Amelia Amon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
If you want to understand the carbon cycle or communicate to a skeptic about why co2 is a growing problem, this is the book. The scope, breadth, & depth of Volk's knowledge and research are impressive. But to tell a captivating story, he invents carbon atom characters: Dave (for David Keeling, who first recorded the 'Keeling curve' of rising co2); and some carbon atoms newly released by burning fossil fuels, Coaleen, Oiliver and Methaniel; and Icille, long-trapped in a frozen air bubble. Volk describes their travels through the biosphere, correlating them with geological time, human cultural history, and current energy strategies.

The story-telling analogies are helpful in making complex systems clear and understandable. Volk goes on to explain potential individual and governmental responses to growing co2 levels. The book doesn't advocate any one technical fix, other than clear thinking and immediate large-scale action. The intent is that an informed public understanding of natural systems and balances could go a long way toward better policy and consumer decisions.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen CO2 Rising: Now We Really Need to Do Something About Climate Change 1. Februar 2009
Von Howard S. Schiffman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"CO2 Rising: The World's Greatest Environmental Challenge" is an outstanding new book by Professer Tyler Volk of New York University. Unlike other works addressing climate policy and science, Professor Volk neither scares the reader with apocalyptic predictions nor loses the reader with esoterics. Instead, he fashions a creative way to communicate the complexities of climate change in an understandable, indeed enjoyable, cocktail of science and storytelling. Volk anthropmorphizes carbon atoms, which are the ultimate source of our climate predicament, by giving them human names. Dave (named for the famous climate scientist C. David Keeling who conducted the seminal temperature measurements so crucial to our understanding of climate change), Coalleen, Oiliver and Methanial are our heroes (or unwitting villains as the case may be!). We follow them through their adventures in the atmosphere, the deep ocean, a stalk of wheat that becomes a glass of beer and so on. While the book successfully relates this to real world scientific and policy considerations, we never stray too far from the story lines of the characters. The reader is never bored.

By giving us characters and an understandable context Professor Volk utilizes a pedagogical tool -- one with the sheer simplicity of Sesame Street -- to help those with less than full fluency of the nuances of climate change to understand this critical environmental challenge. In doing so, he peforms a great public service.

Of particular interest, is the discussion of the research conducted on air bubbles in the ice of Antarctica. Here, the reader is exposed to a compelling story of what ice cores tell us about the history of Earth's temperature. As a result, the picture of the warming climate of today comes into full relief.

While some material in the second half of the book, such as the discussion of the GIGA (Global Industrial Growth Automaton) to explain the rise in carbon emissions in the industrialized world, might require a more careful reading to fully understand its importance, virtually everything in the book is digestable by a general audience. Even so, for those readers with some background in the basic sciences and/or the policy debate surrounding climate change, the book will proceed more quickly.

CO2 Rising is not preachy. It does not advance any real agenda other than to explain the dramatic rise in temperature the Earth has experienced. As such, it is a refreshing addition to the literature on climate change. I recommend this book either as a text in environmental policy or science courses or simply as a popular read for anyone interested in climate change -- as CO2 Rising demonstrates, we all should be.

CO2 Rising can potentially reach a wide audience. Its ability to explain vital climate science and policy to so many is a hopeful thing. Now, there really is no excuse not to do something about climate change.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen CO2 Rising is an Excellent, Engaging, and Accessible Journey 27. April 2010
Von T. Poulson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I was very impressed by CO2 Rising. Volk is a true "systems thinker" who skillfully blends biology, chemistry, physics, and other related disciplines into a coherent description of the carbon cycle and the impacts of burning fossil fuels. He also incorporates economics and other social sciences into the discussion about what to do about rising GHG emissions.

I highly recommend CO2 Rising to those seeking the scientific truth about how the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans is changing in recent decades. In particular, this book provides clear details about why the human impact can be so obvious, and significant, even when operating amidst a natural carbon cycle of tremendous scope.
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