Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps” as Want to Read:
The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Sea level rise will happen no matter what we do. Even if we stopped all carbon dioxide emissions today, the seas would rise one meter by 2050 and three meters by 2100. This—not drought, species extinction, or excessive heat waves—will be the most catastrophic effect of global warming. And it won’t simply redraw our coastlines—agriculture, electrical and fiber optic systems ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Basic Books (first published July 6th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Flooded Earth, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Flooded Earth

The Johnstown Flood by David McCulloughThe Perfect Storm by Sebastian JungerThe Year of the Flood by Margaret AtwoodEarthworm Gods II by Brian KeeneHades' Disciples by Michael  West
The Deluge
24th out of 69 books — 24 voters
A Writer's Diary, Volume One, 1873-1876 by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe 13 Clocks; and, The wonderful O by James ThurberAria Da Capo by Edna St. Vincent MillayEscaping Barcelona by Henry MartinThe Book of Hrabal by Péter Esterházy
REALLY, Really Underrated Books (Fewer than 100 Ratings)
412th out of 1,323 books — 240 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 259)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is the first book I've read on the effects of climate change, although I've read many articles in various periodicals and newspapers on the subject. I learned a great deal from Dr. Ward's book which dealt primarily with the effects of the rising level of the oceans and the effects of their increasing acidification. I found the research done on previous periods of warming presented in the book explained much that is just headline material in shorter articles. For example, anyone who has read ...more
Very interesting and well researched information on what will happen due to climate change. However, I have determined that this is a terrible book to read right before bed.
Dec 15, 2014 ryn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: science
because the author so often refers to the large advances in climate science and our understanding of the processes of global warming and sea level rise over the decade or less preceding this book's publication, i found myself constantly wondering what the current models showed and how much worse (certainly, worse) the measurements and predictions had become in the years since then - any information made me crave newer information. still, a good read and one that, as a layperson with an interest, ...more
Susan Wittig Albert
Last week, a chunk of ice four times as large as Manhattan Island broke off the tongue of the Petermann Glacier in Greenland and went swimming in the sea. For me, immersed in The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps, it was striking evidence of what Peter D. Ward writes about: the loss of the polar icecaps and the melting of ice sheets and glaciers, caused by rising global temperatures. (At the same time, Russia was experiencing its worst drought and heat wave in recorded histor ...more
This book takes a potentially interesting angle on climate change - sea level rise - but doesn't take it far enough, to my regret. The best climate-change book I've read, Six Degrees, took established research and painted consistent scenarios for what would happen in a world warmed by 1degree C, by 2degrees C, and so on until the frankly terrifying 6 degrees of the title. It took the science and made it into a story, which is something I as a human being can relate to. There are moments when War ...more
This book was a very quick read, and most of it was very interesting, if a little repetitive. The one part of the book I really could have lived without were the scenarios he created at the beginning of each chapter. I thought they were a little odd, and took away from the general information he was trying to impart.

I think he did a good job of explaining what will potentially happen if we allow sea level to rise (which at this point we don't have a lot of choice). I think the most interesting p
Peter Ward is one of the top Paleoclimatologists in the world and anything you can read (albeit not the easiest reads is worthwhile) his insights into climate and dissecting the ancient record and analysis of Ipcc reports is definitely worth the price. In this his most recent work he covers all the important aspects of the climate debate and even some not so well known issues such as the effect storm surge will have in inundated freshwater deltas with salt water and the destruction to habitat an ...more
Sometimes, the gulf between science and futurism is too wide. And sometimes, the backstory is too severe, too long and too much. The promise of this book (if we can call a vision of the earth under water a "promise") relies on an amazing amount of exposition, the science of what we're doing now, to fully dwell on the earth of the future - which are vigenettes of possible scenes from different points in the future and certainly not the thrust of the book. Not blaming the author here. Probably an ...more
Not a well fit read for anyone that may feel adversely to or have an allergy of global warming or science in general! This was a great read for me. It is a wonderful mix of geological and climatological fact and research interlaced with captivating futuristic fictional scenarios of what could be. We are indeed hurting our planet and its delicate environment, climate, and ecosystems that have been a process of billions of years, within the span of two centuries, there is not a doubt in my mind th ...more
A good read, although at times I found myself becoming somewhat depressed when I really stopped to considered how ineffective the west's policies are when it comes to curtailing CO2 emissions (cough Canada).
Way too cataclysmic in his writing. Yes, I understand the seriousness of the issue. However, the writing was along the lines of catastrophe porn. An important topic but this book will sway none but the true believers. I could not get all the way through this one...
A nice presentation of what we know about climate change in the past and likely scenarios of the effects of increasing levels of CO2 in the future. One of an increasing number of books on the subject.
I didn't follow all the science but enough to make me
think the author knew what he was talking about, and the
potential scenarios were intriguing in a science-fiction
sort of way.
Fairly readable description of the pieces behind sea-level rise - primarily co 2 in the air and global temperature. Interesting and informative and fairly readable. 4 of 5.
Don  Kent
This is a tough book and it's content is frightening and unfortunately likely to be accurate. It is a must read for those who wish to be ecologically and environmentally aware.
Very informative. Though the truth of the matter is depressing. Still, I think we should all read and be aware of the consequences of our lifestyles.
A rather depressing look at future climate change; hopefully closer to a worst case scenario, but is well researched and sourced.
Great book, but I was disappointed with some egregious copy-editing errors. Looked like otnhad been rushed to print.
Izetta Autumn
Jul 16, 2010 Izetta Autumn marked it as to-read
You know, just trying to equip myself since we've speeded up our environmental destruction with the oil spill...

J. D.
Another tour-de-force. I wonder how the deniers of anthropogenic global warming function without minds.
David Burch
Loved it. although its a little past tense, its still making us think of the future. Recomended.
Richard Hellinga
Another depressing read about the future of our planet thanks to Climate Change.
Andrew Boscardin
Spoiler alert: we're totally f***ed.
Kate Ditzler
Man, this book is depressing.
Kathryn marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Jared marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Siobhan marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2015
Ya Go
Ya Go marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2015
Poozybug marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future
  • Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas and the Weather of the Future
  • Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding
  • Masters of the Planet
  • A World Without Ice
  • Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilization
  • Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
  • Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization
  • What Is Life?: How Chemistry Becomes Biology
  • Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind
  • Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare: An Ecologist's Perspective
  • Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans
  • Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World
  • The God Species
  • The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
  • The Revenge of Gaia
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
  • Every Living Thing: Man's Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys
Peter Douglas Ward (born 1949) is an American paleontologist and professor of Biology and of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has written popular numerous science works for a general audience and is also an adviser to the Microbes Mind Forum.

Life and work

His parents, Joseph and Ruth Ward, moved to Seattle following World War II. Ward grew up in the Seward Park
More about Peter D. Ward...
Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe Gorgon: The Monsters That Ruled the Planet Before Dinosaurs and HowThey Died in the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth's Ancient Atmosphere

Share This Book