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The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Droughts. Floods.
Climate refugees.
Global warming isn't just about polar bears anymore.

Let's assume we do nothing about climate change. Imagine that we just continue to emit carbon at our current levels or even exceed those levels. How would our weather change? What would our forecast be? Welcome to The Weather of the Future.

In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Heidi Cullen, on
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ebook, 352 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published August 3rd 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 701)
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Ted Smith
Cullen has written a very easy-to-read explanation of the driving forces and science of climate change, covering the history of related research. Few of the public realize that a slowly warming climate was predicted in the early 1800s and assumed the low global population (1.7 billion) and low use of carbon-emitting fuels. Today we have four to five times as many people and have greatly accelerated use of fossil fuels. About half of the book (published in 2010) consists of predictions for variou ...more
Joan
This book was just drop dead terrifying. Part 1 wasn't so bad: it covered the basic info needed to understand the climate change from a climatologist POV. But Part 2 was just terrifying! Of course, the chapter that affected me the most was the one on Central Valley of California, but the New York one came a fairly close second. I guess that illustrates the saying: all politics are local. The second part was projections into the future of 7 places climatologists consider especially vulnerable to ...more
Sheila
As I type this review, San Francisco has just broken a heat record topping out in the mid-eighties. Most of California is in an extreme drought, which is also affecting Oregon. Washington is experiencing the largest recorded wildfire in state history. I used to think the west coast was safer than the east coast in terms of climate change. Maybe I was wrong.

Heidi Cullen’s The Weather of the Future explains the affect global warming will likely have on some of the most vulnerable regions of the p
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Lewis
Dr Cullen provides interesting commentary describing the causes and outcomes of changes to the climate in selected areas of the planet. Some of the locations are familiar to me; other locations are unfamiliar. In particular, I did not consider the Sahel as a large and interconnected area until it was described in this book. Her approach to large geographic areas was particularly helpful.

The first part of the book, as others have mentioned, provided a reasonable scientific background for informat
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John Kaufmann
Probably a 3.5 rather than a 4. This book starts with a good historical background in the science of global warming. It then proceeds to discuss how climate change will affect a few particular areas of the globe - the Great Barrier Reef, the Sahel, Greenland and the Arctic, among others. I've read quite a bit about climate change, but still had something to learn from this book. Whether it's what scientists glean from ice core samples, or how ocean surface temperatures affect what happens in the ...more
Stephany
As others have said, this should be required reading for every voting American. Five stars for subject importance and urgency, three stars for its relevance to me personally (I already know much of the subject matter and thus skimmed much of the second half), so four stars net.

I don't understand much of the criticism levied against this book for being "too simplistic." Heidi Cullen writes in a clear, understandable style that anyone with a sixth grade or better reading level can understand. And
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Sonya Huber
Cullen's book seems like it should be required reading for anyone living in this era of global warming (and that would be all of us). I found that it pushed me past my own apocalyptic denial; Cullen writes with such care and authority about the ways global warming would and is already affecting specific places around the globe. She weaves in elements of her own research career, profiles the personalities of the key scientists in the field that might be called “coping with reality.” The book is c ...more
Book
The Weather of the Future by Heidi Cullen
“The Weather of the Future” is a book that describes how global warming is impacting our climate today and how it will impact our planet’s future. With a sound scientific approach renowned climatologist Heidi Cullen provides an interesting insight into climate change by taking us through a journey of seven of the most at-risk locations around the globe and what global warming is projected to do to those areas. This 352-page book is composed of the followi
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Blog on Books
For a look at what the world may look like in the event that we do little or nothing to combat carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, comes “The Weather of the Future” (Harper) by meteorologist/climatologist, Heidi Cullen. Cullen, a research scientist at the non-profit outfit, Climate Central, (and former host of the Weather Channel’s ‘Forecast Earth’) describes in detail what is likely to occur at seven different hot-spot locations around the planet in the wake of elevated temperatures and risi ...more
Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle
Not impressed so far. It's been (extremely) overly optimistic, very simplistic, and packed with bad analogies. It's not terribly interesting or well written, and though it's my faviorite topic to read about, I'm tempted to put the book down altogether. I've had to skip/ skim boring pages, which is always bad- and I feel like she's not really providing us with much in the way of real information-
I'm certain it's missing some key elements of IRL science because she's treating her audience like the
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Iskandar Muydinov
This is a fascinating book on history and most importantly on the future of the weather of our planet . Must read book who questions the current issues on the climate change as a whole , Written on a very plain language wich makes this research more valuable to understand and to promote its core ideas and facts.
From the outset of reading this book I was looking for the argument on the origins of CO2 .. is it human made or natural . I have heard too many times by global warming deniers that most
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William
Since the precondition of this book is a temperature rise of 11 degrees Fahrenheit and 3 feet rise in sea level, it's more a fantasy-novel-"What If"-book with no connection to reality ....

Heidi's so-called proof? "we have some very complicated programs run by some very smart people"....or something familiar. Very same Global Warming Models that the last 30 years (and counting) have been wrong on every single alarming prediction. I mean, how can anyone with their right mind say: "these guys have
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James
Very well done, but if anything, a bit cautious and conservative. In this book, Dr. Heidi Cullen of the Weather Channel and Climate Central examines the impact of current and predicted climate change in several representative places around the world at intervals between 2010, when she wrote the book, and the middle of the 21st century.

One of the book's strengths is that it focuses, in depth, on the effects of changed climate and weather on the lives of ordinary people. Dr. Cullen consulted with
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Brian
This was an interesting and frightening book. Cullen describes what has already been happening to the climate and projects what models predict. While prediction is difficult and modeling is difficult to explain, she does a fair job. I don't know if anyone can explain climate modeling well enough to make it sound believable.

Having said that, there is enough current research that clearly shows what is happening today. The one that concerns me most is ocean acidification (OA). No matter what we do,
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Kirsten
Oct 19, 2010 Kirsten rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in climate change
Shelves: environment, climate
I wish I could give this book three and a half stars. I think the second half of the book was awesome, it's exactly what I thought the whole book would be when I picked it up. It had case studies, gave some projections, etc. The first half of the book made me want to beat my head against the wall. I suppose this could be attributed to the fact I study environmental science, but even so. Too much explaining.

I think it's a great concept and is half heartening/half depressing, but overall the mess
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Elaine Nelson
Basic, but clear and concise. Spends the first half walking the reader through an overview of the science of climate prediction in general and human-caused climate change in particular. If you're reasonably well-read on this topic, not a whole lot new, but very well expressed. The second half looks at scenarios for particular locations: Sahel, Great Barrier Reef, California Central Valley*, Canadian/Greenland Arctic, Bangladesh, and New York City. Covers possibilities for both disaster and adapt ...more
Lisa
Great concept -- first half gives the science and the second half includes case studies of representative places and what their weather will look like in the future. I especially like Cullen's storytelling style -- a very easy read and not too impenetrable. Also like the way stories of future weather are told as though they have already happened; this is a style that makes it feel more real. Climate change is real and we're living through it now. As she says: "Climate is what you expect; weather ...more
Ross
This book is a rather different approach to the global warming issue. It is written for the lay public and contains almost no discussion of the science involved in gloabal warming. Instead she has selected seven different geographical areas to describe the effects that are now taking place from the earth's warming. She then reveals her desire to become a novelist. For each of these areas she has written brief fictional stories about the future efects of warming over the next 50 years or so.
On th
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Gabriela
Excellent explanation of the science, a little more in depth than Climate Weirdness.
The book has two parts: the first one where all the science is explained, while the second covers what if scenarios in specific parts of the world that are considered hot spots where climate change will be more aggressive.
I preferred the first part , the second part was along the lines of case studies which while interesting there is no clear estimate as to how much the temperature will rise.
Ryan
Took me a while to get through this - a perfect explanation of how we'll experience climate change over the next 50 years. She uses a bunch of case studies, from NYC to Bangladesh, Greenland to the Sahara, to show how the warming will be felt and affect everyone. Well-written, interesting, and a wake-up call for anyone not already aware of how our carbon emissions are going to mess with our descendants' way of life.
Gib
Liked this book, leaves you no doubt that the climate is changing... like the way she says, you don't need to worry about the earth, the earth will be fine, we've had climate change before...

of course the human race and some other species may not be fine at all... that's the way the system works. and the system works bit is my addition to her thought.
Patricrk patrick
good initial discussion on the science of weather change. the impact this will make is brought home in the scenarios that discuss the impact weather change will have on various areas of the world. 147 paqes of footnotes so the portion of the book I normally read is not 421 pages long. Thought it was a decent read and informative.
Doug
If I were a smarter person, after reading this book, I would move back to Michigan. With ready access to fresh water and milder winters on the way, it sounds like the ideal place to be, and right now, housing prices are a steal. The section describing the vulnerability of the San Joaquin/Sacramento river system is mildly terrifying.
Catherine Gentry
An important topic much too often ignored at our detriment. Cullen explains how global warming is not just a theory but a reality and how it is affecting our weather now and will do so in the future with increasingly detrimental consequences. An excellent wakeup call to change our habits and adapt a more sustainable lifestyle.
John downey
Somewhat of a light read: the first half was reasonable enough science and I learned some things. Second half was guesses about possible scenarios in different cities at different times in the future. Not enough depth of science or statistics to substantiate possible future events. Mildly disappointing
Peter
Aug 14, 2010 Peter marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This appears to be very similar to Flooded Earth by Peter D. Ward but nonetheless illuminating in its own way written by a very esteemed climatologist. I look froward to reading it.
Cara
Certainly an interesting subject, but written on a juvenile level (to an even greater extent than most pop science) and this annoyed me.
Courtney
Didn't actually read the whole thing, skimmed a lot, just so damned depressing. Interesting but depressing.
Cornelis
A must read for anybody who cares about our future. Powerful and to the point.
Anna
Truly frightening.
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“ozone and particulate matter contribute to 8,800 deaths and $71 billion in health care costs every year. The connection with global warming is nothing more than simple chemistry. Higher temperatures increase the formation of ground-level ozone and particulate matter. Ambient ozone also reduces crop yields and harms the ecosystem.” 0 likes
“The climate models showed that greenhouse gas emissions had contributed to an increase in such summers, from one in 1,000 years to at least one in 500 years and possibly one in 250 years.” 0 likes
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