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Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau's Woods
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Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau's Woods

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  43 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In his meticulous notes on the natural history of Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau records the first open flowers of highbush blueberry on May 11, 1853. If he were to look for the first blueberry flowers in Concord today, mid-May would be too late. In the 160 years since Thoreau’s writings, warming temperatures have pushed blueberry flowering three weeks earlier ...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by University Of Chicago Press (first published April 1st 2013)
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Julie Whelan
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksread
I heard Dr. Primak speak and this prompted me to buy his book and read it. Dr Primack gives a lot of detail on how he and his graduate students studied the dates when botanical events happened for a range of species in Concord MA. They then compared these dates with the dates recorded by Thoreau in his journals. They also discovered other naturalists from Concord, especially Hosmer, who tracked the same species during other time periods so they had detailed record of changes over a long time per ...more
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
This book went into a lot of detail but, having always been a Thoreau admirer, I liked the comparison between his observations of nature between Thoreau's time and now. Sadly, the warming climate may affect nature beyond its ability to cope over the next century. My guess is that a lot of species will go extinct, while some will survive along with a changed earth. Humans may or may not survive, but then with our demise, earth and the species that are left, will be able to adapt on go on.

Two par
Larry Bonura
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I love Henry David Thoreau. I love his brain. I love his words. I love that he believed in civil disobedience. I love that his prose is poetry. I love his observations of his world. I love that he was a citizen scientist. And I love that the data he collected in his writings still have value today. Primack has a wonderful basis for his book: comparing data from HDT's time to today to see if our climate is changing. Guess what: it is! A great way to see Thoreau come alive again and being relevant ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
The best part of this book is its founding idea. The author Richard Primack, a professor of Biology at Boston University, compared the information in Henry David Thoreau's journals with his own modern day research to understand and measure how the climate and the plant and animal species of the area around Walden Pond in Concord MA have changed over the past 150 years. As an intermittent journal keeper, walker, biologist, and sometime admirer of Thoreau, I find that this research represents a ki ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Free UofC ebook, cellread. Much of Walden ponder. Thoreau-ly appreciated. Climate changes in deed.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I recently heard an older episode of the podcast You're The Expert that had Richard Primack as the designated expert. Primack was on the show promoting his book Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau's Woods and I was intrigued by a few things he said and so I immediately requested it from my public library.

Primack, a botanist, studied tropical rain forests for the first twenty years of his career. Then he noticed that when he was teaching global warming in his classes at Boston Univers
Chris Leuchtenburg
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nature, science
This is a surprisingly well written account by a scientist attempting to measure climate change in his own town of Concord Massachusetts, in particular the land around Walden Pond, by comparing Thoreau's careful notebooks to recent and intermediate observations. The story is especially rich during the early chapters on plants (his specialty) and birds, for which there is abundant data both modern and back to Thoreau. In the later sections, in which he attempts to scrape tidbits from the sparse d ...more
Robert Scafe
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Richard Primack is a biologist who compared Thoreau's notes on the flora and weather of Walden for a 14-year period to his own recent observations. The book does a good job explaining some of the obvious indicators of climate change (e.g. the pond icing over later in the year), but he's particularly good at explaining some of the secondary effects, such as the problems created for migratory species that rely on flowers blooming at a certain time of year. The author incorporates observations abou ...more
Sam Rothwell
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book would make a very good gift for the budding young scientist. Not only does it help describe how global warming is beginning to impact our planet, it also does a good job explaining how scientists identify problems, gather data, and reach conclusions. It does a good job explaining the problems that can come with data and how the scientist has to form his or her results to the data he has. It also gives the reader good advice on how they can gather data on their own area.
Jul 19, 2014 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
For me, this is a scholarly read, and therefore I won't rate or review it here. I will say, however, it's well worth the time to read it.
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