Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
Possibly the most graphic treatment of global warming that has yet been published, Six Degrees is what readers of Al Gore's best-selling An Inconvenient Truth or Ross Gelbspan's Boiling Point will turn to next. Written by the acclaimed author of High Tide, this highly relevant and compelling book uses accessible journalistic prose to distill what environmental scientists p...more
From the weeping ground there sprang a wind,
Flaming with vermillion light,
Which overmastered all my senses,
And I dropped like a man pulled down by sleep.
Dante, Inferno, Canto III:
Dante enters the First Circle of Hell
Gustave Doré's illustration of Canto III: Arrival of Charon.
Well the first circle of hell wasn’t all that bad, comparatively – Purgatory.
“Climate change is the canvas on which the history of the 21st century will be painted.”
A friend who recommended this book ...more
Did I say terminal illness? That's a bad metaphor, since disease seems sort of just to passively happen; also, we tend to think of illness as some ...more
Since this book is already ten years old it's interesting to compare its predictions to what has actually happened since it was p ...more
I finished Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet several days ago, but wanted to let the book's subject matter sit with me a few days before I wrote a review. Plus, I've been freakin busy! There are many insightful reviews on the subject matter itself, so I'm going to focus more on what the book meant to me as a human, and as a nurse. Bottom line: our earth is warming up. What is *cau ...more
This is, roughly, one part robust scientific journalism and one part ecological-apocalypse-torture-porn. Working from several decades worth of scientific inquiry into both our current climate situation and periods of vast geologic/climactic upheaval, Lynas gives us a best guess global picture of what happens as the temperature rises, degree by degree, from one (sucky) to six (extinction of most pl ...more
What Lynas has provided here is a comprehensive summary of international research on climate change and carbon emissions from a variety of perspectives and methodologies. The result is a harrowing projection of the kinds of shifts in ecosystems around the world - water tables, weather patterns, food production, biodiversity, ocean acidity - that are likely t ...more
This is an superb book for anyone interested in global warming, which should include all who inhabit this planet. It paints a picture of what happens to the Earth at each step as it warms up by one additional degree Celsius, all the way up to six degrees above today's temperature. Needless to say, things get very ugly by the time we get to three degrees, let alone six. The latter translates to another mass extinction. Which, come to think of it, we're already going through.
This is not the cheeri ...more
of the US will be starved of rain,
Bankrupted farmers will pack up and flee
as desert restakes its claim.
There'll be no ice cap on the Arctic,
we'll lose the rivers of Kilimanjaro,
and frost that keeps the Alps secure
won't do it any more.
The Barrier Reef will bleach and die,
mountain animals will reach the sky
chasing the cool, and those that can't fly
will join the dinosaurs.
Tropical storms expand their domain
to bludgeon new regions - Brazil, Spain -
and hope is lost f ...more
Lynas poured over journal articles and research papers, and then decided to organize the information according to degrees of warming. So there's a chapter dedicated to causes and effects of the warming of one degree Celsius, and then a chapter a ...more
I am in awe at the amount of studies Lynas must have read to come up with this very detailed and accessible summary of the climate change literature (up to 2007) detailing step by step the changes to the Earth as it slowly heats up degree by degree.
I knew that a 2-3 degree C increase was bad, but I really had no idea how terrible it really was before reading this book. No more Amazon rainforest, no more coral reefs, mass flooding of cities, starvation of millions, loss of mu ...more
Next: Global Warming or Global Cooling???
I think I need to read this book and re-examine the whole question of Global Warming. After the fine review by my friend Ted*, and yet following my viewing of the movies “Snowpiercer” and “Ice 2020” some doubts still surfaced. Plus, there’s a lot on climate-change protection being dismantled by the ongoing American administration. One wonders.
(Snowpiercer: (view spoiler)[Though a violent mo ...more
“So far as we yet know, this is the only planet in the entire universe which has summoned forth life in all its brilliance and variety. To knowingly cut this flowering short is undoubtedly a crime, one more unspeakable even than the cruellest genocide or most destructive war. If each person is uniquely valuable, each species is surely more so. I can see no excuses for collaborating in such a crime. As the post-war Nuremberg trials established, ignorance is no defence; nor is merely following ord ...more
Six Degrees summarises the likely consequences of global warming into a form that an interested layman like me can digest without being overwhelmed. The evidence that global warming is being driven by carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is straightforward and incontrovertible. I haven't doubted that since I first saw the famous 'hockey stick' graph, showing how global temperatures have been shooting up since t ...more
Not the planet, it will survive. It won't be a fun place to live, of course. The majority of species will be wiped out in a mass die-off that rivals the Permian extinction. The planet also won't sustain a populat ...more
I don't think I understood until reading this book why policy so often a ...more
Six Degrees is an amalgamation of modern climate research--culled from scientific journals such as 'Science' and 'Nature'--and our understanding of past global heat events based on the fossil record, brought to life with descriptive detail by Lynas to illustrate what ...more
The book describes what would happen to the Earth as the average surface temperature increases, degree by degree (Celsisus.) Each degree presents a new list of h ...more
It lays out in detail what each degree of global warming will entail (the current expected range of warming is somewhere between 1.5 and now possibly up to 8 degrees Celsius), and how that will affect life on Earth. We are already locked into experiencing the first chapter, which is the likely return of the American Great Plains to desert. Each successive chapter just gets worse, and describes positive feedback systems which will make thin ...more
it takes on more importance. The author digs into databanks from climate studies around the globe and makes projections on what the specific on-the-ground effects will be of rising global temperatures. The six degrees by the way, is centigrade, not fahrenheit. If you're interested in climate science and some of the gritty specifics of what future generations will be dealing with- I ...more