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

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  47 reviews
From Heidi Cullen, one of America’s foremost experts on weather and climate change and a senior research scientist with Climate Central, comes The Weather of the Future, a fascinating and provocative book that predicts what different parts of the world will look like in the year 2050 if current levels of carbon emissions are maintained.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Harper
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3.80  · 
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 ·  272 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Fred Dameron
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The big thing when reading climate change books is seeing how many of the authors predictions have already come true. Heidi Cullen has done very well. The chapter on the Great Barrier Reef happened in Feb of this year and was predicted for 2025, The chapter on California's Central Valley was an earth quake or the Orrville Dam Spillway collapsing of coming true, any Sacramento Bee from mid Feb 2017. Until the snow pack melts Orrville is still not out of ...more
Stephany Wilkes
Sep 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
In short? A decent primer with a great premise.

The first sections aim to convince the wary or the hesitant of the power of climate modeling and the premises behind climate study, weather forecasting, and contemporary climate studies. To be frank, I found these tough going because they're directed at a different audience (who might disbelieve the premise of "climate change" full stop, in which case I don't think Cullen will convince anyway) and also because they weren't very sprightly. Perhaps I
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
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: geopolitics
This is a fascinating book on the history and most importantly on the future of the weather of our planet. A must read book who question the current issues on the climate change as a whole, Written in 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 mo
Ted Smith
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
This is a little heavy on the science/numbers for someone who is new to reading about these issues. There are also very depressing Earth/Climate Change fanfic scenarios the author presents for what might happen in the locations she discusses if the trends when she wrote the book continue, many of them already jossed.

Funny enough, even though the cover is meant to make you go "crap, New York!", New York is the only place where her made-up scenarios provide a happy ending. XD

Also, many pieces of t
Stacy Clark
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the first books I read that delves into the realistic consequences of man-made climate change. Brilliantly narrated by our nation's first climate-aware meteorologist, science advisor to NOAA, creator of Forecast Earth and Chief Science Advisor to the Showtime Series, The Years of Living Dangerously, Cullen has made her mark on every facet of American journalism. I highly recommend "The Weather of the Future" to readers of all genres, particularly those of us interested in science-based aw ...more
Cassidy Smock
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for an informative book that provides incredible insight of our planet in the future! I would read the book, “The Weather Of The Future”, written by Heidi Cullen. The author provides data and statistics to illustrate what will take place on Earth in results to global warming. She uses examples of national landmarks, like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, glaciers, valleys in California and many, many more. The author describes what we can see happening now as the result of globa ...more
Dick Chady
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Weather of the Future" is an Invaluable Resource

Written by an expert, but for the general public, the book explains how and why climate science is so precise. Then it sets likely scenarios at key locations from NYC to Bengladesh to show what will likely happen without substantial, immediate actions to combat climate change. The future is here.
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It's a good but now dated look at what's happening around the world as the Earth warms. In fact, the earliest of her predictions are predicting 2012-2018 and pretty accurate. The only thing she got wrong was the speed of the problems -- we're seeing them faster than predicted in 2008ish.
Ron Joniak
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful read on climate change that discusses what different parts of the world will look like in 50 years. The author does a very nice job of showcasing different elements of climate change ranging from drought and heatwaves to barrier reef damage and culture adaptation.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Pros: describes, in detail, environmental issues from around the world, ranging from draught to glacial bursts, from ice hunting to flooding in the subway systems; it does a good job of identifying some of the political, cultural, and technological shortcomings in battling the environment

Cons: becomes rather tedious in its repetition; the science behind the arguments is poorly articulated
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
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
Feb 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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
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
Sonya Huber
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Blog on Books
Sep 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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,
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
While it may appear as a What If? book of the Earth's future climate, only about 5% of the text deals with scenarios describing what the future may hold. Instead, there informative early chapters about the development of both weather and climate forecasts. It describes both the history and gradual implementation as well as some of the science behind the technology. The gems, however, are the focusing on a few regions across the globe. Each region, varying in size from the bulk of a continent to ...more
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
lmao we're all gonna die and no one cares, but the good news is, your brain cant make you care because it's a big scary invisible goliath, so kudos, also remember kudos, that granola bar in the 90s with a lot of high fructose syrup, and the slogan "kudos, im yours!" which was like the rectangular foodstuff had sentience and after sultrily being undressed (taking off the wrapper), whispered "kudos, im yours," but instead it's you standing at the roaring ocean, screaming "kudos, im yours" in defia ...more
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Elaine Nelson
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, science
The book does a great job of explaining what several different parts of the world will be like if the current climate trends continue, including the effects of continuing human action (or inaction). The beginning of the book explains different climate studying methodologies, so the author is not simply providing information but also explaining where that information comes from and how it is used to generate the predictions in the book. I found it very interesting (and a little disturbing) that t ...more
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sustainability
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
Nov 28, 2010 rated it liked it
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
John Kaufmann
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: climate-change
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
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, non-fiction
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.
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