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Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming

by

Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the leading science journalists and commentators working today, Chris Mooney delves into a red-hot debate in meteorology: whether the increasing ferocity of hurricanes is connected to global warming. In the wake of Katrina, Mooney follows the careers of leading scientists on either side of the argument through the 2006 hurricane season, tracing how the media, special interests, politics, and the weather itself have skewed and amplified what was already a fraught scientific debate. As Mooney puts it: "Scientists, like hurricanes, do extraordinary things at high wind speeds."

Mooney — a native of New Orleans — has written a fascinating and urgently compelling book that calls into question the great inconvenient truth of our day: Are we responsible for making hurricanes even bigger monsters than they already are?

Review:

"Having witnessed Katrina's devastation of his mother's New Orleans house, science writer Mooney (The Republican War on Science) became concerned that government policy still ignored worst-case scenarios in planning for the future, despite that unprecedented disaster. He set out to explore the question of 'whether global warming will strengthen or otherwise change hurricanes in general, even if it can't explain the absolute existence, attributes, or behavior of any single one of them.' Since storm research's early 19th-century inception, Mooney found, there has been a split between those who believed the field 'should be rooted in the careful collection of data and observations' (e.g., weathermen) and those who preferred 'theory-based deductions from the laws of physics' (e.g., climatologists). Whirling around this longstanding antagonism is a mix of politics, personalities and the drama of these frightening storms. The urgency and difficulty of resolving the question of global warming's existence, and its relationship to storms, has only heated things up. Mooney turns this complicated stew into a page-turner, making the science accessible to the general reader, vividly portraying the scientists and relating new discoveries while scientists and politicians change sides — or stubbornly ignore new evidence. Mooney draws hope from some researchers' integration of both research methods and concludes that to be effective, scientists need to be clear communicators. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'Having witnessed Katrina's devastation of his mother's New Orleans house, science writer Mooney (The Republican War on Science) became concerned that government policy still ignored worst-case scenarios in planning for the future, despite that unprecedented disaster. He set out to explore the question of 'whether global warming will strengthen or otherwise change hurricanes in general, even if it can't explain the absolute existence, attributes, or behavior of any single one of them.' Since storm research's early 19th-century inception, Mooney found, there has been a split between those who believed the field 'should be rooted in the careful collection of data and observations' (e.g., weathermen) and those who preferred 'theory-based deductions from the laws of physics' (e.g., climatologists). Whirling around this longstanding antagonism is a mix of politics, personalities and the drama of these frightening storms. The urgency and difficulty of resolving the question of global warming's existence, and its relationship to storms, has only heated things up. Mooney turns this complicated stew into a page-turner, making the science accessible to the general reader, vividly portraying the scientists and relating new discoveries while scientists and politicians change sides — or stubbornly ignore new evidence. Mooney draws hope from some researchers' integration of both research methods and concludes that to be effective, scientists need to be clear communicators. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"

Review:

"To most Americans, the annual hurricane season used to be a kind of background noise — part of the usual summer cable news fare of celebrity scandals and disappearing young women. But in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina changed all that. Katrina's images — New Orleans under water, its residents trapped and pleading for help from rooftops, freeway overpasses and the Superdome — shook our faith in... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Mooney serves his readers as both an empiricist who gathers data and an analyst who puts it into context. The result is an important book, whose author succeeds admirably in both his roles." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"[B]rilliantly and compellingly explains the complex relationships among global warming, climate modeling, government science, and hurricane forecasting." Library Journal

Review:

"In Storm World, Mooney catches real science in the act and, in so doing, weaves a story as intriguing as it is important." Thomas Hayden, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Mooney provides a fine overview of the long, intertwined history of hurricane prediction, climate science and the politicization of the debate over global warming.... To boil this down to a debate between theorists and empiricists is to oversimplify, of course, and Mooney does justice to the debate in all its complexity, painting vivid portraits of scientists at work and in conflict." Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

Review:

"Mooney has written a well-researched, nuanced book that suffers from poor organization and a lack of pizazz....But it's hard to go too wrong with hurricanes and the people who love to fight over them." New York Times

Book News Annotation:

The author of The Republican War on Science, whose mother's house was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, presents a fair examination of the facts, leading scientists' theories, political debate, media spin, and insurance industry concerns over whether global warming is causing more intense storms. Drawing on extensive interviews, the Washington journalist includes an explanation of hurricane and cyclone scales, and diagrams. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science and one the leading young environmental journalists and bloggers working today, immerses readers in the world of those who study hurricanes. What was once an arcane branch of meteorology (itself an arcane science) has become embroiled in one of the politicized and hotly contested debates in American science: whether or not the recent hurricane disasters—culminating in Katrina—are connected to global warming. Mooney follows the lives and careers of the two leading scientists who stand, bitterly opposed, on either side of the issue. One believes global warming has nothing to do with hurricane ferocity or frequency; the other believes as fervently that it does; both have staked their reputations on their respective positions. Mooney shows these two men in action as they debate the issue across the country and are followed by the media. He also uses them as a way of showing how Hurricane Studies have evolved, and how government, the media, Big Business, and politics, have affected the ways we study and interpret weather patterns. Hurricanes are natural disasters, capable of inflicting almost unimaginable destruction. The culture that has grown up around predicting, charting, and even defining them is very much man-made.

Combining lively portraits of the leading figures, vivid science journalism, and the very latest reportage from weather front (the last section of the book will cover the 2006 hurricane season), Mooney—a native of New Orleans—has written what will surely be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

Synopsis:

PRAISE FOR STORM WORLD

 

"Mooney chose to walk a minefield in attempting to assess a controversial and quickly evolving field in climate research. He not only succeeded in producing a fair and accurate description of the science, but produced a fascinating read as well."--Climatologist Michael Mann of RealClimate.org
 
"Storm World is a gripping story about the controversy and strong personalities surrounding hurricanes and the issue of global warming, where scientists and politicians--and their often clashing agendas--collide."--Rick Anthes, President, American Meteorological Society and President, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
 
"Storm World is of unique importance to all with environmental interests, especially those who find themselves conflicted on one of the worlds most important issues: the significance of global warming, its potential impact on the environment, and in particular on the frequency and strength of destructive hurricanes."--Dr. Robert Simpson, former director of the National Hurricane Center, and Dr. Joanne Simpson, former President of the American Meteorological Society and recipient of a Carl-Gustaf Rossby Award.
 
 
PRAISE FOR THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE 

 

"Nothing short of a landmark in contemporary political reporting."—Salon.com

 
"A well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists . . . Thankfully, Mooney is both a wonk and a clear writer."—Scientific American

Synopsis:

One of the leading science journalists and commentators working today, Mooney delves into a red-hot debate in meteorology: whether the increasing ferocity of hurricanes is connected to global warming.

About the Author

Chris Mooney is the Washington correspondent for Seed magazine and author of The Republican War on Science. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue: 6229 Memphis Street     1

Introduction: “The Party Line”   5

Part I

Warming and Storming

 1 • Chimneys and Whirlpools                15

 2 • Of Heat Engines . . .         31

 3 • . . . and Computer Models               44

 4 • “Lay That Matrix Down”                59 

5 • From Hypercanes to Hurricane Andrew 80
 
Part II

Boiling Over

Interlude: Among the Forecasters  103

 6 • The Luck of Florida          109

 7 • Frictional Divergence        123

 8 • Meet the Press 137

 9 • “The #$%^& Hit the Fan”               155

 10 • Resistance       169

 11 • “Consensus”   180

Part III

Storm World

12 • Preseason Warm-Ups      205

13 • Where Are the Storms?   224

14 • Hurricane Climatology    245

Conclusion: Home Again                260

 

Acknowledgments     277

Appendix I: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale; Note on Units of Measurement              281

Appendix II: Cyclone Typology       285

Appendix III: Early Hurricane-Climate Speculations        287

Appendix IV: Consensus Statements by Participants

In the World Meteorological Organizations 6th International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones, San Jose, Costa Rica, November 2006   293

Notes   295

Bibliography and Recommended Reading                371

List of Interviews        377

Index   383

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151012879
Subtitle:
Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming
Author:
Mooney, Chris
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Weather
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Meteorology & Climatology
Subject:
Hurricanes
Subject:
Climatology
Subject:
Physics-Meteorology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080804
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Climate Change and Global Warming
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Harcourt - English 9780151012879 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Having witnessed Katrina's devastation of his mother's New Orleans house, science writer Mooney (The Republican War on Science) became concerned that government policy still ignored worst-case scenarios in planning for the future, despite that unprecedented disaster. He set out to explore the question of 'whether global warming will strengthen or otherwise change hurricanes in general, even if it can't explain the absolute existence, attributes, or behavior of any single one of them.' Since storm research's early 19th-century inception, Mooney found, there has been a split between those who believed the field 'should be rooted in the careful collection of data and observations' (e.g., weathermen) and those who preferred 'theory-based deductions from the laws of physics' (e.g., climatologists). Whirling around this longstanding antagonism is a mix of politics, personalities and the drama of these frightening storms. The urgency and difficulty of resolving the question of global warming's existence, and its relationship to storms, has only heated things up. Mooney turns this complicated stew into a page-turner, making the science accessible to the general reader, vividly portraying the scientists and relating new discoveries while scientists and politicians change sides — or stubbornly ignore new evidence. Mooney draws hope from some researchers' integration of both research methods and concludes that to be effective, scientists need to be clear communicators. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Having witnessed Katrina's devastation of his mother's New Orleans house, science writer Mooney (The Republican War on Science) became concerned that government policy still ignored worst-case scenarios in planning for the future, despite that unprecedented disaster. He set out to explore the question of 'whether global warming will strengthen or otherwise change hurricanes in general, even if it can't explain the absolute existence, attributes, or behavior of any single one of them.' Since storm research's early 19th-century inception, Mooney found, there has been a split between those who believed the field 'should be rooted in the careful collection of data and observations' (e.g., weathermen) and those who preferred 'theory-based deductions from the laws of physics' (e.g., climatologists). Whirling around this longstanding antagonism is a mix of politics, personalities and the drama of these frightening storms. The urgency and difficulty of resolving the question of global warming's existence, and its relationship to storms, has only heated things up. Mooney turns this complicated stew into a page-turner, making the science accessible to the general reader, vividly portraying the scientists and relating new discoveries while scientists and politicians change sides — or stubbornly ignore new evidence. Mooney draws hope from some researchers' integration of both research methods and concludes that to be effective, scientists need to be clear communicators. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"Review" by , "Mooney serves his readers as both an empiricist who gathers data and an analyst who puts it into context. The result is an important book, whose author succeeds admirably in both his roles."
"Review" by , "[B]rilliantly and compellingly explains the complex relationships among global warming, climate modeling, government science, and hurricane forecasting."
"Review" by , "In Storm World, Mooney catches real science in the act and, in so doing, weaves a story as intriguing as it is important."
"Review" by , "Mooney provides a fine overview of the long, intertwined history of hurricane prediction, climate science and the politicization of the debate over global warming.... To boil this down to a debate between theorists and empiricists is to oversimplify, of course, and Mooney does justice to the debate in all its complexity, painting vivid portraits of scientists at work and in conflict."
"Review" by , "Mooney has written a well-researched, nuanced book that suffers from poor organization and a lack of pizazz....But it's hard to go too wrong with hurricanes and the people who love to fight over them."
"Synopsis" by ,
Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science and one the leading young environmental journalists and bloggers working today, immerses readers in the world of those who study hurricanes. What was once an arcane branch of meteorology (itself an arcane science) has become embroiled in one of the politicized and hotly contested debates in American science: whether or not the recent hurricane disasters—culminating in Katrina—are connected to global warming. Mooney follows the lives and careers of the two leading scientists who stand, bitterly opposed, on either side of the issue. One believes global warming has nothing to do with hurricane ferocity or frequency; the other believes as fervently that it does; both have staked their reputations on their respective positions. Mooney shows these two men in action as they debate the issue across the country and are followed by the media. He also uses them as a way of showing how Hurricane Studies have evolved, and how government, the media, Big Business, and politics, have affected the ways we study and interpret weather patterns. Hurricanes are natural disasters, capable of inflicting almost unimaginable destruction. The culture that has grown up around predicting, charting, and even defining them is very much man-made.

Combining lively portraits of the leading figures, vivid science journalism, and the very latest reportage from weather front (the last section of the book will cover the 2006 hurricane season), Mooney—a native of New Orleans—has written what will surely be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

"Synopsis" by ,
PRAISE FOR STORM WORLD

 

"Mooney chose to walk a minefield in attempting to assess a controversial and quickly evolving field in climate research. He not only succeeded in producing a fair and accurate description of the science, but produced a fascinating read as well."--Climatologist Michael Mann of RealClimate.org
 
"Storm World is a gripping story about the controversy and strong personalities surrounding hurricanes and the issue of global warming, where scientists and politicians--and their often clashing agendas--collide."--Rick Anthes, President, American Meteorological Society and President, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
 
"Storm World is of unique importance to all with environmental interests, especially those who find themselves conflicted on one of the worlds most important issues: the significance of global warming, its potential impact on the environment, and in particular on the frequency and strength of destructive hurricanes."--Dr. Robert Simpson, former director of the National Hurricane Center, and Dr. Joanne Simpson, former President of the American Meteorological Society and recipient of a Carl-Gustaf Rossby Award.
 
 
PRAISE FOR THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE 

 

"Nothing short of a landmark in contemporary political reporting."—Salon.com

 
"A well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists . . . Thankfully, Mooney is both a wonk and a clear writer."—Scientific American

"Synopsis" by , One of the leading science journalists and commentators working today, Mooney delves into a red-hot debate in meteorology: whether the increasing ferocity of hurricanes is connected to global warming.
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