Mega Dose
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

This title in other editions

Our Affair with El Niño: How We Transformed an Enchanting Peruvian Current Into a Global Climate Hazard

Our Affair with El Niño: How We Transformed an Enchanting Peruvian Current Into a Global Climate Hazard Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"In summary, to explain El Nino requires an understanding of the Southern Oscillation....George Philander provides this understanding simply and authoritatively. He does so, not by losing the reader in elaborate descriptions of data acquisition and mathematical modelling, but by the apt use of analogies drawn from the viewpoints of the poet, musician and painter." Richard Shelton, The Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Until 1997, few people had heard of the seasonal current that Peruvians nicknamed El Niño. But when meteorologists linked it to devastating floods in California, severe droughts in Indonesia, and strange weather everywhere, its name became entrenched in the common parlance faster than a typhoon making landfall. Bumper stickers appeared bearing the phrase "Don't blame me; blame El Niño." Stockbrokers muttered "El Niño" when the market became erratic.

What's behind this fascinating natural phenomenon, and how did our perceptions of it change? In this captivating book, renowned oceanographer George Philander engages readers in lucid and stimulating discussions of the scientific, political, economic and cultural developments that shaped our perceptions of this force of nature.

The book begins by outlining the history of El Niño, an innocuous current that appears off the coast of Peru around Christmastime — its name refers to the Child Jesus — and originally was welcomed as a blessing. It goes on to explore how our perceptions of El Niño were transformed, not because the phenomenon changed, but because we did. Philander argues persuasively that familiarity with the different facets of our affair with El Niño — our wealth of experience in dealing with natural hazards such as severe storms and prolonged droughts — can help us cope with an urgent and controversial environmental problem of our own making — global warming.

Intellectually invigorating and a joy to read, Our Affair with El Niño is an important contribution to the debate about the relationship between scientific knowledge and public affairs.

Review:

"The most important thing I can tell you about Our Affair with El Niño is that I genuinely enjoyed reading it. Like the author, it is erudite, cultured, original, imaginative, idiosyncratic, and opinionated. George Philander is especially adept at providing easy-to-grasp analogies to illuminate complex material. Both the general reader and those who know a great deal about El Niño will appreciate this book." Mark A. Cane, Columbia University

Review:

"This is a provocative and useful summary of what we know, and what we would like to know about El Niño's influence on humankind. The book is a clear, scientifically definitive statement on an issue of concern to us all." Brian Fagan, University of California, Santa Barbara

About the Author

George Philander is Professor of Geosciences (Meteorology) at Princeton University. He is the author of Is the Temperature Rising: The Uncertain Science of Global Warming.

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix

PROLOGUE: Assessing Our Affair as It Approaches a Critical Juncture 1

PART 1: WHO IS EL NIO?

1 A Mercurial Character 11

2 A Fallen Angel? 28

3 A Construct of Ours 34

4 A Matchmaker 40

PART 2: OUR DILEMMA

5 Two Incompatible Cultures 65

6 "Small" Science versus "Big" Science 81

PART 3: COMMON GROUND

7 The Perspective of a Painter 93

8 The Perspective of a Poet 118

9 The Perspective of a Musician 129

10 A Marriage of the "Hard" and "Soft" Sciences 139

11 The Cloud 151

PART 4: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE

12 Predicting the Weather 161

13 Investigating the Atmospheric Circulation 177

14 Exploring the Oceans 189

15 Reconciling Divergent Perspectives on El Nio 213

16 Taking a Long-Term Geological View 227

PART 5: COPING WITH HAZARDS

17 Famines in India 237

18 Fisheries of Peru 240

19 Droughts in Zimbabwe 244

EPILOGUE: Becoming Custodians of Planet Earth 251

NOTES AND REFERENCES 259

INDEX 273

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691113357
Subtitle:
How We Transformed an Enchanting Peruvian Current into a Global Climate Hazard
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Philander, S. George
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
Weather
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Climatic changes
Subject:
El nino current
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Meteorology & Climatology
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Oceanography
Subject:
Meteorology
Subject:
Biological Sciences.
Subject:
Earth Sciences
Series Volume:
no. 355
Publication Date:
20040301
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 line illus. 1 halftone. 3 tables.
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 20 oz

Related Subjects

Our Affair with El Niño: How We Transformed an Enchanting Peruvian Current Into a Global Climate Hazard
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 296 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691113357 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "In summary, to explain El Nino requires an understanding of the Southern Oscillation....George Philander provides this understanding simply and authoritatively. He does so, not by losing the reader in elaborate descriptions of data acquisition and mathematical modelling, but by the apt use of analogies drawn from the viewpoints of the poet, musician and painter." (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)
"Review" by , "The most important thing I can tell you about Our Affair with El Niño is that I genuinely enjoyed reading it. Like the author, it is erudite, cultured, original, imaginative, idiosyncratic, and opinionated. George Philander is especially adept at providing easy-to-grasp analogies to illuminate complex material. Both the general reader and those who know a great deal about El Niño will appreciate this book."
"Review" by , "This is a provocative and useful summary of what we know, and what we would like to know about El Niño's influence on humankind. The book is a clear, scientifically definitive statement on an issue of concern to us all."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.