A Layman's Guide to Climate Change

Book's publisher hopes to highlight what people can do about the threat to our planet.

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In the next five minutes, more than 330,000 tons of carbon dioxide, caused by fossil fuel burning, will enter the atmosphere. The Arctic will lose up to 3 square miles of its multiyear ice (if the recent rate of loss were to continue and be spread throughout the year). Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels will trap enough energy from the sun to power more than 13 trillion 60-watt light bulbs. And the Amazon will lose about 600,000 square feet of climate-preserving rainforest.

Climate change is among the major issues facing our world today, and a second edition of “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” is here to help.

Written by meteorologist Robert Henson and published by Rough Guides, the 366-page guide cuts through scientific and political debate to lay out the facts in a straightforward, easily digestible way. Its aim is to ensure people have the information on symptoms, science and solutions to climate change at their fingertips.

Rough Guides publishes travel guides and reference books, including “Shopping with a Conscience” and “The Weather,” and has released the second edition of “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” with up-to-the-moment information including major 2007 developments such as melting of the Arctic sea ice; highlights from the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports; an updated politics section; and an expanded “What You Can Do” section with tips to help people reduce their carbon footprint and coverage of such issues as bottled water.

Henson is a science writer who works for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.

“Climate change has drawn massive global attention in the last year,” he says, “but there is still much confusion and misinformation surrounding the topic. Critical decisions will be made in the next several years. The more clearly each of us understands climate change, the better prepared we are to tackle long-term sustainable solutions. ‘The Rough Guide to Climate Change’ is a wake-up call for society to change and adapt its behavior.”