Academic journal article Geography

The Global Climate System: Patterns, Processes and Teleconnections

Academic journal article Geography

The Global Climate System: Patterns, Processes and Teleconnections

Article excerpt

The Global Climate System: Patterns, processes and teleconnections Howard A. Bridgman and John E. Oliver Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006 331pp, 19x25cm Hb: £35.00, ISBN 0-521-82642-X

Although it is not obvious from the title, this book aims to update the approach taken in the 1966 text The Earth's Problem Climates by Glenn Trewartha. The authors think it is time for a re-examination of the Earth's climate system, in particular regional climates that cannot easily be explained in the context of their surrounding climates. Recent developments in understanding teleconnections, society/climate interactions and climate change mean that there is much new material to examine since Trewartha's classic text was published.

By and large the authors are successful in their aim, and individual chapters include discussions of tropical deforestation, urbanisation, teleconnections and oscillations (such as ENSO and the NAO), the climates of the Arctic/ Antarctic and a broad history of post-glacial climates in the northern hemisphere. It should be obvious from the above list that this is a wide ranging text, full of surprises. Within each chapter climate experts from around the world have been invited to write short essays on their specialist subject. These vary considerably in tone and level, with some being highly technical and unsuitable for non-specialists (for example a discussion of ENSO and related teleconnections in Chapter 2) while others (for example, economic impacts of climate conditions in the United States in Chapter 8) could easily be read and digested by undergraduate students. …

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