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Zephie Begolo

Chris Turney

Ice, Mud and Blood

We hear a kit about climate change, but none of us has experienced such changes, and so it can be hard to get a feel for what it may mean, or even to take it seriously. In Ice, Mud and Blood: Lessons from Climates Past Chris Turney shows what has been found out about similar climate swings in the past, and how they affect our current understanding of climate.

The book starts with a look at the PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum) which was a greenhouse episode 55 million years ago. Turney also describes the idea of 'Snowball Earth'' - the Earth might have completely frozen over about 700 million years ago. Most of the book is concerned with somewhat more recent events though, within the last couple of hundred thousand years. This was mostly a time of ice ages, but there was a warm period - the Eemian - about 120 thousand years ago, and there were also regular 'Heinrich events' where much of the polar ice broke away and melted. The last few chapters look at the fluctuations since the end of the last ice age, including cooling and warming during the last millennium.

The book is very reaable and is aimed at a wide readership. Sometimes I wished for more diagrams of the timelines being described, but I guess this would have made it a bit too 'textbooky'. It will certainly help the reader to see that the prediction of future climate change don't just come out of thin air, there is plenty of solid science behind it.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews