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General Environmental Studies
Climate Change

This book is a message from many of the places where the effects of rapid climate change are being seen and where scientists are studying what is happening. It is also a report on what these changes mean and what we can do about them.

As a witness to climate change, I have stood in the empty rookeries of displaced Adélie penguins and felt the chill as huge icebergs separated from an ice shelf in Antarctica. I have seen the jagged fronts of receding Greenland glaciers and observed subtle changes on the tundra. I have tracked down Alpine glaciers depicted in 150-year-old images and rephotographed them to show them wasting away. In the woods of eastern North America I have walked among spring wildflowers and watched for migrant songbirds, which are arriving earlier each season than in decades past. Along the coasts I have seen rising tides and heavy storms erode beaches. I have heard the anguish in the voices of native Alaskans as they describe their village being washed away, of Chinese farmers facing famine caused by drought, and of Pacific Islanders driven from their homes by increasingly high tides. Global warming is affecting the whole world, from the tiniest ocean plankton to humans in their cities and the flora and fauna of entire river basins and mountain ranges.

These observations are part of a photographic project called "World View of Global Warming," for which I traveled to 22 nations and seven continents. This book presents this visual evidence and combines it with the latest scientific and social reports of changes taking place now. It details what is beginning to be done around the world to control rapid climate change and issues a call to action to citizens, leaders, and governments.

-- Gary Braasch

This program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the PIs and coordinating team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.