Our Books

The Long Thaw: How Humans are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate, David Archer (Princeton University Press, 2009).

Publisher’s description:

Global warming is usually represented as a hundred-year problem, say to the year 2100. In The Long Thaw, David Archer, one of the world’s leading climatologists, shows how a few centuries of fossil-fuel use will change the climate of the Earth dramatically for hundreds of thousands of years into the future. The great ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will take more than a century to melt, we think, but the climate impact from fossil fuel CO2 will last long enough for the ice sheets to respond fully to the warmer climate, changing sea level one hundred times more than the forecast for the year 2100. A planet-wide thaw driven by humans has already begun, but Archer argues that it is still not too late to avert dangerous climate change—if humans can find a way to cooperate as never before.


In this short book, David Archer gives us the latest on climate change research, and skillfully tells the climate story that he helped to discover: generations beyond our grandchildren’s grandchildren will inherit atmospheric changes and an altered climate as a result of our current decisions about fossil-fuel burning. Not only are massive climate changes coming if we humans continue on our current path, but many of these changes will last for millennia. To make predictions about the future, we rely on research into the deep past, and Archer is at the forefront of this field: paleoclimatology. This is the book for anyone who wishes to really understand what cutting-edge science tells us about the effects we are having, and will have, on our future climate.

Richard B. Alley, Penn State University

This is the best book about carbon dioxide and climate change that I have read. David Archer knows what he is talking about

James Hansen, NASA

Books on climate change tend to focus on what is expected to happen this century, which will certainly be large, but they often neglect the even larger changes expected to take place over many centuries. The Long Thaw looks at climate effects beyond the twenty-first century, and its focus on the long-term carbon cycle, rather than just climate change, is unique.

Jeffrey T. Kiehl, NCAR

A great book. What sets it apart is that it expands the discussion of the impacts of global warming beyond the next century and convincingly describes the effects that are projected for the next few thousand years. What also sets it apart is how deeply it takes general readers into the scientific issues of global warming by using straightforward explanations of often complex ideas.

Peter J. Fawcett, University of New Mexico

Archer has perfectly pitched answers to the most basic questions about global warming while providing a sound basis for understanding the complex issues frequently misrepresented by global warming skeptics. With a breezy, conversational style, he . . . provides a complete picture of climate change.

—Publishers Weekly

[An] enjoyable and fast-paced treatise. . . . Archer leads the reader to a simple yet accurate picture of climate changes, ranging from geological time scales to current warming, ice ages and prospects for the future.

—Susan Solomon, Nature

Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming Michael Mann and Lee Kump, (2008).

Publisher’s description:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been issuing the essential facts and figures on climate change for nearly two decades. But the hundreds of pages of scientific evidence quoted for accuracy by the media and scientists alike, remain inscrutable to the general public who may still question the validity of climate change.

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