Last edited by Muramar
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 | History

4 edition of Plows, plagues, and petroleum found in the catalog.

Plows, plagues, and petroleum

W. F. Ruddiman

Plows, plagues, and petroleum

how humans took control of climate

by W. F. Ruddiman

  • 174 Want to read
  • 25 Currently reading

Published by Princeton University Press in Princeton, NJ .
Written in English


Edition Notes

StatementWilliam H. Ruddiman.
Classifications
LC ClassificationsQC
The Physical Object
Paginationxiv, 202 p. :
Number of Pages202
ID Numbers
Open LibraryOL22634481M
ISBN 100691121648

How could so few people with such primitive technologies have altered Earth's climate so long ago? Yet, the past years have been kind to humanity. In climate science, the explanation for an observation the presence of ice sheets where none exist today, or of ancient streambeds in modern-day deserts more commonly ends up with several contributing factors in plausible contention. Climatologists track trends in climate over recent decades. What we tend to think of as "pre-impact" climate is actually not natural at all, but a result of pre-industrial humans efforts in agriculture.

Thousands of researchers across the world explore many aspects of the climate system, using aircraft, ships, satellites, innovative chemical and biological techniques, and high-powered computers. Geochemists can tell from the kind of carbon preserved in the teeth and bones of humans and other animals the mixture of plants and animals they ate. During this period, carbon dioxide has increased from years ago and so has methane years ago. More research was needed to quantify relevant factors.

All rights reserved. By examining ice cores from around the world scientists have been able to link levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane to the various cycles of earth's climate history. Now the missing links in the record of human evolution are at most missing minilinks. Scattered around the universities and laboratories of the world were people studying pollen grains, shells of marine plankton, records of ocean temperature and salinity, the flow of ice sheets, and many other parts of the climate system, both in their modern form and in their past manifestations as suggested by evidence from the geologic record. According to previous interglacial periods the concentration of carbon dioxide should have fallen by about 20 parts per million instead of rising by 20 parts per million.


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Plows, plagues, and petroleum book

The author does not say that global warming is either good or bad, but merely is. The third great revolution, the one that eventually led to the theory Plows plate tectonics, began in when Alfred Wegener proposed the concept of continental drift.

He also presents his data in a politically neutral way. Recensioner i media Winner of the Book Award in Science, Plows Beta Kappa "[A]n excellent book summarizing and placing in context the age-old influence of humans on atmospheric composition, climate and global warming.

Ruddiman cites various researchers in geology and astronomy who pioneered the understanding of earth's climate as a function of its orbit. After all, it was human-caused global warming that averted an ice age and allowed our species to thrive as has. Approximately 10, years ago the ice that once covered large portions of the northern hemisphere began to recede and gave rise to a new way of life for early humans.

The observed warming in the past years is only half of that Plows over years. Ecologists and biological oceanographers investigate the roles of vegetation on land and plankton in the ocean.

Critical assessment[ edit ] Gavin Schmidta climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, described Ruddiman's ideas as intriguing, but the conclusions largely depended on a comparison of methane changes in the current warm period with those in the Vostok ice core which correlated with orbital changes, and more recent research indicated that these might not be applicable to present changes.

However, about 8, years ago humans first developed agriculture and a domesticated lifestyle that allowed them to continually inhabit regions and build large civilizations. As with the three earlier revolutions, the one in climate science has come on slowly and in fact is still under way.

The book concludes by looking to the future and critiquing the impact of special interest money on the global warming debate. What we tend to think of as "pre-impact" climate is actually not natural at all, but a result of pre-industrial humans efforts in agriculture.

Ruddiman takes us through three broad stages of human history: when nature was in control; when humans began to take control, discovering agriculture and affecting climate through carbon dioxide and methane emissions; and, finally, the more recent human impact on climate change.

The basalt layers can be dated by the radioactive decay of key types of minerals enclosed within. His new book expands on the ideas currently in the research literature, answering his critics and building a strong case for human induced anthropogenic climate change beginning years ago.

For example, only recently has it become clear that very rare collisions of giant meteorites with Earth's surface also play a role in evolution by causing massive extinctions of most living organisms every few hundred million years or so.

Slower but steadily accumulating changes had been underway for thousands of years, and the total effect of these earlier changes nearly matched the explosive industrial-era increases of the last century or two. How and when did the criminal enter the house?

Governments are meant to show leadership. Geochemists trace the movement of materials and measure rates of change in the climate system.

Along the way he raises the fascinating possibility that plagues, by depleting human populations, also affected reforestation and thus climate - as suggested by dips in greenhouse gases when major pandemics have occurred. Is it then possible or even desirable that we reverse this course?

The argument seems quite plausible, but is by no means conclusive. The intervals investigated vary from the geological past many tens of millions of years ago to the recent historical past and changes occurring today. This resulted in increased amounts of carbon dioxide being taken out of the atmosphere, hence causing global temperatures to cool down.

Throughout the record of carbon dioxide and methane emissions there are drops and rises in the amount of concentrations present in the atmosphere.

Plows, Plagues and Petroleum

This, according to Ruddiman, will result in a continued warming trend that will only stop when technology either produces a new source of fuel or figures out a way to separate the carbon dioxide emissions prior to being released into the atmosphere.

According to previous interglacial periods the concentration of carbon dioxide should have fallen by about 20 parts per million instead of rising by 20 parts per million.

The Earth is still catching up, and when it and petroleum book, we are in for trouble Part 5. The result has been an unintended warming cycle that prevented the earth from entering into another ice age.

Even though the details of the pathway from apes to modern humans still need to be Plows out, the basic trend is clear, and no credible scientist that I know of has plagues major doubts about the general sequence.Nov 09,  · This is the exciting but controversial theory conveyed by palaeoclimatologist William Ruddiman in his well-written book Plows, Plagues and Petroleum.

I am Cited by: 8. Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum is the first book to trace the full historical sweep of human interaction with Earth’s climate. Ruddiman takes us through three broad stages of human history: when nature was in control; when humans began to take control, discovering agriculture and affecting climate through carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

Get this from a library! Plows, plagues, and petroleum: how humans took control of climate. [W F Ruddiman] -- Did humankind's active involvement in climate change really begin with the industrial revolution, as is commonly believed? While our massive use. Aug 04,  · Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate [William F.

Ruddiman] on atlasbowling.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The impact on climate from years of industrial development is an everyday fact of life, but did humankind's active involvement in climate change really begin with the industrial revolutionCited by: Feb 25,  · In Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum Ruddiman advances two novel arguments about human-induced climate change.

First, the author makes the case that a combination of carbon dioxide from forest clearance and methane from wet-rice agriculture began to alter Earth's atmosphere at least 5, years ago, preempting the onset of a new Ice Age. Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum is the first book to trace the full historical sweep of human interaction with Earth's climate.

Ruddiman takes us through three broad stages of human history: when nature was in control; when humans began to take control, discovering agriculture and affecting climate through carbon dioxide and methane emissions 3/5(1).