Water and ice by Noah Berlatsky 120 p. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven, 2011. 978-0-7377-4861-1
The forward shared with the other volumes in Greenhaven’s Confronting Global Warming series establishes climate change as a demonstrable issue with serious implications. By demanding thoughtful action, the series refuses to limit the issue to one side of the politically-charged debate about the role humans might play in rising temperatures.
Instead of debating whether climate change is taking is place, this book is predicated on the fact that sea level will adjust to rising carbon dioxide levels, and the location and form of water vapor on earth will affect the climate and occurrence of water and ice. The bulk of the text explores the nuanced interactions of climate, sea levels, precipitation, and drought.
There is data about the impact of increased rainfalls, record snowfalls, and extreme weather events on people and environments, including currents, coastlines, and glaciers. There are also predictions of consequences for potable water sources, given that the already-strained water supply will be taxed in a hotter, drier, climate.
The book describes the need for renewable energy but acknowledges the threats to wildlife, as well as cataloging existing efforts to use water for energy production, in particular projects in the Pacific Northwest where tides and waves feed hydroelectric plants. There is description of areas where rising sea levels threaten parts of California, the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Pacific island atolls. Includes discussion of how developing nations will contribute to industrial greenhouse gas mitigation, given a future of even greater interdependence between humans and the environment.
All the books in the series share an epigram invoking former Vice President Al Gore’s controversial polemics on global warming. This volume describes Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which widely publicized the imperative of climate change. In also publishing President Obama’s remarks on extreme weather, this book becomes perhaps the most politically charged in the series. Each chapter ends with endnote citations, and the list of resources for further study is considerable. There is an index. Recommended for school libraries.