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ISBN: 9780865719590

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A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate

Everyone's Guide to the Science of Climate Change

A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate is an accessible myth-busting guide to the natural evolution of the Earth’s climate over 4.6 billion years, and how and why human-caused global warming and climate change is different and much more dangerous.

Richly illustrated chapters cover the major historical climate change processes including evolution of the sun, plate motions and continental collisions, volcanic eruptions, changes to major ocean currents, Earth’s orbital variations, sunspot variations, and short-term ocean current cycles. As well as recent human-induced climate change and an overview of the implications of the COVID pandemic for climate change. Content includes:

Understanding natural geological processes that shaped the climate

How human impacts are now rapidly changing the climate

Tipping points and the unfolding climate crisis

What we can do to limit the damage to the planet and ecosystems

Countering climate myths peddled by climate change science deniers.

A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate is essential reading for everyone who is looking to understand what drives climate change, counter skeptics and deniers, and take action on the climate emergency.


Steven Earle

Steven Earle, PhD, has taught university Earth Science for almost four decades and is author of the widely used textbook, Physical Geology. He participates in climate change research and community engagement with climate change solutions in the areas of transport and land stewardship on Gabriola Island, Canada, where he lives with his family.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


This chapter presents an overview of the forces that determine the Earth’s climate, the feedback loops that amplify them, and how slow geological processes can have huge implications. 17 $1.70


This chapter considers the role of the sun in climate change. While the sun seems constant to human perception, in reality it has been slowly getting hotter for billions of years. When compared … 15 $1.50


In this chapter, Earle explores the role of plate techtonics in the Earth’s climate. Key factors include albedo, continent drift, volcanism, and the formation of mountain ranges. 14 $1.40


This chapter is about why we have volcanic eruptions, how they differ in style and in size and why that’s important, and how they affect the Earth’s climate both on a short time … 22 $2.20


This chapter examines the role of the Earth’s orbital variations in determining the world’s climate. The tilt of the Earth’s axis and our irregular elliptical orbit around the … 15 $1.50


In this chapter Earle details the impact of ocean currents on the Earth’s climate. 16 $1.60


This chapter details the role of solar variation, especially in the form of sun spots, in determining the climate of the Earth. 14 $1.40


This chapter examines meteor impacts, in particular the Chicxulub Impact near the Yucatan Peninsula. 14 $1.40


In this chapter Earle turns to the role of humanity in changing our planet’s climate. Important forces include agriculture, fossil fuel consumption, and total population. 14 $1.40


This chapter explores various climate tipping points that loom in our near future. Topics include the increasing rate of forest fires, the melting of Arctic sea ice, melting permafrost, changing … 23 $2.30


The final chapter suggests potential courses of action on both individual and governmental levels. 21 $2.10