A very greatly expanded version of a 120-minute program made for public television, The Weather Machine discusses the...

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THE WEATHER MACHINE

A very greatly expanded version of a 120-minute program made for public television, The Weather Machine discusses the possibilities of a new ice age in our lifetime. We are probably at the end of a warm period, since a cooling trend has been noted around the Earth -- in fact, for 95% of the past million years, the planet was much colder than we've experienced it. Most importantly, recent droughts in the Soviet Union, China, and Northern Europe, frost in Brazil, and floods in Canada have lowered the world's grain reserves until world famine is a clear danger. The weather is getting worse; the wind has changed gear. Calder discusses (with many illustrations) our present climatic oddities in the context of past centuries, points out possible causes for the changes (from the behavior of polar ice sheets to Earth's orbit around the Sun 10,000 years ago which is affecting present-day weather patterns), details the current state of meteorology, reveals new discoveries about the ice ages and outlines the threats for tomorrow. About 90,000 years ago, the warm Earth plunged overnight (in about a century) into a cold that had the full severity of an ice age and lasted for 1,000 years. Calder is not optimistic; our 30-year warm spell from 1920-50 was quite exceptional. ""Any natural change of climate is far more likely to be for the worse than for the better."" Nor does he believe that man's venal nature will rise above drought, disaster and snowblitz. The pictures are as striking as the text.

Pub Date: April 15, 1975

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1975