Author and atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel is a rare animal—a conservative who believes humans have induced climate change. The second edition of What We Know About Climate Change (MIT Press) (MIT Press) explains the central issues in the arguments about climate change including greenhouse gas physics (in just five and a half pages!) and how to tell the difference between normal atmospheric variation and human-caused change.Emanuel published the first edition of What We Know in 2007. It was one of a growing number of books describing the harm inflicted by humans on the earth’s atmosphere. What drew attention to the book was the author’s politics. A 2011 Los Angeles Times story described him as “A politically conservative climatologist who accepts the broad scientific consensus on global warming.” It was a position held by few scientists.
The book’s second edition includes additional evidence that supports the contention that human-caused climate change is a significant risk to humankind. Emanuel cites new evidence about ocean acidification as one of the most serious threats from carbon dioxide output from fossil fuel use. And he also includes a discussion of options for responding to climate change.