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The Copenhagen Diagnosis - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123869999

The Copenhagen Diagnosis

1st Edition

Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science

Author: 26 Leading Scientists
Paperback ISBN: 9780123869999
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 25th April 2011
Page Count: 114
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The Copenhagen Diagnosis is a summary of the global warming peer reviewed science since 2007. Produced by a team of 26 scientists led by the University of New South Wales Climate Research Centre, the Diagnosis convincingly proves that the effects of global warming have gotten worse in the last three years. It is a timely update to the UN’s Intercontinental Panel on Climate Change 2007 Fourth Assessment document (IPCC AR4).

The report places the blame for the century long temperature increase on human factors and says the turning point "must come soon". If we are to limit warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial values, global emissions must peak by 2020 at the latest and then decline rapidly. The scientists warned that waiting for higher levels of scientific certainty could mean that some tipping points will be crossed before they are recognized. By 2050 we will effectively need to be in a post-carbon economy if we are to avoid unlivable temperatures.

Authors: Ian Allison, Nathaniel Bindoff, Robert Bindschadler, Peter Cox, Nathalie de Noblet-Ducoudre´, Matthew England, Jane Francis, Nicolas Gruber, Alan Haywood, David Karoly, Georg Kaser, Corinne Le Que´re´, Tim Lenton, Michael Mann, Ben McNeil, Andy Pitman, Stefan Rahmstorf, Eric Rignot, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Stephen Schneider, Steven Sherwood, Richard Somerville, Konrad Steffen, Eric Steig, Martin Visbeck, Andrew Weaver

Key Features

  • Named a 2012 Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association's Choice publication
  • A synthesis of more than 200 timely, up-to-date, and peer-reviewed papers that serves as an interim evaluation of climate science midway through the IPCC Assessment Report cycle
  • Authored by 26 of the world's leading climate scientists, most of whom are also contributing authors to the IPCC Assessment Reports.
  • Covers a broad range of topics evaluated by the IPCC, including greenhouse gas emissions, the global carbon cycle, sea level rise, and future climate projections.
  • Topical boxes summarize each chapter and address commonly held misconceptions surrounding the science of climate change.


geo-scientists, life scientists and engineers; policy-makers, stakeholders, the media; interested laypeople; instructors and students at the undergraduate and graduate levels studying climatology, atmospheric science, oceanography, geology, environmental science and engineering, ecology, and, to a lesser extent, political science

Table of Contents

1. Greenhouse Gases and the Carbon Cycle
2. The Atmosphere
3. Extreme Events
4. Land Surface
5. Permafrost and Hydrates
6. Glaciers and Ice-Caps
7. Ice-Sheets of Greenland and Antarctica
8. Ice Shelves
9. Sea-Ice
10. The Oceans
11. Global Sea Level
12. Abrupt Change and Tipping Points
13. Lessons from the Past
14. The Future


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2011
25th April 2011
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author


CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles, 2012, American Library Association


"The Copenhagen Diagnosis is a very thoughtful, accessible and valuable update on the most advanced climate science. It has an overwhelmingly clear message: if we do not act strongly in this decade, then we risk causing irreversible and severe damage to our planet." -- Sir Nicholas Stern, I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science

"A must read book for those wanting the truth about climate change--credible and authoritative by some of the world's leading scientists." -- Dr. Robert Watson, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1997 to 2002

"This book by Allison (Ice Ocean Atmosphere and Climate Program, Australian Antarctic Division) et al., synthesizes of all the peer-reviewed scientific publications on human caused climate change since the publication of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007. The report provides the most up-to-date information on greenhouse gas emissions, the global carbon cycle, sea level rise, future climate projections, and more. Presented in relatively accessible language with dozens of charts, figures, and photographs, this book is intended for the general reader concerned with climate change as well as those in academia."--Reference and Research Book News

"The Copenhagen Diagnosis brings together the key findings of the most policy-relevant climate science published since the close-off of material for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).  This is no mean feat as many hundreds of papers have been published on topics related to human-induced climate change…The target audience for this book is broad and I consider it a must-read for anyone involved in energy."--EnergyNews, March 2012, Volume 30, no. 1, page 27

"This reviewer's office shelves groan with books on climate change and associated policy issues. However, there is no doubt that this update from the latest UN report on global climate change ranks number one for its combination of authoritativeness, impact, and suitability for both scientists and nonspecialists. Most of the book's 26 authors from eight nations collectively hold many scientific leadership positions and are contributors to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued in 2007. The volume is organized into 14 chapters that discuss greenhouse gases, events on land, glaciers, oceans, etc. The final chapters address ‘tipping points,’ examine the past, and consider what the future holds. Blue-ribbon panel reports and other collective works by academic authors tend to be filled with incomprehensible ‘scientese.’ This is not true with this work, produced under the leadership of the University of New South Wales (Australia) Climate Research Centre. It stands out for maximum conciseness in the text, minimum equivocation, and high-impact, colored illustrations. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates and above; informed general readers."--CHOICE

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