________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 30 . . . . April 6, 2012


50 Climate Questions: A Blizzard of Blistering Facts. (50 Questions Series).

Peter Christie. Illustrated by Ross Kinnaird.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2012.
117 pp., pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.)
ISBN 978-1-55451-374-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-375-8 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Climatology-History-Juvenile literature.
Climatology-Juvenile literature.
Climatic Changes-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen.

*** ½ /4



Throughout Earth's 4.5 billion-year history, water vapor in the sky has held the most heat but the most change in temperature has come from just a little more or less carbon dioxide. During the past half a million years, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been less than 3 cups in every 10,000 cups of air. Yet a difference of a single cup from almost 3 to less than 2 contributed to worldwide chills that sent ice-age glaciers marching into Europe and North America.

Adding a cup, on the other hand, helped warm the place up. About 15 million years ago, the amount of carbon dioxide was closer to 4 cups per 10,000 cups of air. The world was too toasty for big ice caps at the North and South Poles. Less ice on land meant more water in the oceans and higher sea levels. If you could travel back in time, you'd need scuba gear to visit today's favorite beaches. They would have been underwater to the depth of a 10-story building.

50 Climate Questions: A Blizzard of Blistering Facts looks at climate change, both current and historical, from how climate affects us now to the effects climate has had on the history of humanity and on the history of the Earth. Presented in an easy-to-read format with plenty of humor, 50 Climate Questions covers a variety of topics without overwhelming readers.

      As with other books in the "50 Questions" series, this book is broken into chapters, with a few questions per chapter. Each question acts as a humorous opening to the topic being covered. This makes the information very accessible since the questions are organized rather than being presented randomly. The excellent detailed index will also aid readers in finding information.

      This information is presented in a humorous but well organized and east-to-read fashion. As can be seen from the excerpt, topics are discussed in language that is understandable to most readers, with a minimal use of jargon. Necessary terms are explained for the reader within the text. There is no glossary, but one is not particularly necessary. The humorous illustrations do not add much information but make this book fun as well as educational.

      A lot of information has been covered in 50 Climate Questions. There are a number of boxes of quick facts and other information that supplements the main text. However, the format of this book limits the coverage of each topic. Readers can still learn a lot from this book, and the "Further Reading" section gives a number of good resources for readers who want to look up more on individual topics.

      50 Climate Questions is a humorous, appealing, and informative look at climate change that can be enjoyed whether one is looking for a recreational read or for information for a school project.

Highly Recommended.

Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a graduate of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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