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Fraser Institute makes new book on understanding climate change available to teachers and schools

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Release Date: March 6, 2008

VANCOUVER, BC- A new booklet summarizing the current state of climate change science in an easy-to-read format is being distributed to more than 15,000 Canadian teachers and students by independent research organization The Fraser Institute.

Understanding Climate Change is a comprehensive but easily readable explanation of what makes up the climate, how it is measured, and what science predicts is happening to the climate. Produced by The Fraser Institute, the book is a summary of issues examined by other peer-reviewed scientific papers including the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The booklet provides an overview of the many climate change issues that are known as well as a discussion of the many aspects of the science that remain uncertain. It is organized to largely follow the sequence of topics in the most recent IPCC report.

"This book doesn't debate whether or not the world is warming or how much of that warming is caused by human activity. Instead it provides readers with a basic understanding of how scientists measure and study the climate, along with an outline of what climate scientists know for certain and what remains relatively unknown," said Vanessa Schneider, Fraser Institute Director of Student Programs.

"By giving people an overview of the current state of climate science, they have more knowledge to better decide for themselves what kinds of policies are needed to deal with climate-related issues."

Some of the key questions the booklet touches on are:

  • How have climate-influencing factors changed over the past hundred or so years?
  • How do we measure climate change, and how much has the atmosphere warmed?
  • How have oceans, sea levels, glaciers, and other ice formations changed?
  • Are recent changes unusual compared to the last thousand, or hundred thousand years?
  • What is a climate model?
  • What are the limitations of climate models, and how do they help us understand the climate system?
  • What are predictions of future climate change?


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