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Climate Change: In Context from Gale Virtual Reference Library

The goal of Climate Change: In Context is to help high-school and early college-age students understand the essential facts and deeper cultural connections of topics and issues related to the scientific study of climate change and its impacts on humanity.

The relationship of science to complex ethical and social considerations is evident, for example, when considering the political and economic impacts of climate change related to human activity. The data clearly and strongly convince the vast majority of scientists that unnatural global climate change is happening and that it is almost certain that it is due to anthropogenic activity (caused by humans). This book reflects that scientific consensus and expands the discussion from the question of whether climate change is real to the question of what should be done about it.

In an attempt to enrich the reader's understanding of the mutually impacting relationship between science and culture, as space allows we have included primary sources that enhance the content of In Context entries. In keeping with the philosophy that much of the benefit from using primary sources derives from the reader's own process of inquiry, the contextual material introducing each primary source provides an unobtrusive introduction and springboard to critical thought.

Climate Change: In Context is a collection of entries on diverse topics selected to provide insight into increasingly important and urgent topics associated with the study of climate change.

The articles in the book are meant to be understandable by anyone with a curiosity about topics related to the science of climate change, and the first edition of Climate Change: In Context has been designed with ready reference in mind:

  • Entries are arranged alphabetically, rather than by chronology or scientific subfield.
  • The chronology (timeline) includes many of the most significant events in the history of climate change science and advances of science. Where appropriate, related scientific advances are included to offer additional context.
  • An extensive glossary section provides readers with a ready reference for content-related terminology. In addition to defining terms within entries, specific Words-to-Know sidebars are placed within each entry.
  • A bibliography section (citations of books, periodicals, and Web sites) offers additional resources to those resources cited within each entry.
  • A comprehensive general index guides the reader to topics and persons mentioned in the book.


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September 13, 2010


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