Our Affair with El Nino
How We Transformed an Enchanting Peruvian Current into a Global Climate Hazard
By (author) S. George Philander
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Our Affair with El Nino by S. George Philander
Book DescriptionUntil 1997, few people had heard of the seasonal current that Peruvians nicknamed El Nino. But when meteorologists linked it to devastating floods in California, severe droughts in Indonesia, and strange weather everywhere, its name became entrenched in the common parlance faster than a typhoon making landfall. Bumper stickers appeared bearing the phrase "Don't blame me; blame El Nino." Stockbrokers muttered "El Nino" when the market became erratic. What's behind this fascinating natural phenomenon, and how did our perceptions of it change? In this captivating book, renowned oceanographer George Philander engages readers in lucid and stimulating discussions of the scientific, political, economic and cultural developments that shaped our perceptions of this force of nature. The book begins by outlining the history of El Nino, an innocuous current that appears off the coast of Peru around Christmastime--its name refers to the Child Jesus--and originally was welcomed as a blessing. It goes on to explore how our perceptions of El Nino were transformed, not because the phenomenon changed, but because we did. Philander argues persuasively that familiarity with the different facets of our affair with El Nino--our wealth of experience in dealing with natural hazards such as severe storms and prolonged droughts--can help us cope with an urgent and controversial environmental problem of our own making--global warming. Intellectually invigorating and a joy to read, Our Affair with El Nino is an important contribution to the debate about the relationship between scientific knowledge and public affairs.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691126227
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 17-Apr-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author S. George Philander
Is the Temperature Rising?, Paperback (February 2000)» View all books by S. George Philander
How can we tell who is right, and how we should respond? And why is there no scientific consensus on a matter of such vital importance? This work addresses these questions. It describes how the interplay between familiar phenomena, winds and clouds, light and air, maintains climates that permit a diversity of fauna and flora to flourish on Earth.
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Author Biography - S. George Philander
George Philander is Knox Taylor Professor of Geosciences (Meteorology) at Princeton University. He is the author of "Is the Temperature Rising: The Uncertain Science of Global Warming" (Princeton).
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