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Published by The MIT Press

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Published by: The MIT Press on Apr 22, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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The MIT Press
Fall 2008
 
CONTENTS
architecture
3, 13-17
art
 bioethics
 biology, evolutionary biology 
 business
2,41
cognitive science
cognitive neuroscience
computer science
current affairs
cultural studies
3, 9,11,34,36-38,39
economics
education
environment
evolutionary psychology 
fiction
23, 37
film, film studies
game studies
gender studies
19, 24,35,47
history 
history of computing 
history of science
history of technology 
46,49,58
international affairs
63, 65
 linguistics
71 
nature
neuroscience
new media
philosophy 
photography 
politics, political science
25,27, 42, 48, 50, 55-56, 62, 64-65
race studies
science
1,26,52
science, technology, and society 
48-50, 57, 60,61
technology 
urban studies
22,29,49, 61,65
 vision
Semiotext(e)
Zone Books
Front cover, inside front cover,and back cover photographsby Julia Christensen.From
Big Box Reuse
.
 
1
CO
2
RISING
The World’s Greatest Environmental Challenge
Tyler Volk
 The most colossal environmental disturbance in human history is under way.Ever-rising levels of the potent greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO
2
) are alteringthe cycles of matter and life and interfering with the Earth’s natural coolingprocess. Melting Arctic ice and mountain glaciers are just the first relatively mildsymptoms of what will result from this disruption of the planetary energy balance.In
CO
 2
Rising 
, scientist Tyler Volk explains the process at the heart of global warming and climate change: the global carbon cycle. Vividly and concisely,Volk describes what happens when CO
2
is released by the combustion of fossilfuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), letting loose carbon atoms once trapped deepunderground into the interwoven web of air, water, and soil. To demonstrate how the carbon cycle works, Volk traces the paths that carbonatoms take during their global circuits. Showing us the carbon cycle from a carbonatom’s viewpoint, he follows one carbon atom into a leaf of barley and then intoan alcohol molecule in a glass of beer, through the human bloodstream, andthenback into the air. He also compares the fluxes of carbon brought intothe biosphere naturally to those created by the combustion of fossil fuels andexplains why the latter are responsible for rising temperatures.Knowledge about the global carbon cycleand the huge disturbances that human activity produces in it will equip us to consider thehard questions Volk raises in the second half of 
CO
 2
Rising 
: projections of future levels of CO
2
; which energy systems and processes(solar, wind, nuclear, carbon sequestration?) will power civilization in the future; therelationships among the wealth of nations,energy use, and CO
2
emissions; and globalequity in per capita emissions. Answeringthese questions will indeed be our greatestenvironmental challenge.
Tyler Volk is Science Director of EnvironmentalStudies and Associate Professor of Biology at New York University. He is the author of 
Gaia’s Body:Toward a Physiology of the Earth
(MIT Press),
Metapatterns: Across Space, Time, and Mind 
, andother books.An introduction to the globalcarbon cycle and the human-causeddisturbances to it that are at theheart of global warmingand climate change.
October5 3/8 x 8, 264 pp.38 illus.
$22.95T/£14.95 cloth
 Also available 
GAIA’S BODYToward a Physiologyof the Earth
Tyler Volk2003, 978-0-262-72042-7$22.00T/£14.95
science/environment

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