Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chapter 4

The chapter was dead on when describing climate change and global warming. Kolbert didn't just show graphs of increasing temperatures, instead she applied climate change to animal life. She displayed how there is evidence for climate change by simply examining the living habits of butterflies. She noted that butterflies, once thought to only live and thrive in specific areas, are now surviving outside of their native grounds due to the change in climate. In my opinion, this was a great way to apply the consequences of global warming.

Kolbert, showed climate change through the natural processes of nature, from mating habits to blooming seasons. I think she chose this method to depict the consequences of global warming because although graphs and studied suggest evidence for global warming, the change in nature vividly shows its effects, whether it's a change in mating habits as in the case of the common frogs or changes in the ability to survive on non-indigenous grounds.

Once again the only thing I don't like is Kolbert's character descriptions. They seem oddly placed, one minute she's talking about butterflies and then next she's describing a biologist that who resembles Ethan Hawk. Maybe its because I'm readied the book like a typical text book, I am thrown off when she goes off on descriptive tanginess.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Reading Chap 2 & 3

In chapters two and three, Kolbert introduces a variety of reasons that support the theory of global warming. In the beginning of chapter two she talks about the heightening of the earths surface temperature or the natural green house effect and how if unbalanced this natural occurrence can cause the earth to heat up. She points out that green house gases, at times, emits radiation absorbed by the sun back into the earth, as opposed to emitting the radiation in space, contributing to global warming.

Kolbert also provides findings from the work of Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius, to support the theory of global warming. Arrhenius concluded that industrialization is closely linked to climate change, he was the first to make this association.. This reminds me of all the “go green” initiatives we take today to try to undue the centuries of coal and fossil fuel emissions that have added to the Co2 build up. I love when Kolbert writes “Perhaps just because he was Scandinavian, he anticipated the results would be, on the whole, be salubrious.” Subtle sarcastic remarks like this can make the reading slightly more enjoyable for people not interested in global warming. However, Arrhenius didn’t foresee the harm that increased Co2 would incite, since he praised the process for the “abundant crops” that would grow as a result of warmer climates.

The different graphs and tables were also instrumental in displaying climate change and it’s effects on the earth. One thing I didn’t like or found distracting as a reader was the description of Jay Swally, the NASA Scientist. Kolbert writes “He is short and stocky with a round face and mischievous grin.” Unless his grin emits Co2 that contributes to global warming, I didn’t feel that details like this were crucial in explaining or understanding the severity of global warming.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Questions and Observations pg 1-34 Kolbert

1) The authors note immediately caught my attention, not because it’s one of the first pages, but because of what it said. The author writes, “The language of science is metric,” it reminded me of something I heard a while back which is that math is the language of heaven (space) and earth.

2) I also like the scene setting lede that Kolbert used in the preface that leads into the first chapter. She opens by talking about the lack of adventurous things to do in Greenland. Also when she talk about the reason why she wrote the book and how it got its start. By doing this, she develops a connection with the reader and makes herself more personable as opposed to her being a science write that readers can’t relate to. I feel that by making herself more personable to the reader she has gained the readers trust, ensuring that they will continue reading.

3) Questioin- Can animal life survive in the active layer like plant life ? Ie frozen frogs.