Books et al.Climate Studies

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Science  27 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6323, pp. 355
DOI: 10.1126/science.aak9693

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Last year's adoption of the Paris Agreement signaled widespread political will to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury while aiming to keep the rise in global average temperatures to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels. More than 100 nations ratified it, and the mood was optimistic as countries reconvened this year to talk implementation. That is, until the U.S. election put climate change denialism back on the table. As political momentum slows, perhaps there is no better time to glance at the "rear-vision mirror of history," as suggested by Anthony McMichael in Climate Change and the Health of Nations. The book's goal is not to make predictions but to motivate change, which McMichael does by bringing into focus humanity's sensitivity to fluctuations in the natural climate system throughout history.