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PhysicsWorld Archive

Warming to the story of climate change

  1. Ahilleas Maurellis
May 2004
Article Type

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Article summary

That one should never take observations too seriously until they have been tested by theory – a sentiment attributed to Sir Arthur Eddington in the context of general relativity – has almost been taken as a dictum in this finely written history of global warm- ing. The only difference here would be to substitute the word “theory”for “models”. Written by Spencer Weart – director of the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics – the book provides a useful background to present-day climate studies. The author weaves a very readable tale of a discipline driven by observations and by often fiercely held opinions or, at the very least, working hypotheses.