John Lynch The Weather

ISBN 13: 9781552976401

The Weather

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9781552976401: The Weather
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Perhaps because we can't always predict it, and certainly can't control it, our fascination with the weather never seems to wane. But despite our frequent powerlessness in the face of it, there is much we do know. The Weather takes a thrilling voyage to the heart of this phenomenon, that even in an age of air conditioning and artificial environments, is still central to the everyday life of the planet. From hurricanes and sandstorms, monsoons to avalanches, solar storms to the jet stream, The Weather showcases the most dangerous and dynamic forces of the weather.

Created by veteran BBC producer, editor and writer John Lynch, The Weather explains the science of weather clearly and accessibly, illustrated throughout with color photographs and graphics from The Learning Channel/BBC television series. The Weather begins with the basic questions: What is the weather, and what drives it? The book then goes on to cover every global weather phenomenon, with an in-depth introduction and sections on Wind, Wet, Cold and Hot. The book is especially revealing on how humans interact with weather -- how we've adapted to it, suffered from it, harnessed it, and, finally, how we may be inadvertently changing it. The final section, Change, is a look at the meaning of global climate change patterns.

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About the Author:

John Lynch is the Creative Director, Science for BBC Television and is responsible for all documentary science series for the BBC. He was executive producer of The Planets and Walking with Dinosaurs and the award-winning Fermat's Last Theorem.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Seeds of Weather

Sit on a hillside overlooking the sea on a warm summer's day, relax in the golden heat of the afternoon, pluck the head from a dandelion and blow away the seeds-watch them scatter in the wind and you will have become part of the weather. As the tiny seeds fly through the air at your behest, the microturbulence you have created will meet updrafts of warm air from the field and little eddies of wind will spiral upwards into the sky above. More air will be drawn into the void left behind by the rising air, creating a gentle wind that plays on your face, the beginnings of a shore breeze. Meanwhile, far above you, some of the tiny particles of pollen from the seeds will continue to ascend, reaching so high into the air that they find themselves in a region of icy cold. Here they may form a "seed" of another kind -- the heart of an ice crystal -- as even tinier molecules of water cluster around them and hold fast. In turn these microscopic structures of ice will play in the up- and downdrafts in the weird world at the top of what is now a spreading thundercloud, growing to become pellets of hail or falling and inexorably melting out as rain that eventually drenches the grass around you. Instead, as the cloud spreads out in the familiar anvil shape of a summer storm, some of the crystals and their passengers of pollen may be carried far across the globe by the superfast winds of the jet stream, eventually perhaps sprinkling down as snow on the cap of a distant mountain and there melting, to become torrent that cuts its way down a river gorge, across a parched flood-plain and out towards the sea. And the water that then flows from this estuary on the far side of the world may in turn undergo an epic journey through the depths of the ocean, to return perhaps five hundred or a thousand years later to the very spot where you are sitting. It may drift in once again as a cloud, to rain on the ground and to be drawn up by the roots of the ten-thousandth generation of the dandelion plant that you held in your hands. For the weather is something that is in us and all around us, a huge interconnected force of chaos: a force of creation and destruction, a thin veil that shrouds our planet and allows us to live and thrive.

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