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Science Global Warming & Climate Change

A Brief History of the Earth's Climate

Everyone's Guide to the Science of Climate Change

by (author) Steven Earle

New Society Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Global Warming & Climate Change, Environmental Conservation & Protection, General, Meteorology & Climatology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


I love it. Earle understands the big climate picture and paints it with exceptional clarity.
— JAMES HANSEN, director, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia University Earth Institute

What's natural, what's caused by humans, and why climate change is a disaster for all

A Brief History of the Earth's Climate is an accessible myth-busting guide to the natural evolution of the Earth's climate over 4.6 billion years, and how and why human-caused global warming and climate change is different and much more dangerous.

Richly illustrated chapters cover the major historical climate change processes including evolution of the sun, plate motions and continental collisions, volcanic eruptions, changes to major ocean currents, Earth's orbital variations, sunspot variations, and short-term ocean current cycles. As well as recent human-induced climate change and an overview of the implications of the COVID pandemic for climate change. Content includes:

  • Understanding natural geological processes that shaped the climate
  • How human impacts are now rapidly changing the climate
  • Tipping points and the unfolding climate crisis
  • What we can do to limit the damage to the planet and ecosystems
  • Countering climate myths peddled by climate change science deniers.

A Brief History of the Earth's Climate is essential reading for everyone who is looking to understand what drives climate change, counter skeptics and deniers, and take action on the climate emergency.


  • SILVER | 2022 IPPY Awards - Science

About the author

Steven Earle, PhD, has taught university Earth Science for almost four decades and is author of the widely used textbook, Physical Geology. He participates in climate change research and community engagement with climate change solutions in the areas of transport and land stewardship on Gabriola Island, Canada, where he lives with his family.


Steven Earle's profile page


  • Runner-up, IPPY Awards

Editorial Reviews

"I love it. Earle understands the big climate picture and paints it with exceptional clarity." — James Hansen, director, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia University Earth Institute

"People interested in climate change, which these days should be everyone, need a basic understanding of the science of why Earth's climate is the way it is, and why it sometimes changes. Earle's book makes that complicated story easy to grasp. It's a model for clear science writing, and it forcefully awakens readers to what's at stake and what needs to be done."
Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute, author, Power

"An informative, succinct, and fascinating read — Steven Earle offers a unique and detailed account of Earth's climate history. His innate story-telling ability, coupled with his remarkable talent for making complex scientific information accessible, makes this page-turner a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the Earth's climate system."
Andrew Weaver, professor, University of Victoria, lead author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, second, third, fourth, and fifth Assessment Reports, former chief editor, Journal of Climate

"An engaging tour through the complex natural processes at play in writing the Earth's long history of natural climate change to our present climate emergency. This primer will give campaigners, policymakers, and concerned citizens a more thorough understanding of climate science and renewed conviction to go all in on applying the brakes, leaving fossil fuels behind, and embracing a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable future."
Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Advisor, David Suzuki Foundation