In chapter 16, Tim Flannery (2006) discusses computer models of climate change and the accuracy of their predictions. Past models were not accurate, but new Hadley climate model allows creating precise future climate model. Then, the author discusses effects of sulfur dioxide emissions and aerosols on climate change and concludes that the future of global warming is in the hands of human beings.
The main theme of the next chapter is times that Flannery thinks are the most responsible for the increase of CO2 emissions. The author thinks that excessive consumerism of the people that lived after World War II makes them the most responsible for the drastic increase in CO2 emissions. The book explains how pollution of the earth surface, atmosphere and oceans led to the drastic increase in energy consumption by earth's population and the rise of the planet's temperature.
The 18th chapter talks about the effects global warming has on mountains. The author argues that rising temperature will force mountain-dwelling species used to lower temperatures to go higher up until they have nowhere else to go. This will cause dying out of many mountain-dwelling plants and animals, such as Bowerbirds, green ringtails, and tree kangaroos. The mountains will stop being something special and turn into a taller version of the land found at the bottom of the mountain.
Chapter 19 talks about warming's influence on natural habitats. In the past, species survived because they migrated. Presently, excessive human presence prevents migrations. The author brings up an example of the fynbos in the Cape Fold Mountains, one of the world's floral kingdoms. Because of warming, fynbos will lose half of its species by 2050 because they cannot migrate. If humans do not act now, by the end of this century, three out of five species will become extinct.
In chapter 20, Flannery uses an example of the ocean creatures to show effects of global warming. Author claims that pulled out of the water deep-sea dwelling creatures do not die because of changes in pressure but because of changes in temperature. Therefore, increase in CO2 level and rising of temperature will lead to the extinction of many ocean-dwelling species.
In chapter 21, the author discusses the theme of a large scale sudden climate changes. He discusses three scenarios such as a release of methane from the ocean, collapse of the Amazon rainforest, and the collapse of the Gulf Stream. Flannery compares human's impact on the climate with firing a gun. He makes a point that one wielding a gun can aim and pull the trigger but then the bullet cannot be controlled, and damage cannot be undone. Similarly, humans triggered climate change, but they cannot control it.
The last chapter of the third part of the book addresses the long-term impact that the drastic climate change will have in cities and urban areas. Flannery offers the opinion that cities are extremely vulnerable because of their big demand for resources which will be increasingly difficult to obtain. Flannery connects demise of civilization to lack of resources. Current resources will last for thousand years, and the first resource to disappear will be water. Flannery envisions that Europe and North America will be engulfed in unending winter due to cooling off of the Gulf Stream.
The third part of the book, Science of Prediction, discusses possible scenarios that the planet will go through when sudden climate change will become reality. Part 3 discusses computer models of future climate changes, origins of significant CO2 emissions, and the impact of climate change on natural habitats of plant and animal species. The author describes possible short and long-term scenarios that might take place in cities as well as the ocean, mountain ranges, and earth surface due to global warming.
Flannery, T. (2006). The weather makers: How man is changing the climate and what it
means for life on earth. New York, NY: Grove Press.