Climate Toolkit: A Resource Manual for Science and Action
Frank Granshaw, Portland State University
Copyright Year: 2020
Publisher: Portland State University Library
Conditions of Use
The Climate Toolkit is a much needed, hands-on approach to understand past, current, and future climate dynamics and interactions. The book is incredibly comprehensive, covering most of the major components of the climate system, but showcasing... read more
The Climate Toolkit is a much needed, hands-on approach to understand past, current, and future climate dynamics and interactions. The book is incredibly comprehensive, covering most of the major components of the climate system, but showcasing hands-on examples across the board. The table of contents makes it easy to find relevant topics and the accompanying exercises.
With ample links to outside sources, this is a very accurate and unbiased example of how to explore these topics on your own.
This book focuses more on the processes, even when it comes to the mitigation and adaptation sections, making it super relevant now and well into the future. Given that every exercise relies upon an external website, updates will certainly be needed to maintain all of the rich content. However, all links have worked so far!
There is no excessive jargon used in this at all. I refer to it as our "plain-language" resource, as it gets to the point very quickly, and then allows students to explore on their own the data behind the concepts.
This text is highly consistent from one section to another, and the questions at the end are written consistently (i.e. they build in complexity from Activity A - D) throughout the sections.
Given the focus on activities, each section is highly modular. There is not a lot of text in any section, as the focus is interacting with data and visualizations, meaning readers can easily hop from one section to another.
I found this text to be organized very close to other climate texts; it starts with a focus on the basic principles, then moves into current and future impacts, and finally into mitigation and adaptation exercises.
PDF has large white space gaps and some of the images/figures were cut off. But, the web-version is very well designed. Weblinks work very well from both. I really appreciate the appendices at the end, but found myself wanting some of the "further resources" to be referenced in each of the sections.
I have not found any noticeable spelling or grammatical errors.
This text certainly showcases primarily US examples (especially Oregon), but I was heartened to see one of the exercises focusing in on the Quinault Indian Nation. More examples from other regions of the world (like that in Section 7) would certainly help others localize these concepts. But, given that most resources are globally available, it is not hard to cater the exercises to a different region. Some website require really fast internet to work, so there could be some accessibility challenges for communities without reliable internet access.
The Climate Toolbox is an excellent resource for undergraduate-level assignments/exercises that explore the components of our climate, the reality of our past, current and future climate, and what to do about it all. Thank you to the author for curating the equivalent of a GIS exercises book for climatology.
Table of Contents
- Part I. Weather / Climate Basics
- Part II. Present Impacts
- Part III. Past Climate Change
- Part IV. Potential Climate Change
- Part V. Going forward - Mitigation, adaptation, and action
About the Book
The Climate Toolkit is a resource manual designed to help the reader navigate the complex and perplexing issue of climate change by providing tools and strategies to explore the underlying science. As such it contains a collection of activities that make use of readily available on-line resources developed by research groups and public agencies. These include web-based climate models, climate data archives, interactive atlases, policy papers, and “solution” catalogs. Unlike a standard textbook, it is designed to help readers do their own climate research and devise their own perspective rather than providing them with a script to assimilate and repeat.
The activities in the manual are divided into five sections that include weather and climate basics, present climate impacts, past climate change, future change and impacts, and strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation. These are followed by three appendices which contain information about the on-line tools used in the activities in this manual; a catalog of on-line and print resources produced by research groups, government agencies, and community groups involved in climate and sustainability work; and background on the history and key players in the international climate negotiation process.
Though originally aimed at undergraduate non-science majors, the manual has been broadened for a wider audience in non-academic settings like community groups, service organizations, workplace study groups, and faith communities.
About the Contributors
Frank Granshaw, Portland State University