Treading on thin air Atmospheric physics, forensic meteorology, and climate change : how weather shapes our everyday lives

Elizabeth Austin

Book - 2016

"A world-renowned atmospheric physicist, revealing how the climate is an inescapable part of our daily lives, shows how the effects and impacts of weather on humans, society and the planet are changing with the times and what it means for our future, "--Amazon.com.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Pegasus Books 2016.
Edition
First Pegasus books cloth edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xi, 273 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-258) and index.
ISBN
9781605988221
1605988227
Main Author
Elizabeth Austin (author)
  • Surfing the Stratosphere
  • The Business of Weather
  • Where's the Dead Body!
  • The War Effect
  • The Art of Clouds
  • It's Super Cool to Supercool
  • A SAGE Experience
  • Water Wars
  • La Réunion
  • The Wind is from the Left
  • The Healing Power of Music and Women in Science
  • A Toxic Awakening
  • La Calamidad de México
  • The China Factor
  • Plane Crashes
  • A Canary in the Coal Mine
  • Extreme Extremes
  • Forensics, Extreme Wx, and Death
  • "Saint Francine" of Assisi.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Atmospheric physicist and forensic meteorologist Austin has had a fascinating career that includes everything from experiences with record-setting aviator Steve Fossett to high-altitude studies involving tornado intensity and the causes behind the crash of Air France flight 447. She is clearly knowledgeable and gives readers a brisk overview of each topic while also offering a compelling look into her unique field and the opportunities it offers. The book suffers somewhat from dueling narratives as Austin shifts from essay-like chapters on strictly scientific experiences to personal reflections on her difficult first marriage to a steroid-addicted emotional abuser and her delight in finding love and parenthood with her current husband. Some readers will want more from these teasing digressions than Austin provides, while others will wish she focused solely on science. The author herself seems uncertain which story is more compelling as she attempts to fully integrate them into a science-infused memoir. This means a little patience is required for readers navigating these otherwise intriguing literary waters. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Choice Reviews

Austin, founder and president of WeatherExtreme Ltd., a company that provides weather reconstruction for forensic purposes, has written a personal memoir and science book loosely woven around the general theme of women in science and her career and experiences as an atmospheric scientist. She presents a menagerie of personal anecdotes and opinionated discussions on topics including science education, business aspects of atmospheric science, plane crash meteorology, the creation of snow in Chinese ski resorts, weather modification, weather radar, toxic shock syndrome, dying corals, and her own family life. Though not the primary focus, a discussion on climate change is presented; this is not rhetorically extreme, which is unusual in popular atmospheric science literature. Overall, this title is an informal autobiography of an interesting woman's life in science (with little scientific detail) and will appeal to a general audience. Austin presents her work from the point of view of a successful scientific business owner, which this reviewer found to be the most remarkable and interesting part of the story. Nonetheless, the reviewer would have preferred more details regarding how Austin's business was envisioned, implemented, and then maintained. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers. --T. N. Chase, University of Colorado Thomas N. Chase University of Colorado Thomas N. Chase Choice Reviews 54:02 October 2016 Copyright 2016 American Library Association.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

In this mix of memoir and popular science, Austin, founder and president of WeatherExtreme Ltd., takes readers on a global tour and up into the heights of the stratosphere to learn about weather, climate, and how it affects our planet and our lives. "Weather is tied to profits, margins, demands, inventory, planning, and retail expansion," Austin writes, illuminating the rationale behind creating her own company to put her degree in atmospheric physics to work. She has studied cloud chemistry, weather modification, and the structure of the upper atmosphere. As a forensic meteorologist, Austin has been an expert witness in hundreds of legal cases, explaining how weather can be a factor in murder investigations, tornado destruction, and deadly auto and plane crashes. Austin jumps from topic to topic over the course of the narrative, but what her book lacks in structure, it makes up for in raw enthusiasm, whether she is discussing the evidence for climate change, chiding the media for failing to get their science correct, or encouraging more women to take up science careers. This far-ranging book should whet readers' appetites for learning more about meteorology and its surprisingly broad applications. (May) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Looks at the extensive effects of weather upon humans and human society, and how the climate is changing in many ways.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A world-renowned atmospheric physicist, revealing how the climate is an inescapable part of our daily lives, shows how the effects and impacts of weather on humans, society and the planet are changing with the times and what it means for our future.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Weather is an inescapable part of our daily lives, from the nuances of air travel to the breadth of human history.  Our past, present, and future is intimately rooted is weather and climate. Weather, water, and climate. How we feel, how productive we are, even our sheer existence, depends on these three things. The United States economic activity varies annually by 1.7% due to weather'that is more than $500 billion dollars each year! Weather applications on mobile devices are the second most popular 'apps' ' more popular than social networking, maps, music, and news. In Treading on Thin Air, Dr. Elizabeth Austin, a world-renowned atmospheric physicist, reveals how the climate is intimately tied to our daily lives. The effects and impacts of weather on humans, society and the planet are changing with the times. Dr. Austin will demystify climate change, revealing what is really happening with our climate and why, whether it is El Nino, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. Weather and society are at its most fascinating at extremes, and as Dr. Austin is one of a handful of forensic meteorologists around the globe. She has been called upon to investigate plane crashes, murders, wildfires, avalanches, even bombing cases. Drawing upon her rich experiences, Austin's Treading on Thin Air promises to be an enlightening and informative journey through the wild word of weather.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Treading on Thin AirTreading on Thin Air

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Weatheris an inescapable part of our daily lives, from the nuances of air travel tothe breadth of human history. Our past,present, and future is intimately rooted is weather and climate.