The weather is always topical, it is the one thing we all have in common although we may experience it in many different ways. Throughout human history the weather has been friend and foe, something to marvel at, to fear, to avoid, to predict and even to change. Much has been written about weather and the 551.5s is a good place to start if you want to read some of it. Below are some titles that stood out for me.
The weather experiment : the pioneers who sought to see the future by Peter Moore is a chronicle of the 19th-century scientists, thinkers and sailors who battled to understand the weather. In particular, it focuses on Robert Fitzroy (captain of the HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin’s epochal voyage) and his pursuit of meteorology at a time when it was discredited by the scientific world. To read a detailed book review from The Guardian go to:
Treading on thin air by Elizabeth Austin PH.D. reminds us that the weather is an inescapable part of our daily lives and that our past, present, and future is intimately rooted in weather and climate. The book, which is part memoir, takes us on a journey to the world of weather and climate and how they directly impact our lives.
The sun’s influence on climate by Joanna D. Haigh and Peter Cargill is part of the Princeton Primers in Climate series written for students, researchers and ‘scientifically minded general readers’. The series aims to explain state-of-the-art climate science research. This title covers the basic properties of the Earth’s climate system, the structure and behaviour of the Sun and the absorption of solar radiation in the atmosphere. It explains how solar activity varies and how it impacts the Earth’s environment from long-term paleoclimate effects to human-induced climate change time-scales. A text that is both comprehensive and succinct.
The Weather Makers: The history & future impact of climate change by Tim Flannery is widely recognised as a flagship Australian book on the still controversial topic of climate change. Questions Flannery addresses include: What does climate change mean? How will global warming affect our lives? Is it the cause of wilder storms and more frequent drought? Are these events inevitable? The book, which has won a number of awards, has been described as poetic, exciting, passionate and full of knowledge.
Ecosystems at Risk by Stephen Aitken is part of the Climate Crisis series aimed at providing easy to understand explanations for what is a very complex topic. In this title the Ecosystem’s vulnerability to climate change is explored through the perspectives of the world’s food web and biodiversity. It describes why islands and mountains are vulnerable and they are indicators of potential mass extinctions. Titles in the Climate Crisis series also include Animal Life, Ocean Life, Plants & Insects and People.
Floods: Be aware and prepare by Renee Gray-Wilburn is part of the Weather Aware series of books aimed at very young children. Titles in the series include Droughts, Hurricanes and Tornadoes. The text and images are readily accessible to young readers, explain how these phenomena form, their effects and how children can prepare and stay safe.
Whatever the weather : science experiments and art activities that explore the wonders of weather by Annie Riechmann and Dawn Suzette Smith.
Cassie Griffin, creator of The Crafty Crow, says about this book:
“Curiosity about weather shouldn’t end with a weather report. Whatever the Weather explores the whys of weather while having fun with creative science experiments, art projects, and activities that the whole family can enjoy.” You can get a sneak peak here: http://amzn.to/2dOloF6
The diversity of books in the 551.5’s is indicative of the many ways the weather piques our interest and demands our attention. There is, of course, Weather to be found in other Dewey areas but that is simply because it impacts every aspect of our lives, whether or not we’ll acknowledge it…
Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.