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Geophysical and Climate Hazards: A Very Short Introduction (3rd edition) [#145]
Geophysical and Climate Hazards: A Very Short Introduction (3rd edition) [#145]

Geophysical and Climate Hazards: A Very Short Introduction (3rd edition) [#145]

Bill McGuire
  • Takes a fresh look at hazardous geophysical phenomena through the prism of global heating and climate breakdown, providing a new perspective on the storms, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that threaten lives and livelihoods.
  • Both geophysical and climate hazards are addressed in a single volume
  • Provides the most up-to-date overview of the increasingly deadly impact of global heating on our civilisation via unprecedented weather events and the potential amplification of geological hazards

New to this Edition:

  • Updated case studies of recent disasters
  • Important updates to research on hazard and risk science
  • Updates to reflect the changes in global warming, including changes in emissions, ice melt rates, and migratory measures


In this Very Short Introduction Bill McGuire takes a fresh look at our sometimes perilous planet, and evaluates the causes and consequences of what used to be thought of as 'natural' hazards through the prism of planetary heating and the continuing destabilising of our climate.

Our world has always been a dangerous and deadly place, and storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic blasts have taken an enormous toll on lives and livelihoods throughout recorded history and before. In the past, such events were regarded first as acts of God, or gods, and later as simply a consequence of hazardous natural phenomena that are a normal part of how our planet works. In recent decades, however, this picture has changed. Relentless global heating, arising from the 2.4 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere as a result of human activities, has completely altered the 'natural' hazard landscape. There has long been a debate about whether - due to the influence of societal and economic factors - there is such a thing as a truly natural disaster. Now, the debate has moved on to whether or not the hazards that cause them can any longer be described as entirely natural. Our damaged climate has driven an explosion of extreme weather, which has become ever more apparent in recent years via the super-charging of storms, floods, heatwaves and wildfires. The fingerprints of global heating can be detected even in individual events that would have been extremely unlikely to have happened, or even been impossible, in its absence. Meanwhile earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions continue to plague communities and take lives, while even here there are links with a changing climate that have the potential to magnify their occurrence and impacts.



1:Hazardous Earth
2:Earthquakes and tsunamis
3:The volcanic menace
4:Storm force
5:Fire and flood
6:Existential threats and systemic shocks

Further Reading

About the author: 

Bill McGuire, Professor Emeritus of Geophysical & Climate Hazards, University College London
Bill McGuire is a volcanologist, climate scientist, activist, and writer. He is Professor Emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at UCL, a co-director of the New Weather Institute and a patron of Scientists for Global Responsibility. In 1996, he was a Senior Scientist at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and in 2010 a member of SAGE during the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis. In 2005, he was a co-author of the UK Government report: The Role of Science in Natural Hazard Assessment. He was a contributor to the 2012 IPCC report on climate change and extreme events.

Product details

ISBN : 9780192874535

Bill McGuire
160 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Feb 2024
Very Short Introductions
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Geophysical and Climate Hazards: A Very Short Introduction (3rd edition) [#145]

Geophysical and Climate Hazards: A Very Short Introduction (3rd edition) [#145]

Geophysical and Climate Hazards: A Very Short Introduction (3rd edition) [#145]