Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198715931

Bill McGuire
152 ページ
115 x 173 mm
Very Short Introductions



  • Explores the different types of global catastrophes that our planet faces
  • Considers the probability of these sorts of events happening and our chances of survival
  • Looks back at previous global disasters including the ice ages
  • Looks at a number of case studies around the world and what we can learn from them
  • Examines the impact global warming will have on the potential for global catastrophes in future

New to this Edition:

  • Updated case studies of recent disasters, including the Japanese earthquake and tsunami (2011), the Haiti earthquake (2010), Hurricane Sandy (2012), the Philippines typhoon (2013)
  • 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
  • Include recent research about threats from space
  • Further reading section to be updated

Life on earth will come to an end. It's just a matter of when. In this Very Short Introduction, Bill McGuire explores the many potential catastrophes facing our planet and our species in the future, and looks at both the probability of these events happening and our chances of survival. 

From the likely consequences of global warming to the inevitable destruction of the earth in the far future, McGuire considers a range of 'end of the world scenarios', including the New Ice Age, asteroid and comet impact, supervolcanoes, and mega-tsunami. 

Updated with a number of recent case studies from around the world, this new edition brings our understanding of global disasters and risk research up to date. 


1: Planet Earth: in a nutshell
2: Global warming: a lot of hot air?
3: The Ice Age cometh
4: The enemy within - super-eruptions, giant tsunamis, and the coming great quake
5: The threat from space - asteroid and comet impacts
Further reading


Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London
Bill McGuire is an academic, science writer, and broadcaster. He is currently Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London. He was a member of the UK Government Natural Hazard Working Group established in January 2005, in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami, and in 2010 a member of the Science Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE) addressing the Icelandic volcanic ash problem. His latest book Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes published in 2012. He presented the BBC Radio 4 series, Disasters in Waiting and Scientists Under Pressure and the End of the World Reports on Channel 5 and Sky News.