Book review: 30-second Meteorology

Tuesday 01st Mar 2016 by the Weather Club

Photo: 30-second Meteorology - The 50 most significant events and phenomena, each explained in half a minute. Editor: Adam A. Scaife, Foreword by Julia Slingo.
Publishers: Ivy Press (2016). £14.99

This is a beautiful and tactile coffee table book, whilst being a handier size than most coffee table books. It consists of seven sections; 1) the elements, 2) the global atmosphere, 3) the Sun, 4) weather watching and forecasting, 5) can we change the weather, 6) weather cycles and 7) extreme weather.

Each sections comes with a glossary and profiles of historical leaders in their fields such as Milankovitch, Rossby, Walker and Richardson. The text has been contributed by nine leading meteorologists from the UK and beyond with each topic consisting of a short description and explanation, followed by short summaries and a related illustration on the facing page. There is good cross referencing and a consistent layout throughout make it a very easy book to dip in to. Its lack of equations, charts and graphs make it an unintimidating book, although it does occasionally slip into jargon. 

This brings us on to the interesting question of who this book is best suited to? I showed it to a group of geography teachers, who thought it was perfect for people like them who "ought to know but maybe don’t". This could also be extended to include people who "would like to know" and would be a great book to pick up and browse, whatever the weather. 

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