Climate Change: An Encyclopedia of Science, Society, and Solutions. By Bruce E. Johansen. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017. 3 vols. Acid-free $309 (ISBN 978-1-4408-4085-2). E-book Available (978-1-4408-4086-9), call for pricing.

An up-to-date and critical examination of international issues is essential as climate change creeps higher up the global agenda every year. While there are many works on this topic, circumstances change so quickly that it can be difficult to capture in this format. Author Dr. Bruce E. Johansen, the Fredrick W. Kayser Professor of Communication and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, offers up this timely three volume set as an investigation into societal impact, science, and solutions. This is the author’s fourth encyclopedic work on the topic of climate change and global warming. The work’s intent is to address the disconnect between scientific study of climate change and the language of popular discourse and policy making. To that end, many of the topics are inherently political and they have far-reaching global impact, the solutions for which take up a large amount of political real estate.

The three volumes are laid out topically (“Land and Oceans,” “Weather and Global Warming,” “Human Impact and Primary Documents”) rather than chronologically which suits the subject matter well for beginning researchers who are having difficulty narrowing in on manageable research topics within an area as complicated and broad as climate change. Although some of the major topic sections are vague (“Terrain,” “Flora and Fauna,” “Global Warming” for example) they are laid out clearly by subtopic in the table of contents. While the scope of these three volumes is wide and ambitious, it is in no way an exhaustive study of every aspect of climate change. It offers case studies and examples selected by the author to illustrate the social and scientific contributors to climate change as well as future solutions. Subtopics range in specificity from vast (Coal, Automobiles, Solar Power, for example) to quite focused (Wine Grapes and Warming, Allergies, and Pine Beetles), offering a variety of entry points. Related topics are referenced at the conclusion of each entry, though researchers will have to refer to the index to locate page numbers. Each subsection includes a bibliography for further reading.

As to be expected on a topic as far-reaching as climate change and environmental impact, there are many reference texts on this subject, several of which that have been published in the last two years. Another similarly all-encompassing and introductory set on climate change is the second edition of Steven I. Dutch’s Encyclopedia of Climate Change (Salem Press, 2016), another three-volume set in this arena that markets itself toward high school students and undergraduates with easy to use, topically organized essays with glossaries and bibliographies.

There are other recent and similarly organized texts on this subject matter, but this three-volume set is recommend for two- and four-year institutions with introductory courses in environmental studies as it offers accessible snapshots of various topics under major subheadings and gives researchers a broad yet thorough examination of topics related to climate change.—Mandy Babirad, Instructional Services Librarian, SUNY Morrisville, Morrisville, New York


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