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Review of new iBook: Going to Extremes

Posted on 24 June 2012 by BaerbelW

James Powell's iBook Going to Extremes is an informative read about the recent weather extremes around the globe, with an emphasis on the U.S. which experienced 14 billion-dollar weather disasters in 2011, the most in history. My short review will mostly be about the advantages of this - relatively - new type of book and not so much about the content which will be very familiar to regular readers of Skeptical Science.

The iBook-format is ideal for a topic like weather extremes and their relationship with climate change as it makes it easy to include not just pictures but also videos and interactive graphics. You'll come across videos from floodings as well as footage captured by satellite of events like the inundation of Cairo Beach:

These multi-media additions make reading this as an iBook a lot more interesting than reading it the "traditional way" as a printed book. I was especially impressed by several "before-and-after" satellite images depicting towns like Joplin before and after the tornado hit on May 22, 2011.

First you see this:

...and then - with just a little gesture or tip of your finger - this:

Another big advantage for both authors and readers of iBooks is the ease and speed with which it is possible to update them. For a book like Going to Extremes, this means that it can be kept current with regular updates to include more recent occurrences of extreme weather events. In fact, since being first published, James Powell has already added one chapter to the iBook with information up to June 6, 2012 and periodic future updates are planned.

With only around 100 iBook-pages, Going to Extremes is a very concise and quick read. For readers interested in more details, the author includes many live links to additional information available on the internet. Some of these links for example lead directly to the scientific literature supporting the theory that human caused global warming has become a major contributing factor in many extreme weather events around the globe (the author does make it clear that it's impossible to state that any single weather event was directly caused solely by global warming but, as the Earth warms and weather systems grow more energetic, an increase in extreme events has long been anticipated).

All in all a very worthwhile book to download as you'll get a lot of information readily available at your fingertips and at $0.99 this is really a bargain!

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Comments

Comments 1 to 14:

  1. Doesn't seem tone available from UK itoons book shop.
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  2. The article states that the US experienced $14billion in weather disasters in 2011.

    There were 14 $billion-plus-each weather-related disasters in the US in 2011, for a total cost of $54billion.

    See the January 26 post here:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/archive.html?year=2012&month=01
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  3. Make that $55billion.
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  4. Thanks D_C_S for the heads-up! Re-reading the statement, I realised that the "14" is actually the number of "billion-dollar" weather disasters happening in the U.S. in 2011 and not the amount they incurred. I have updated the post accordingly.
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  5. Les: I show it for sale in the UK store. Not sure what the problem is.

    Others: I have added the missing hyphen and updated the iBook. Try that in a print book!

    As a reminder, because of the software used to accomplish the interactivity, these Apple iBooks only work on an iPad. I hope that will change and believe it will.
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  6. Ahhh - I tried from iPhone.
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  7. It may be $3.99 as per download link - then I do live in Australia which is costly!!
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  8. I Can't find it in the Dutch ibook store?
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  9. I do not have Itunes because I am working under LINUX ... any idea to download the book (wine produces error-message und Debian Lenny Linux)
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  10. It should show up in the Dutch store soon and the price should be $0.99U.S. or the equivalent in each currency.

    It will only work on an iPad, not in Linux.
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  11. 99p here in the UK. And it is a brilliant piece of work and extremely good value! It is, however, rather depressing, particularly in the light of the failure of Rio.
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  12. Is there an Android version?
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  13. Michael, you might want to check out caliber to see if it can help. It can connect to itunes and has extensive conversion facilities (some built-in, some via plugins).
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  14. I can't purchase the book in the Canada store.
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