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Elizabeth Austin

Atmospheric Physics, Forensic Meteorology, Climate Change: How the Weather Shapes our Every Day Lives

Weather is an inescapable part of our daily lives, from the nuances of air travel to the breadth of human history. Our past, present, and future is intimately rooted is weather and climate.

In TREADING ON THIN AIR, Dr. Elizabeth Austin, a world-renowned atmospheric physicist, reveals how the climate is intimately tied to our daily lives. The effects and impacts of weather on humans, society and the planet are changing with the times. Dr. Austin will demystify climate change, revealing what is really happening with our climate and why, whether it is El Nino, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes.

• The economic activity in the US alone various 1.7% due to weather, whether it is food production, farming roadblocks like drought, flood or extreme cold, or freight shipments over land or sea—it's all affected by weather! 1.7% = $500 billion dollars each year. And that’s just in the US…
• Weather applications on mobile devices are the second most popular ‘apps’ – more popular than social networking, maps, music,and news. It’s what we can always talk about!
• Dr. Austin has been called upon to consult and investigate everything: should the military launch a drone attack in the middle east this week — or will there be a danger of sand storms? Was that ski slope death really the result of an avalanche or foul play?
• Airplane crashes are always subject to her input as well, to rule out a weather incident and make sure the crash was indeed a result of mechanical failure or human error. (Sometimes, the weather is indeed responsible, as in the crash on the Air France flight coming back from Argentina that was hit by lightening).

Dr. Austin interweaves these personal stories of her work with the wider picture of climate and weather, what it means for society at its extremes (tornadoes, hurricanes, floods) and the more subtle changes, like when the temperature rises by just a few degrees world wide (much bigger than most people realize for jetstreams, etc.). Austin is one of a handful of forensic meteorologists around the globe. She has been summoned to investigate plane crashes, murders, wildfires, avalanches, even bombing cases. Drawing upon her rich experiences, and with weather and society most fascinating at extremes, TREADING ON THIN AIR promises to be an enlightening and informative journey through the wild word of weather.

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German World Book Sebastian Ritscher
Mohrbooks AG
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