The American Institute of Physics has a surprisingly good summary of climate change science and its history, including current issues and how we understand what we do about it. This is something an organization like the American Meteorological Society should have done, but I’m very glad somebody did it.
Here are three samples:
It’s pretty interesting, suggesting that there is a lingering philosophical aversion to catastrophism in geophysics which resists ideas of rapid change, something which both John Tuzo Wilson and Eugene Merle Shoemaker encountered, the former arguing for plate tectonics, the latter arguing for impact cratering as a geologic process. Plate tectonics is now the dominant hypothesis for mountain formation and many other aspects of Earth’s long term processes. Impact cratering is now an accepted geologic process.
The section on “Ice Sheets and Rising Seas” explains why some people who doubt the potentially grave and imminent risks from climate change can find relatively recent reports to support their case. Our knowledge of these processes is relatively new, and some of the techniques which give the clearest readings of the non-linear and complicated systems like the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets were just developed in the last decade.