HOW CLIMATE WORKS (Part 7) — Shawn Marshall on The Cryosphere

Part 7 from the How Climate Works symposium features Shawn Marshall of the University of Calgary on the cryosphere. We published his excellent book on the subject in the Fall or 2011 called THE CRYOSPHERE.

HOW CLIMATE WORKS (Part 6) — Michael Bender on Paleoclimate

Continuing with our series on talks from Princeton’s HOW CLIMATE WORKS symposium, here we see Princeton University geoscience professor Michael Bender discussing Paleoclimate. His new book PALEOCLIMATE will be availble July 2013.

HOW CLIMATE WORKS (Part 5) — David Archer on the Global Carbon Cycle

Renowned University of Chicago geophysicist David Archer discussed the Global Carbon Cycle. We published the book of the same name, THE GLOBAL CARBON CYCLE, in the Fall of 2010.

HOW CLIMATE WORKS (Part 4) – The Morning’s Q&A Session

For those following our HOW CLIMATE WORKS symposium videos, our latest addition is the morning’s Questions & Answers session.

HOW CLIMATE WORKS (Part 3) – David Randall on Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate

Part 3 from the HOW CLIMATE WORKS symposium here at Princeton University features David Randall, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University. He discussed his Princeton University Press book ATMOSPHERE, CLOUDS, AND CLIMATE, published in Spring 2012.

Harvard Professor of Geochemistry Charles Langmuir celebrates the revised edition of the book that has introduced generations of readers to the science of Earth’s origin and evolution

“Life evolves in relationship with the planet, and progressively modifies it to form a single integrated system.”–Charles Langmuir

View the video from its original source at Harvard Museum of Natural History’s website:


How to Build a Habitable Planet:
The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind (Revised and Expanded Edition)


Charles H. Langmuir & Wally Broecker

Since its first publication more than twenty-five years ago, How to Build a Habitable Planet has established a legendary reputation as an accessible yet scientifically impeccable introduction to the origin and evolution of Earth, from the Big Bang through the rise of human civilization. This classic account of how our habitable planet was assembled from the stuff of stars introduced readers to planetary, Earth, and climate science by way of a fascinating narrative. Now this great book has been made even better. Harvard geochemist Charles Langmuir has worked closely with the original author, Wally Broecker, one of the world’s leading Earth scientists, to revise and expand the book for a new generation of readers for whom active planetary stewardship is becoming imperative.

“To be worth being this unwieldy, a book ought to do something pretty remarkable. And that’s just what How to Build . . . does, as you can tell from its subtitle, The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind. Now that’s what you call a large canvas.”–Brian Clegg, Popular Science

HOW CLIMATE WORKS (Part 2) — David Schimel on Climate and Ecosystems

Part 2 from the HOW CLIMATE WORKS symposium here at Princeton University features David Schimel, a senior reserach scientist at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. He discussed his forthcoming Princeton University Press book CLIMATE AND ECOSYSTEMS, due out in June 2013 in our series Princeton Primers in Climate. In 2007, David was a corecipient of the Nobel peace Prize for his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s first report on the global cabron cycle.

Check out his talk below.

HOW CLIMATE WORKS symposium, co-sponsored by Princeton University Press and the Princeton Environmental Institute

On October 12, 2012, Princeton University Press and the Princeton Environmental Institute hosted a day-long symposium titled HOW CLIMATE WORKS. The symposium was held in conjunction with the publication of our latest titles in the well-received Princeton Primers in Climate series.

In this first of ten segments to be posted here the symposium speakers discussed their contributions to the Princeton Primers in Climate series. The introduction remarks were given by Princeton University Press biological sciences editor Alison Kalett and Princeton professor Geoffrey Vallis, author of CLIMATE AND THE OCEANS.

Harvard geochemist Charlie Langmuir and our new revised and expanded HOW TO BUILD A HABITABLE PLANET in the Harvard Gazette

There is a terrific feature on Harvard University geochemistry professor Charles Langmuir and our newly revised and expanded book HOW TO BUILD A HABITABLE PLANET: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind in the September issue of the Harvard Gazette.

From the article:

If there’s one thing Charles Langmuir wants to give people, it’s a sense of scale. The scale of their lives in human history, of human history in the lifetime of the Earth, and of the Earth in the long, broad span of the universe.

In other words, he wants to give them a little humility.

“You realize how small we are and that we are [just] a particle of the whole,” said Langmuir, Higgins Professor of Geochemistry and director of Harvard’s Mineralogical and Geological Museum.

A better sense of proportion might influence behavior, he said, so that people act as a part of nature rather than just users of it.

“It’s really what’s needed for the environmental problems we face,” Langmuir said.

Langmuir is in a somewhat privileged position to size up humanity. For the past 10 years, he worked to update “How to Build a Habitable Planet” (1985), a legendary textbook in the geosciences known for its accessibility and for the comprehensive view it takes of the Earth and its place in the universe. Earlier this month he discussed the book in a talk at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Langmuir, who came to Harvard in 2002, spent 20 years at Columbia University as a colleague of famed geoscientist Wallace Broecker, author of the original book. Broecker, who coined the term “global warming,” said he wrote “How to Build a Habitable Planet” because he wanted people to think more broadly about the Earth, its origins, and our impact on the planet.

The second edition, released this summer, has been greatly revised. As co-author, Broecker reviewed changes and revised some of the original chapters, but Langmuir did the bulk of the research and writing.

The original book’s nine chapters have been expanded to 21, and the page count more than doubled, to 720 from 300. That expansion was partly because Langmuir increased the book’s scope. The original didn’t include a discussion of biology, a central aspect in the Earth’s habitability, and today considered a powerful force in transforming its physical environment. Also fresh is a discussion of exoplanets, which weren’t discovered until the 1990s; recent research on the origins of life; findings on dark matter and dark energy, now known to be enormous forces in the universe; and insights on ocean floor thermal vents — Langmuir’s specialty….

Continue reading here


New Biology Catalog

We invite you to download and browse our 2012-2013 Biology catalog:

Be on the lookout for these new and forthcoming titles (just to name a few):

Nature’s Compass: The Mystery of Animal Navigation
by James L. Gould & Carol Grant Gould

Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life
by Enrico Coen

Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture
by R. Ford Denison

Solid Biomechanics
by Roland Ennos

How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin’s Finches
by Peter R. Grant & B. Rosemary Grant

Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate
by David Randall

The World’s Rarest Birds
by Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash & Robert Still

and more. There are too many great titles to list here. You’re just going to have to check it out online:

If you are attending the First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa, stop by and visit us at booth #105!

Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate by David Randall on’s Green blog

Princeton Primers in Climate is our new series of short, authoritative books that explain the state of the art in climate-science research. Written specifically for students, researchers, and scientifically minded general readers looking for succinct and readable books on this frequently misunderstood subject, these primers reveal the physical workings of the global climate system with unmatched accessibility and detail.

Today the series and its new book, David Randall’s Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate, received a nice review from Justin Gillis, environment writer for the New York Times on the’s popular Green blog.  Gillis has written recently about clouds’ effect on climate change, and he remarks on the book’s accessibility:

Readers ready for a book-length treatment of the topic may find the right level of detail in “Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate,” a new book by Dr. Randall published by the Princeton University Press. Dr. Randall, a professor at Colorado State University, is a leading climate scientist. His book is specifically aimed at college undergraduates taking their first dive into the subject, but anyone with a measure of scientific literacy should be able to follow it.

It walks readers through the basics of the energy cycle on the planet before embarking on a deeper consideration of feedbacks involving clouds and other parts of the “earth system,” as scientists call it.

Check out the review here, and a list of other books in the series on our website here.



If you’re ever in Brooklyn and want/need some drink and knowledge, check out the Secret Science Club as profiled in the New York Times

We were thrilled to read Jennifer Schuessler’s terrific story on the popular phenomenon of bar lecturing (and not in an intoxicated way, but a learned way!)  Check out her story here.  It looks like alcohol and science is a powerful (and successful) formula. 

The Press is pleased to have had the pleasure of working with the Secret Science Club as they’ve hosted talks for a handful of our science authors.  In particular, I was delighted to see friend-of-the-Press Dorian Devins at the SSC getting a mention!