A Brief History of the Earth's Climate

Everyone's Guide to the Science of Climate Change

Table of contents


1. What Controls the Earth's Climate?
2. A Slowly Warming Sun
3. Sliding Plates and Colliding Continents
4. Cooling and Warming from Volcanic Eruptions
5. Earth's Orbital Variations
6. Moving Heat with Ocean Currents
7. Short-term Solar Variations
8. Catastrophic Collisions
9. A Plague of Humans
10. Tipping Points
11. What Now?

About the Author
About New Society Publishers

What's natural, what's caused by humans, and why climate change is a disaster for all


A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate is an accessible, illustrated, myth-busting guide to the natural evolution of the Earth’s climate over 4. 6 billion years, how and why human-caused global warming and climate change is different and more dangerous, and how to counter skeptics and deniers with sound science.


  • Runner-up, IPPY Awards 2022


"I love it. Earle understands the big climate picture and paints it with exceptional clarity." — James Hansen, director, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Columbia University Earth Institute

"People interested in climate change, which these days should be everyone, need a basic understanding of the science of why Earth's climate is the way it is, and why it sometimes changes. Earle's book makes that complicated story easy to grasp. It's a model for clear science writing, and it forcefully awakens readers to what's at stake and what needs to be done."
Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute, author, Power

"An informative, succinct, and fascinating read — Steven Earle offers a unique and detailed account of Earth's climate history. His innate story-telling ability, coupled with his remarkable talent for making complex scientific information accessible, makes this page-turner a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the Earth's climate system."
Andrew Weaver, professor, University of Victoria, lead author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, second, third, fourth, and fifth Assessment Reports, former chief editor, Journal of Climate

"An engaging tour through the complex natural processes at play in writing the Earth's long history of natural climate change to our present climate emergency. This primer will give campaigners, policymakers, and concerned citizens a more thorough understanding of climate science and renewed conviction to go all in on applying the brakes, leaving fossil fuels behind, and embracing a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable future."
Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Advisor, David Suzuki Foundation