Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Weather Book by Michael Oard

book cover

The Weather Book
by Michael Oard

ISBN-13: 9780890512111
Hardback: 80 pages
Publisher: Master Books
Released: 1997, 2006

Source: Bought from a local Christian bookstore.

Book Description from Back Cover:
The earth was created to be the dwelling place of man. It is a complex world and its weather patterns affect our lives every day. Whether you live near the equator, a polar region, or somewhere in between, knowledge of the weather is important.

The Weather Book will teach you:

  • Why our exact distance from the sun allows life on earth.
  • How the weather on the other side of the earth affects you.
  • How clouds form and how to identify the different types.
  • What the difference is between a cold and warm front.
  • Why you can often see lighting long before you can hear thunder.
  • How to build your own weather station.
  • How to survive in dangerous weather.
  • What the greenhouse effect and the ozone hole are.
  • What Noah's flood and the Ice Age have in common.
  • How weatherpersons forecast hurricanes and tornadoes.
  • How to read a weather map.
  • What our responsibility is to the environment.

Learning about the weather is fun! It will change the way you look at the clouds in the sky. You'll have more of an understanding about what is going on miles above your head. And when you hear a weather report on television, you'll understand so much more about the world around you!

About the Author:
Michael Oard was a meteorologist with the National Weather Frozen in Time Service beginning in 1973 and lead forecaster in Great Falls, Montana.

My Review:
The Weather Book is a nonfiction book about various types of weather and what causes that weather to occur. The author assumed that he had a Christian audience and spoke frequently in terms of "God created." He clearly explained each topic and defined the few scientific terms in the text (though there's also a glossary in the back). I think 11-year-olds on up can easily understand the information in this book.

There were full color pictures and illustrations. In the back, there's a 12 by 24 inch pull-out full-color poster with pictures from the book. Overall, I'd recommend this book to children and adults who are interested in learning more about the weather and the forces that cause the weather.

Chapter 1 explained how the earth shows special design by God. Chapter 2 talked about climate zones, what causes weather, weather trivia (hottest, wettest, etc.), how to read a weather map (like those printed in a newspaper), the jet stream, and El Nino. Chapter 3 explained the water cycle, cloud types, the elevation of those clouds, warm fronts, cold fronts, fog, and the dew point.

Chapter 4 talked about thunderstorms and lightening. Chapter 5 talked about hail and wind damage. Chapter 6 talked about hurricanes. Chapter 7 talked about winter storms. Chapter 8 talked about St. Elmo's Fire, Foehn winds, the lake effect, and ball lightening.

Chapter 9 talked about the clues to the earth's climate in the past--including the ice age--and how Noah's Flood explains the Ice Age better than secular explanations. Chapter 10 talked about the climate in the future, including global warming and the ozone layer. Chapter 11 talked about various weather instruments (thermometers, weather balloon, cloud photography, etc.) as well as how a child can make a weather vane, barometer, rain gauge, and do a condensation experiment. Chapter 12 talked about how Christians ought to relate to the environment.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
God used His infinite wisdom to create this earth. From the smallest to the largest feature of creation, He displays His intelligence, love, and careful attention to detail.

God placed the moon 240,000 miles (384,000 km) away from the earth--exactly the right distance to cause small tides in the ocean. If the moon were a little closer, it would cause severe tides and flooding. If it were only 50,000 miles (80,000 km) away instead of 240,000 miles, the tides would cover most of the continents twice a day. If the moon were farther away, much of the ocean would become heavily polluted. Tides mix the ocean water. The mixing helps to keep the oceans fresh by exposing more of the water to sunlight and by dispersing pollution. The amount of water in the ocean is important as well, because the oceans are large enough to dilute pollution.

Did you know that the sun is 400 times the size of the moon, and its distance is 400 times the distance of the moon from the earth? That is why the sun and moon, the greater and lesser lights of Genesis 1:16, look the same size in the sky.

The earth spins on its axis at just the right speed--once around every day. If it spun slower, the light side would be too hot for life and the dark side would be too cold. If the earth spun any faster it would cause fierce winds to blow.

If the earth's tilt were smaller, the higher latitudes would be too cold and an ice age would develop. If the tilt were greater, surface temperatures would fluctuate wildly, more so than today, making the climate more unstable. The tilt gives us our summer growing season. God has provided a time for us to grow our food everywhere on earth, except for the North and South Poles.

God placed just the right amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Our ocean is the right size to maintain the proper balance of water vapor in the atmosphere. These gases cause the earth to act like a giant greenhouse. If there were much less of these gases, the earth would be too cold.

Take a look inside the book.

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