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David Phillips

Downsview (Ont.), Environment Canada, 1990. 176pp, paper, $19.95
ISBN 0-660-13459-4. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Susan E. Fowler.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Climatologist David Phillips has put together a resource book that is both colourful and crammed full of useful climate and weather information.

The book is divided into four sections. The introduction provides readers with basic information about the factors responsible for climatic varia­tion. It includes descriptions of solar energy, the motions of the earth, formation of air masses, and the effects of latitude, land forms and water bodies on the climate of an area. Mention is made as well of local variation due to such things as vegetation cover and urban versus rural location.

The second section of the book looks at the elements of climate. In addition to the major components - tempera­ture, precipitation, air pressure and wind systems - Phillips examines variation in hours of sunlight and the formation and effects of fog, ice, floods, drought, and various types of storms.

In the third and largest section, Phillips describes the climates of each of the provinces and territories. He examines the factors responsible for each climate type and includes statistics on "weather superlatives" for each province as well as "meteorological moments" - accounts of particularly severe weather such as Hurricane Hazel for Ontario or the Edmonton tornado of July 1987.

The fourth section of this book is a short one dealing with climate change and its possible future impact. This section is followed by a glossary, a bibliography, and an appendix of climatic data for seventeen Canadian cities.

The format of this book is very inviting. No page is without either a colour photograph or a diagram, chart or map - some pages have all four. Colour insert boxes provide additional statistical information, or in some cases weather records, or climate trivia. Because each section stands alone, the reader can go directly to the information he or she wants - there is no need to read the book in sequence.

This book should have wide appeal. It is attractive, up to date and easy to understand. It provides a great deal of environmental information, at a time when environmental concerns are of increasing priority to many Canadians.

Susan E. Fowler, Centennial Secondary School, Belleville, Ont.
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