For John Houghton, the Chief Executive of the Met Office at the time of the Great Storm in 1987, and founding member of the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), childhood curiosity about the natural world led to a quest for answers through science. Inspired by new, exciting developments in space and computing technologies he pushed to use both to expand the horizons of meteorology and climate science. Through the IPCC he worked with scientists across the globe to develop our understanding of changing patterns of weather and climate, and to show that the impact of this change on human communities and natural ecosystems is real - and menacing. Sir John's autobiography tells the story of a man who inspired a generation of scientists through his leadership, but also of the conflict this has brought him into with those who shared his Christian faith as well as with climate change deniers, in both America and Europe.
Sir John Theodore Houghton FRS was professor of atmospheric physics at the University of Oxford, before becoming Chief Executive at the Met Office. Founder of the Hadley Centre and President of the John Ray Initiative, he chaired or co-chaired the Science Working Group for the IPCC from 1988 to 2002.
"Having heard that Sir John Houghton was to publish his autobiography I was very much looking forward to reading it - and I was not disappointed. I enjoyed In the Eye of the Storm immensely. It is a wonderful account of a life of science and faith, much of it lived in the public eye (not always a comfortable position). This autobiography gives us a lovely picture of John Houghton as a man of real integrity, who despite his very distinguished career in meteorological science, has retained his essential humanity, his graciousness and modesty. He deals with successes and difficulties, with happiness and sadness with equal honesty. His care for God's creation shines throughout these pages, from his deep love of mountains (which I share) to his practical and very informed concern about climate change. Highly recommended."
John Bryant, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter
"John Houghton is a seminal figure in modern British science. His contribution to the understanding of climate change was crucial. He did more than anyone else to alert Margaret Thatcher to the issue and it was very much as a result of his scientific insights that led her to go to Rio and to be so strong an advocate for action against climate change. John is animated by a search for truth and by his deep belief in the stewardship we owe to a Creator God."
The Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben
"Writing in the eye of the storm, Sir John presents a model of integrity that inspires all of us to persist in the pursuit of truth in all things; we see greatness rising from humility, truth contrasted with vested misrepresentation, and devotion emerging from despair."
Dr Calvin B. DeWitt, Professor of Environmental Studies Emeritus, University of Wisconsin- Madison and President Emeritus, Au Sable Institute.
"With captivating narrative, this book brings to life the full sweep of the inspiring accomplishments of Sir John Houghton, a legend in our field. The passionate scientist, and his integrity and commitment to God's truth and his creation, shines throughout this illuminating, intimate, and eminently well written picture of the birth of modern climate science. A must read!"
Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University
"Sir John Houghton has been a towering figure at the centre of the advance in weather-climate science, from the first satellite instruments to the realisation that reducing carbon emissions is a global imperative. This book gives a fascinating account of Sir John's journey, in which he has always sought to find "the truth" based in both his science and his Christian faith, which for John are complimentary and mutually supportive. His vigorous and detailed discussion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a valuable record from one of its leaders over a major portion of its existence. His continuing drive to bring home to people around the world the need for action on climate change is inspiring, including his attempt to persuade the evangelical Christian movement in the US of the obligation to act as stewards for their planet. This book forms a valuable historical record of a dramatic period. I recommend it to a wide audience, including the aspiring young scientist, those interested in climate change and the debates around it, and those questioning the compatibility of science and religion."
Professor Sir Brian Hoskins CBE FRS, Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London
"This is the most edifying, personally engaging book on climate change I've ever read. It gives a historically fascinating and scientifically educating account of the evidence for, and consequences of, climate change. As an evangelical leader in the United States, I am prompted to action by his strong moral perspective and his clarion call to reverse it."
Dr Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor Northland, A Church Distributed, Orlando, Florida, USA
"In the Eye of the Storm is an inspiring record of one man's journey from a childhood curiosity with the world around him to receiving the Nobel Prize on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change some seventy years later. During that period he did as much as anyone to bring the importance of global climate change to public consciousness. The ups and downs of that process are interwoven in this account with the joys and sadnesses of Sir John's own family life, and with reflections on his strong Christian faith. It is a fascinating read for anyone concerned about the future of our beautiful yet fragile planet."
Robert S. White FRS, Professor of Geophysics, Cambridge University