The Ends of the World

The Ends of the World
  • Author : Peter Brannen
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Pages : 336
  • Relase : 2017-06-13
  • ISBN : 9780062364821

The Ends of the World Book Review:

One of Vox’s Most Important Books of the Decade New York Times Editors' Choice 2017 Forbes Top 10 Best Environment, Climate, and Conservation Book of 2017 As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet's history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet's five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future. Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside “scenes of the crime,” from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record—which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of sea gulls and guillotine-mouthed fish—and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits. Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light.

The Ends of the World

The Ends of the World
  • Author : Peter Brannen
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Pages : 320
  • Relase : 2017-09-07
  • ISBN : 9781786070081

The Ends of the World Book Review:

Apocalypse, now? Death by fire, ice, poison gas, suffocation, asteroid. At five moments through history life on Earth was dragged to the very edge of extinction. Now, armed with revolutionary technology, scientists are uncovering clues about what caused these catastrophes. Deep-diving into past worlds of dragonflies the size of seagulls and fishes with guillotines for mouths, they explore how – against all the odds – life survived and what these ominous chapters can tell us about our future.

Super Volcanoes: What They Reveal about Earth and the Worlds Beyond

Super Volcanoes: What They Reveal about Earth and the Worlds Beyond
  • Author : Robin George Andrews
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
  • Pages : 265
  • Relase : 2021-11-02
  • ISBN : 9780393542073

Super Volcanoes: What They Reveal about Earth and the Worlds Beyond Book Review:

An exhilarating, time-traveling journey to the solar system’s strangest and most awe-inspiring volcanoes. Volcanoes are capable of acts of pyrotechnical prowess verging on magic: they spout black magma more fluid than water, create shimmering cities of glass at the bottom of the ocean and frozen lakes of lava on the moon, and can even tip entire planets over. Between lava that melts and re-forms the landscape, and noxious volcanic gases that poison the atmosphere, volcanoes have threatened life on Earth countless times in our planet’s history. Yet despite their reputation for destruction, volcanoes are inseparable from the creation of our planet. A lively and utterly fascinating guide to these geologic wonders, Super Volcanoes revels in the incomparable power of volcanic eruptions past and present, Earthbound and otherwise—and recounts the daring and sometimes death-defying careers of the scientists who study them. Science journalist and volcanologist Robin George Andrews explores how these eruptions reveal secrets about the worlds to which they belong, describing the stunning ways in which volcanoes can sculpt the sea, land, and sky, and even influence the machinery that makes or breaks the existence of life. Walking us through the mechanics of some of the most infamous eruptions on Earth, Andrews outlines what we know about how volcanoes form, erupt, and evolve, as well as what scientists are still trying to puzzle out. How can we better predict when a deadly eruption will occur—and protect communities in the danger zone? Is Earth’s system of plate tectonics, unique in the solar system, the best way to forge a planet that supports life? And if life can survive and even thrive in Earth’s extreme volcanic environments—superhot, superacidic, and supersaline surroundings previously thought to be completely inhospitable—where else in the universe might we find it? Traveling from Hawai‘i, Yellowstone, Tanzania, and the ocean floor to the moon, Venus, and Mars, Andrews illuminates the cutting-edge discoveries and lingering scientific mysteries surrounding these phenomenal forces of nature.

Paleoclimates

Paleoclimates
  • Author : Thomas M. Cronin
  • Publisher : Columbia University Press
  • Pages : 465
  • Relase : 2010
  • ISBN : 9780231144940

Paleoclimates Book Review:

The field of paleoclimatology relies on physical, chemical, and biological proxies of past climate changes that have been preserved in natural archives such as glacial ice, tree rings, sediments, corals, and speleothems. Paleoclimate archives obtained through field investigations, ocean sediment coring expeditions, ice sheet coring programs, and other projects allow scientists to reconstruct climate change over much of earth's history. When combined with computer model simulations, paleoclimatic reconstructions are used to test hypotheses about the causes of climatic change, such as greenhouse gases, solar variability, earth's orbital variations, and hydrological, oceanic, and tectonic processes. This book is a comprehensive, state-of-the art synthesis of paleoclimate research covering all geological timescales, emphasizing topics that shed light on modern trends in the earth's climate. Thomas M. Cronin discusses recent discoveries about past periods of global warmth, changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, abrupt climate and sea-level change, natural temperature variability, and other topics directly relevant to controversies over the causes and impacts of climate change. This text is geared toward advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in geology, geography, biology, glaciology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, and climate modeling, fields that contribute to paleoclimatology. This volume can also serve as a reference for those requiring a general background on natural climate variability.

Mass Extinctions and Their Aftermath

Mass Extinctions and Their Aftermath
  • Author : A. Hallam,P. B. Wignall
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press, UK
  • Pages : 334
  • Relase : 1997-09-11
  • ISBN : 9780191588396

Mass Extinctions and Their Aftermath Book Review:

The first book to review all the evidence concerning both the dinosaur extinctions and all the other major extinctions - of plant, animal, terrestrial, and marine life - in the history of life. All the extinction mechanisms are critically assessed, including meteorite impact, anoxia, and volcanism. - ;Why do mass extinctions occur? The demise of the dinosaurs has been discussed exhaustively, but has never been out into the context of other extinction events. This is the first systematic review of the mass extinctions of all organisms, plant and animal, terrestrial and marine, that have occurred in the history of life. This includes the major crisis 250 million years ago which nearly wiped out all life on Earth. By examining current paleontological, geological, and sedimentological evidence of environmental changes, the cases for explanations based on climate change, marine regressions, asteroid or comet impact, anoxia, and volcanic eruptions are all critically evaluated. -

Always, Rachel

Always, Rachel
  • Author : Rachel Carson,Dorothy E. Freeman
  • Publisher : Open Road Media
  • Pages : 593
  • Relase : 2022-03-08
  • ISBN : 9781504073882

Always, Rachel Book Review:

These letters between the pioneering environmentalist and her beloved friend reveal “a vibrant, caring woman behind the scientist” (Los Angeles Times). “Rachel Carson, author of The Silent Spring, has been celebrated as the pioneer of the modern environmental movement. Although she wrote no autobiography, she did leave letters, and those she exchanged—sometimes daily—with Dorothy Freeman, some 750 of which are collected here, are perhaps more satisfying than an account of her own life. In 1953, Carson became Freeman's summer neighbor on Southport Island, ME. The two discovered a shared love for the natural world—their descriptions of the arrival of spring or the song of a hermit thrush are lyrical—but their friendship quickly blossomed, as each realized she had found in the other a kindred spirit. To read this collection is like eavesdropping on an extended conversation that mixes the mundane events of the two women's family lives with details of Carson’s research and writing and, later, her breast cancer. . . . Few who read these letters will forget these remarkable women and their even more remarkable bond.” —Publishers Weekly “Darting, fresh, sensuous, pleasingly elliptical at times, these letters also serve to tether the increasingly deified Carson firmly to earth—just where she’d want to be.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “It is not often that a collection of letters reveals character, emotional depth, personality, indeed intellect and talent, as well as a full biography might; these letters do all that.” —The New York Times Book Review “Provides insight into the creative process and a look into the daily lives of two intelligent, perceptive women whose family responsibilities were, at times, almost crushing.” —Library Journal “Dotted with vivid observations of the natural world and perceptive commentary on friendship, family, fame, and life itself, Always, Rachel will appeal to readers interested in biography and women’s studies as well as those drawn to nature writing and the history of the environmental movement.” —Booklist Online

Dinosaurs Without Bones

Dinosaurs Without Bones
  • Author : Anthony J. Martin
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Pages : 368
  • Relase : 2021-07-13
  • ISBN : 9781643139210

Dinosaurs Without Bones Book Review:

"Bubbles over with the joy of scientific discovery as he shares his natural enthusiasm for the blend of sleuthing and imagination."—Publishers Weekly, starred review What if we woke up one morning all of the dinosaur bones in the world were gone? How would we know these iconic animals had a165-million year history on earth, and had adapted to all land-based environments from pole to pole? What clues would be left to discern not only their presence, but also to learn about their sex lives, raising of young, social lives, combat, and who ate who? What would it take for us to know how fast dinosaurs moved, whether they lived underground, climbed trees, or went for a swim?Welcome to the world of ichnology, the study of traces and trace fossils – such as tracks, trails, burrows, nests, toothmarks, and other vestiges of behavior – and how through these remarkable clues, we can explore and intuit the rich and complicated lives of dinosaurs. With a unique, detective-like approach, interpreting the forensic clues of these long-extinct animals that leave a much richer legacy than bones, Martin brings the wild world of the Mesozoic to life for the 21st century reader.

The Story of Earth

The Story of Earth
  • Author : Robert M. Hazen
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Pages : 320
  • Relase : 2012-04-26
  • ISBN : 9781101580684

The Story of Earth Book Review:

Hailed by The New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” nationally bestselling author Robert M. Hazen offers a radical new approach to Earth history in this intertwined tale of the planet’s living and nonliving spheres. With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s eye, Hazen calls upon twenty-first-century discoveries that have revolutionized geology and enabled scientists to envision Earth’s many iterations in vivid detail—from the mile-high lava tides of its infancy to the early organisms responsible for more than two-thirds of the mineral varieties beneath our feet. Lucid, controversial, and on the cutting edge of its field, The Story of Earth is popular science of the highest order. "A sweeping rip-roaring yarn of immense scope, from the birth of the elements in the stars to meditations on the future habitability of our world." -Science "A fascinating story." -Bill McKibben

When Humans Nearly Vanished

When Humans Nearly Vanished
  • Author : Donald R. Prothero
  • Publisher : Smithsonian Institution
  • Pages : 210
  • Relase : 2018-10-16
  • ISBN : 9781588346353

When Humans Nearly Vanished Book Review:

The fascinating true story of the explosion of the Mount Toba supervolcano--the Earth's largest eruption in the past 28 million years--and its lasting impact on Earth and human evolution Some 73,000 years ago, the huge dome of Mount Toba, in today's Sumatra, Indonesia, began to rumble. A deep vibration shook the entire island. Jets of steam and ash emanated from the summit, followed by an explosion louder than any sound heard by Homo sapiens since our species evolved on Earth. The eruption of the Toba supervolcano released the energy of a million tons of explosives; seven hundred cubic miles of magma spewed outward in an explosion forty times larger than the largest hydrogen bomb and more than a thousand times as powerful as the Krakatau eruption in 1883. So much ash and debris was injected into the stratosphere that it partially blocked the sun's radiation and caused global temperatures to drop by five to nine degrees. It took a full decade for Earth to recover to its pre-eruption temperatures. When Humans Nearly Vanished presents the controversial argument that the Toba catastrophe nearly wiped out the human race, leaving only about a thousand to ten thousand breeding pairs of humans worldwide. Human genes today show evidence of a "genetic bottleneck," an effect seen when a population of organisms becomes so small that their genetic diversity is greatly reduced. This group of survivors could be the ancestors of all humans alive today. Donald R. Prothero explores the geological and biological evidence supporting the Toba bottleneck theory; reveals how the explosion itself was discovered; and offers insight into how the world changed afterward and what might happen if such an eruption occurred today. Prothero's riveting account of this calamitous supervolcanic explosion is not to be missed.

The Edge of the World

The Edge of the World
  • Author : Michael Pye
  • Publisher : Penguin UK
  • Pages : 400
  • Relase : 2014-11-06
  • ISBN : 9780241963845

The Edge of the World Book Review:

Featured in New York Times: 100 Notable Books of 2015 Michael Pye's The Edge of the World is an epic adventure: from the Vikings to the Enlightenment, from barbaric outpost to global centre, it tells the amazing story of northern Europe's transformation by sea. 'An utterly beguiling journey into the dark ages of the north sea. A complete revelation . . . Pye writes like a dream. Magnificent' Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps This is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders - and of how their wild and daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost at the very edge of everything. A thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money. We owe this transformation to the tides and storms of the North Sea. The water was dangerous, but it was far easier than struggling over land; so it was the sea that brought people together. Boats carried food and raw materials, but also new ideas and information. The seafarers raided, ruined and killed, but they also settled and coupled. With them they brought new tastes and technologies - books, clothes, manners, paintings and machines. In this dazzling historical adventure, we return to a time that is largely forgotten and watch as the modern world is born. We see the spread of money and how it paved the way for science. We see how plague terrorised even the rich and transformed daily life for the poor. We watch as the climate changed and coastlines shifted, people adapted and towns flourished. We see the arrival of the first politicians, artists, lawyers: citizens. From Viking raiders to Mongol hordes, Frisian fishermen to Hanseatic hustlers, travelling as far west as America and as far east as Byzantium, we see how the life and traffic of the seas changed everything. Drawing on an astonishing breadth of learning and packed with human stories and revelations, this is the epic drama of how we came to be who we are. 'A closely-researched and fascinating characterisation of the richness of life and the underestimated interconnections of the peoples all around the medieval and early modern North Sea. A real page-turner' Chris Wickham, author of The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000 'Elegant writing and extraordinary scholarship . . . Miraculous' Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of Periodic Tales and Anatomies 'Splendid. A heady mix of social, economic, and intellectual history, written in an engaging style. It offers a counterpoint to the many studies of the Mediterranean, arguing for the importance of the North Sea. Exciting, fun, and informative' Michael Prestwich, Professor of History, Durham University Michael Pye has written eleven previous books, translated into eleven languages, including two British bestsellers and two New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He took a First and various prizes in Modern History at Oxford, and was then for many years a highly successful journalist, columnist and broadcaster in London and New York. He now lives between London and rural Portugal.

End Times

End Times
  • Author : Bryan Walsh
  • Publisher : Hachette UK
  • Pages : 416
  • Relase : 2019-08-27
  • ISBN : 9780316449601

End Times Book Review:

In this history of extinction and existential risk, a Newsweek and Bloomberg popular science and investigative journalist examines our most dangerous mistakes -- and explores how we can protect and future-proof our civilization. End Times is a compelling work of skilled reportage that peels back the layers of complexity around the unthinkable -- and inevitable -- end of humankind. From asteroids and artificial intelligence to volcanic supereruption to nuclear war, veteran science reporter and TIME editor Bryan Walsh provides a stunning panoramic view of the most catastrophic threats to the human race. In End Times, Walsh examines threats that emerge from nature and those of our own making: asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, disease pandemics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial intelligence. Walsh details the true probability of these world-ending catastrophes, the impact on our lives were they to happen, and the best strategies for saving ourselves, all pulled from his rigorous and deeply thoughtful reporting and research. Walsh goes into the room with the men and women whose job it is to imagine the unimaginable. He includes interviews with those on the front lines of prevention, actively working to head off existential threats in biotechnology labs and government hubs. Guided by Walsh's evocative, page-turning prose, we follow scientific stars like the asteroid hunters at NASA and the disease detectives on the trail of the next killer virus. Walsh explores the danger of apocalypse in all forms. In the end, it will be the depth of our knowledge, the height of our imagination, and our sheer will to survive that will decide the future.

Three Days in Moscow

Three Days in Moscow
  • Author : Bret Baier,Catherine Whitney
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Pages : 416
  • Relase : 2018-05-15
  • ISBN : 9780062748492

Three Days in Moscow Book Review:

"An instant classic, if not the finest book to date on Ronald Reagan.” — Jay Winik President Reagan's dramatic battle to win the Cold War is revealed as never before by the #1 bestselling author and award-winning anchor of the #1 rated Special Report with Bret Baier. Moscow, 1988: 1,000 miles behind the Iron Curtain, Ronald Reagan stood for freedom and confronted the Soviet empire. In his acclaimed bestseller Three Days in January, Bret Baier illuminated the extraordinary leadership of President Dwight Eisenhower at the dawn of the Cold War. Now in his highly anticipated new history, Three Days in Moscow, Baier explores the dramatic endgame of America’s long struggle with the Soviet Union and President Ronald Reagan’s central role in shaping the world we live in today. On May 31, 1988, Reagan stood on Russian soil and addressed a packed audience at Moscow State University, delivering a remarkable—yet now largely forgotten—speech that capped his first visit to the Soviet capital. This fourth in a series of summits between Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, was a dramatic coda to their tireless efforts to reduce the nuclear threat. More than that, Reagan viewed it as “a grand historical moment”: an opportunity to light a path for the Soviet people—toward freedom, human rights, and a future he told them they could embrace if they chose. It was the first time an American president had given an address about human rights on Russian soil. Reagan had once called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” Now, saying that depiction was from “another time,” he beckoned the Soviets to join him in a new vision of the future. The importance of Reagan’s Moscow speech was largely overlooked at the time, but the new world he spoke of was fast approaching; the following year, in November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union began to disintegrate, leaving the United States the sole superpower on the world stage. Today, the end of the Cold War is perhaps the defining historical moment of the past half century, and must be understood if we are to make sense of America’s current place in the world, amid the re-emergence of US-Russian tensions during Vladimir Putin’s tenure. Using Reagan’s three days in Moscow to tell the larger story of the president’s critical and often misunderstood role in orchestrating a successful, peaceful ending to the Cold War, Baier illuminates the character of one of our nation’s most venerated leaders—and reveals the unique qualities that allowed him to succeed in forming an alliance for peace with the Soviet Union, when his predecessors had fallen short.

Earth History and Palaeogeography

Earth History and Palaeogeography
  • Author : Trond H. Torsvik,L. Robin M. Cocks
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Pages : 329
  • Relase : 2017
  • ISBN : 9781107105324

Earth History and Palaeogeography Book Review:

This book provides a complete Phanerozoic story of palaeogeography, using new and detailed full-colour maps, to link surface and deep-Earth processes.

Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction

Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction
  • Author : George R. McGhee Jr.
  • Publisher : Columbia University Press
  • Pages : 304
  • Relase : 2018-08-07
  • ISBN : 9780231543385

Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction Book Review:

Picture a world of dog-sized scorpions and millipedes as long as a car; tropical rainforests with trees towering over 150 feet into the sky and a giant polar continent five times larger than Antarctica. That world was not imaginary; it was the earth more than 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era. In Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction, George R. McGhee Jr. explores that ancient world, explaining its origins; its downfall in the end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest biodiversity crisis to occur since the evolution of animal life on Earth; and how its legacies still affect us today. McGhee investigates the consequences of the Late Paleozoic ice age in this comprehensive portrait of the effects of ancient climate change on global ecology. Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction examines the climatic conditions that allowed for the evolution of gigantic animals and the formation of the largest tropical rainforests ever to exist, which in time turned into the coal that made the industrial revolution possible—and fuels the engine of contemporary anthropogenic climate change. Exploring the strange and fascinating flora and fauna of the Late Paleozoic ice age world, McGhee focuses his analysis on the forces that brought this world to an abrupt and violent end. Synthesizing decades of research and new discoveries, this comprehensive book provides a wealth of insights into past and present extinction events and climate change.

The End of the World

The End of the World
  • Author : John Cotton
  • Publisher : Ams PressInc
  • Pages : 330
  • Relase : 1655
  • ISBN : UOM:39015019126013

The End of the World Book Review:

The Worst of Times

The Worst of Times
  • Author : Paul B. Wignall
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Pages : 224
  • Relase : 2015-09-29
  • ISBN : 9781400874248

The Worst of Times Book Review:

Unraveling the mystery of the catastrophic age of extinctions Two hundred sixty million years ago, life on Earth suffered wave after wave of cataclysmic extinctions, with the worst wiping out nearly every species on the planet. The Worst of Times delves into the mystery behind these extinctions and sheds light on the fateful role the primeval supercontinent, known as Pangea, might have played in causing these global catastrophes. Drawing on the latest discoveries as well as his own firsthand experiences conducting field expeditions to remote corners of the world, Paul Wignall reveals what scientists are only now beginning to understand about the most prolonged and calamitous period of environmental crisis in Earth's history. Wignall shows how these series of unprecedented extinction events swept across the planet, killing life on a scale more devastating than the dinosaur extinctions that would follow. The Worst of Times unravels one of the great enigmas of ancient Earth and shows how this ushered in a new age of vibrant and more resilient life on our planet.

Cosmic Impact

Cosmic Impact
  • Author : Andrew May
  • Publisher : Icon Books
  • Pages : 176
  • Relase : 2019-02-07
  • ISBN : 9781785784941

Cosmic Impact Book Review:

As end-of-the-world scenarios go, an apocalyptic collision with an asteroid or comet is the new kid on the block, gaining respectability only in the last decade of the 20th century with the realisation that the dinosaurs had been wiped out by just such an impact. Now the science community is making up for lost time, with worldwide efforts to track the thousands of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, and plans for high-tech hardware that could deflect an incoming object from a collision course – a procedure depicted, with little regard for scientific accuracy, in several Hollywood movies. Astrophysicist and science writer Andrew May disentangles fact from fiction in this fast-moving and entertaining account, covering the nature and history of comets and asteroids, the reason why some orbits are more hazardous than others, the devastating local and global effects that an impact event would produce, and – more optimistically – the way future space missions could avert a catastrophe.

End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals

End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals
  • Author : Ross D E MacPhee
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
  • Pages : 144
  • Relase : 2018-11-13
  • ISBN : 9780393249309

End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World's Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals Book Review:

The fascinating lives and puzzling demise of some of the largest animals on earth. Until a few thousand years ago, creatures that could have been from a sci-fi thriller—including gorilla-sized lemurs, 500-pound birds, and crocodiles that weighed a ton or more—roamed the earth. These great beasts, or “megafauna,” lived on every habitable continent and on many islands. With a handful of exceptions, all are now gone. What caused the disappearance of these prehistoric behemoths? No one event can be pinpointed as a specific cause, but several factors may have played a role. Paleomammalogist Ross D. E. MacPhee explores them all, examining the leading extinction theories, weighing the evidence, and presenting his own conclusions. He shows how theories of human overhunting and catastrophic climate change fail to account for critical features of these extinctions, and how new thinking is needed to elucidate these mysterious losses. Along the way, we learn how time is determined in earth history; how DNA is used to explain the genomics and phylogenetic history of megafauna—and how synthetic biology and genetic engineering may be able to reintroduce these giants of the past. Until then, gorgeous four-color illustrations by Peter Schouten re-create these megabeasts here in vivid detail.

Catastrophes and Lesser Calamities

Catastrophes and Lesser Calamities
  • Author : Hallam Tony,Anthony Hallam
  • Publisher :
  • Pages : 274
  • Relase : 2004
  • ISBN : 6610762945

Catastrophes and Lesser Calamities Book Review:

This is a book about the dramatic periods in the Earth's history called mass extinctions - short periods (by geological standards) when life nearly died out on Earth. The most famous is the mass extinction that happened about 65 million years ago, and that caused the death of the dinosaurs. But that was not the worst mass extinction: that honour goes to the extinction at the end of the Permian Period, about 250 million years ago, when over 90% of life is thought to have becomeextinct.What caused these catastrophes? Was it the effects of a massive meteorite impact? There is evidence for such an impact about 65 million years ago. Or was it a period of massive volcanic activity? There is evidence in the rocks of huge lava flows at periods that match several of the mass extinctions. Was it something to do with climate change and sea level? Or was it a combination of some or all of these?The question has been haunting geologists for a number of years, and it forms one of the most exciting areas of research in geology today. In this book, Tony Hallam, a distinguished geologist and writer, looks at all the different theories and also what the study of mass extinctions might tell us about the future. If climate change is a key factor, we may well, as some scientists have suggested, be in a period of mass extinction of our own making.

The Whole Story of Climate

The Whole Story of Climate
  • Author : E. Kirsten Peters
  • Publisher : Prometheus Books
  • Pages : 215
  • Relase : 2012-11-20
  • ISBN : 9781616146733

The Whole Story of Climate Book Review:

In the publicity surrounding global warming, climate scientists are usually the experts consulted by the media. We rarely hear from geologists, who for almost two hundred years have been studying the history of Earth's dramatic and repeated climate revolutions, as revealed in the evidence of rocks and landscapes. This book, written by a geologist, describes the important contributions that geology has made to our understanding of climate change. What emerges is a much more complex and nuanced picture than is usually presented. While the average person often gets the impression that the Earth's climate would be essentially stable if it weren't for the deleterious effects of greenhouse gases, in fact the history of the earth over many millennia reveals a constantly changing climate. As the author explains, several long cold eras have been punctuated by shorter warm periods. The most recent of these warm spells, the one in which we are now living, started ten thousand years ago; based on previous patterns, we should be about due for the return of another frigid epoch. Some scientists even think that the warming of the planet caused by man-made greenhouse gasses tied to agriculture in the past few thousand years may have held off the next ice age. Though this may be possible, much remains uncertain. But what is clearly known is that major climate shifts can be appallingly rapid--occurring over as little as twenty or thirty years. One danger of dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is that they may increase the chance that this "climate switch" will be thrown, with catastrophic effects on worldwide agriculture. Besides her discussion of climate, the author includes chapters on how early naturalists pieced together the complicated geological history of Earth, and she teaches the reader how to interpret the evidence of rock formations and landscape patterns all around us. Accessible and engagingly written, this book is essential reading for anyone looking to understand one of our most important contemporary debates.