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Snowball Earth

Author: Gabrielle Walker
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408807149
Size: 17.24 MB
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Did the Earth once undergo a super ice age, one that froze the entire planet? A global adventure story and a fascinating account of scientist Paul Hoffman's quest to prove his maverick 'Snowball Earth' theory, this is science writing at its most gripping. In SNOWBALL EARTH, Gabrielle Walker takes us on a thrilling natural history expedition in search of supporting evidence for the audacious theory which argues that the Earth experienced a climatic cataclysm 600 million years ago that froze the entire planet from the poles to the equator. Because the global snowball happened so long ago the ice has now long gone - but it left its traces in rocks around the world and in order to see the evidence, Walker visited such places as Australia, Namibia, South Africa and Death Valley, USA. Part adventure story and part travel book, it's a tale of the ultimate human endeavour to understand our origins.

Topics In Mathematical Modeling

Author: K. K. Tung
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884055
Size: 60.23 MB
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Topics in Mathematical Modeling is an introductory textbook on mathematical modeling. The book teaches how simple mathematics can help formulate and solve real problems of current research interest in a wide range of fields, including biology, ecology, computer science, geophysics, engineering, and the social sciences. Yet the prerequisites are minimal: calculus and elementary differential equations. Among the many topics addressed are HIV; plant phyllotaxis; global warming; the World Wide Web; plant and animal vascular networks; social networks; chaos and fractals; marriage and divorce; and El Niño. Traditional modeling topics such as predator-prey interaction, harvesting, and wars of attrition are also included. Most chapters begin with the history of a problem, follow with a demonstration of how it can be modeled using various mathematical tools, and close with a discussion of its remaining unsolved aspects. Designed for a one-semester course, the book progresses from problems that can be solved with relatively simple mathematics to ones that require more sophisticated methods. The math techniques are taught as needed to solve the problem being addressed, and each chapter is designed to be largely independent to give teachers flexibility. The book, which can be used as an overview and introduction to applied mathematics, is particularly suitable for sophomore, junior, and senior students in math, science, and engineering.

Global Catastrophes A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bill McGuire
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191025003
Size: 60.97 MB
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Life on earth will come to an end. It's just a matter of when. In this Very Short Introduction, Bill McGuire explores the many potential catastrophes facing our planet and our species in the future, and looks at both the probability of these events happening and our chances of survival. From the likely consequences of global warming to the inevitable destruction of the earth in the far future, McGuire considers a range of 'end of the world scenarios', including the New Ice Age, asteroid and comet impact, supervolcanoes, and mega-tsunami. Updated with a number of recent case studies from around the world, this new edition brings our understanding of global disasters and risk research up to date. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Antarctic Destinies

Author: Stephanie L. Barczewski
Publisher: Hambledon Pr
ISBN:
Size: 17.90 MB
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Focusing on the Antarctic explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, this book looks at some of their most heroic expeditions, examining how and why their individual reputations have evolved over the course of the last century.

An Ocean Of Air

Author: Gabrielle Walker
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780547536958
Size: 13.66 MB
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We don’t just live in the air; we live because of it. It’s the most miraculous substance on earth, responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets: • A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds. • A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads. • An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door. • A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer. • A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before he’s proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.

With Speed And Violence

Author: Fred Pearce
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807085855
Size: 50.78 MB
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Nature is fragile, environmentalists often tell us. But the lesson of this book is that it is not so. The truth is far more worrying. Nature is strong and packs a serious counterpunch . . . Global warming will very probably unleash unstoppable planetary forces. And they will not be gradual. The history of our planet's climate shows that it does not do gradual change. Under pressure, whether from sunspots or orbital wobbles or the depredations of humans, it lurches-virtually overnight. —from the Introduction Fred Pearce has been writing about climate change for eighteen years, and the more he learns, the worse things look. Where once scientists were concerned about gradual climate change, now more and more of them fear we will soon be dealing with abrupt change resulting from triggering hidden tipping points. Even President Bush's top climate modeler, Jim Hansen, warned in 2005 that "we are on the precipice of climate system tipping points beyond which there is no redemption." As Pearce began working on this book, normally cautious scientists beat a path to his door to tell him about their fears and their latest findings. With Speed and Violence tells the stories of these scientists and their work-from the implications of melting permafrost in Siberia and the huge river systems of meltwater beneath the icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica to the effects of the "ocean conveyor" and a rare molecule that runs virtually the entire cleanup system for the planet. Above all, the scientists told him what they're now learning about the speed and violence of past natural climate change-and what it portends for our future. With Speed and Violence is the most up-to-date and readable book yet about the growing evidence for global warming and the large climatic effects it may unleash.

The Company Of Strangers

Author: Paul Seabright
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400834785
Size: 61.84 MB
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The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

The Ebony Tower

Author: John Fowles
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316255661
Size: 57.36 MB
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The Ebony Tower, comprising a novella, three stories, and a translation of a medieval French tale, echoes themes from John Fowles's internationally celebrated novels as it probes the fitful relations between love and hate, pleasure and pain, fantasy and reality.