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The Goldilocks Planet

Author: Jan Zalasiewicz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199593574
Size: 50.96 MB
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Presents a history of climate to reveal that the climatic changes happening hardly compare to the changes the Earth has seen over the last 4.5 billion years.

The Goldilocks Planet

Author: Jan Zalasiewicz
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191634026
Size: 24.31 MB
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Climate change is a major topic of concern today, scientifically, socially, and politically. It will undoubtedly continue to be so for the foreseeable future, as predicted changes in global temperatures, rainfall, and sea level take place, and as human society adapts to these changes. In this remarkable new work, Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams demonstrate how the Earth's climate has continuously altered over its 4.5 billion-year history. The story can be read from clues preserved in the Earth's strata - the evidence is abundant, though always incomplete, and also often baffling, puzzling, infuriating, tantalizing, seemingly contradictory. Geologists, though, are becoming ever more ingenious at interrogating this evidence, and the story of the Earth's climate is now being reconstructed in ever-greater detail - maybe even providing us with clues to the future of contemporary climate change. The history is dramatic and often abrupt. Changes in global and regional climate range from bitterly cold to sweltering hot, from arid to humid, and they have impacted hugely upon the planet's evolving animal and plant communities, and upon its physical landscapes of the Earth. And yet, through all of this, the Earth has remained consistently habitable for life for over three billion years - in stark contrast to its planetary neighbours. Not too hot, not too cold; not too dry, not too wet, it is aptly known as 'the Goldilocks planet'.

Ocean Worlds

Author: Jan Zalasiewicz
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191653578
Size: 76.80 MB
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Oceans make up most of the surface of our blue planet. They may form just a sliver on the outside of the Earth, but they are very important, not only in hosting life, including the fish and other animals on which many humans depend, but in terms of their role in the Earth system, in regulating climate, and cycling nutrients. As climate change, pollution, and over-exploitation by humans puts this precious resource at risk, it is more important than ever that we understand and appreciate the nature and history of oceans. There is much we still do not know about the story of the Earth's oceans, and we are only just beginning to find indications of oceans on other planets. In this book, geologists Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams consider the deep history of oceans, how and when they may have formed on the young Earth — topics of intense current research — how they became salty, and how they evolved through Earth history. We learn how oceans have formed and disappeared over millions of years, how the sea nurtured life, and what may become of our oceans in the future. We encounter some of the scientists and adventurers whose efforts led to our present understanding of oceans. And we look at clues to possible seas that may once have covered parts of Mars and Venus, that may still exist, below the surface, on moons such as Europa and Callisto, and the possibility of watery planets in other star systems.

Lucky Planet

Author: David Waltham
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465080820
Size: 29.50 MB
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Why Earth’s life-friendly climate makes it exceptional—and what that means for the likelihood of finding intelligent extraterrestrial life We have long fantasized about finding life on planets other than our own. Yet even as we become aware of the vast expanses beyond our solar system, it remains clear that Earth is exceptional. The question is: why? In Lucky Planet, astrobiologist David Waltham argues that Earth’s climate stability is what makes it uniquely able to support life, and it is nothing short of luck that made such conditions possible. The four billion year-stretch of good weather that our planet has experienced is statistically so unlikely that chances are slim that we will ever encounter intelligent extraterrestrial others. Citing the factors that typically control a planet’s average temperature—including the size of its moon, as well as the rate of the Universe’s expansion—Waltham challenges the prevailing scientific consensus that Earth-like planets have natural stabilizing mechanisms that allow life to flourish. A lively exploration of the stars above and the ground beneath our feet, Lucky Planet seamlessly weaves the story of Earth and the worlds orbiting other stars to give us a new perspective of the surprising role chance plays in our place in the universe.

The Earth After Us

Author: Jan Zalasiewicz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199214980
Size: 25.44 MB
Format: PDF
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If aliens came to Earth 100 millions years in the future, what traces would they find of long-extinct humanity's brief reign on the planet? This engaging and thought-provoking account looks at what our species will leave behind, buried deep in the rock strata, and provides us with a warning of our devastating environmental impact.

The Planet In A Pebble

Author: Jan Zalasiewicz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199645698
Size: 50.20 MB
Format: PDF
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In this narrative of the Earth's long and dramatic history, Jan Zalasiewicz shows how many events in the Earth's ancient past can be deciphered from a single pebble. He explores how geologists reach deep into the past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter, demonstrating and revealing Earth's extraordinary story.

Five Billion Years Of Solitude

Author: Lee Billings
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 069813768X
Size: 53.43 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“A definitive guide to astronomy’s hottest field.” —The Economist Since its formation nearly five billion years ago, our planet has been the sole living world in a vast and silent universe. But over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of “exoplanets,” including some that could be similar to our own world, and the pace of discovery is accelerating. In a fascinating account of this unfolding revolution, Lee Billings draws on interviews with the world’s top experts in the search for life beyond earth. He reveals how the search for exoplanets is not only a scientific challenge, but also a reflection of our culture’s timeless hopes, dreams, and fears.

Colliding Continents

Author: Mike Searle
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191652490
Size: 71.32 MB
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The crash of the Indian plate into Asia is the biggest known collision in geological history, and it continues today. The result is the Himalaya and Karakoram - one of the largest mountain ranges on Earth. The Karakoram has half of the world's highest mountains and a reputation as being one of the most remote and savage ranges of all. In this beautifully illustrated book, Mike Searle, a geologist at the University of Oxford and one of the most experienced field geologists of our time, presents a rich account of the geological forces that were involved in creating these mountain ranges. Using his personal accounts of extreme mountaineering and research in the region, he pieces together the geological processes that formed such impressive peaks.

How To Build A Habitable Planet

Author: Charles H. Langmuir
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400841976
Size: 11.10 MB
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Since its first publication more than twenty-five years ago, How to Build a Habitable Planet has established a legendary reputation as an accessible yet scientifically impeccable introduction to the origin and evolution of Earth, from the Big Bang through the rise of human civilization. This classic account of how our habitable planet was assembled from the stuff of stars introduced readers to planetary, Earth, and climate science by way of a fascinating narrative. Now this great book has been made even better. Harvard geochemist Charles Langmuir has worked closely with the original author, Wally Broecker, one of the world's leading Earth scientists, to revise and expand the book for a new generation of readers for whom active planetary stewardship is becoming imperative. Interweaving physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology, this sweeping account tells Earth’s complete story, from the synthesis of chemical elements in stars, to the formation of the Solar System, to the evolution of a habitable climate on Earth, to the origin of life and humankind. The book also addresses the search for other habitable worlds in the Milky Way and contemplates whether Earth will remain habitable as our influence on global climate grows. It concludes by considering the ways in which humankind can sustain Earth’s habitability and perhaps even participate in further planetary evolution. Like no other book, How to Build a Habitable Planet provides an understanding of Earth in its broadest context, as well as a greater appreciation of its possibly rare ability to sustain life over geologic time. Leading schools that have ordered, recommended for reading, or adopted this book for course use: Arizona State University Brooklyn College CUNY Columbia University Cornell University ETH Zurich Georgia Institute of Technology Harvard University Johns Hopkins University Luther College Northwestern University Ohio State University Oxford Brookes University Pan American University Rutgers University State University of New York at Binghamton Texas A&M University Trinity College Dublin University of Bristol University of California-Los Angeles University of Cambridge University Of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Glasgow University of Leicester University of Maine, Farmington University of Michigan University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Georgia University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Oxford University of Portsmouth University of Southampton University of Ulster University of Victoria University of Wyoming Western Kentucky University Yale University

The Two Mile Time Machine

Author: Richard B. Alley
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400852242
Size: 63.57 MB
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In the 1990s Richard B. Alley and his colleagues made headlines with the discovery that the last ice age came to an abrupt end over a period of only three years. In The Two-Mile Time Machine, Alley tells the fascinating history of global climate changes as revealed by reading the annual rings of ice from cores drilled in Greenland. He explains that humans have experienced an unusually temperate climate compared to the wild fluctuations that characterized most of prehistory. He warns that our comfortable environment could come to an end in a matter of years and tells us what we need to know in order to understand and perhaps overcome climate changes in the future. In a new preface, the author weighs in on whether our understanding of global climate change has altered in the years since the book was first published, what the latest research tells us, and what he is working on next.