Author: David Attenborough
Category: Natural history
Author: David Attenborough
Category: Natural history
The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet
Author: Robert M. Hazen
View: 3714The author of the best-selling Science Matters outlines a radical new approach to geologic history that advances controversial theories that the Earth evolved and that life evolved from minerals, assessing supportive findings while explaining the impact of human actions.
The Story of the Global Catastrophe That Spawned Life As We Know It
Author: Gabrielle Walker
Publisher: A&C Black
View: 682Did 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.
A Natural History
Author: David Attenborough
Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
View: 2756Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature. If we are to undertake such an ambitious endeavor, we first must understand just what the biosphere is, why it's essential to our survival, and the manifold threats now facing it. In doing so, Wilson describes how our species, in only a mere blink of geological time, became the architects and rulers of this epoch and outlines the consequences of this that will affect all of life, both ours and the natural world, far into the future. Half-Earth provides an enormously moving and naturalistic portrait of just what is being lost when we clip "twigs and eventually whole braches of life's family tree." In elegiac prose, Wilson documents the many ongoing extinctions that are imminent, paying tribute to creatures great and small, not the least of them the two Sumatran rhinos whom he encounters in captivity. Uniquely, Half-Earth considers not only the large animals and star species of plants but also the millions of invertebrate animals and microorganisms that, despite being overlooked, form the foundations of Earth's ecosystems. In stinging language, he avers that the biosphere does not belong to us and addresses many fallacious notions such as the idea that ongoing extinctions can be balanced out by the introduction of alien species into new ecosystems or that extinct species might be brought back through cloning. This includes a critique of the "anthropocenists," a fashionable collection of revisionist environmentalists who believe that the human species alone can be saved through engineering and technology. Despite the Earth's parlous condition, Wilson is no doomsayer, resigned to fatalism. Defying prevailing conventional wisdom, he suggests that we still have time to put aside half the Earth and identifies actual spots where Earth's biodiversity can still be reclaimed. Suffused with a profound Darwinian understanding of our planet's fragility, Half-Earth reverberates with an urgency like few other books, but it offers an attainable goal that we can strive for on behalf of all life.
Author: Rachel Sussman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
View: 7489The Oldest Living Things in the World is an epic journey through time and space. Over the past decade, artist Rachel Sussman has researched, worked with biologists, and traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. Spanning from Antarctica to Greenland, the Mojave Desert to the Australian Outback, the result is a stunning and unique visual collection of ancient organisms unlike anything that has been created in the arts or sciences before, insightfully and accessibly narrated by Sussman along the way. Her work is both timeless and timely, and spans disciplines, continents, and millennia. It is underscored by an innate environmentalism and driven by Sussman’s relentless curiosity. She begins at “year zero,” and looks back from there, photographing the past in the present. These ancient individuals live on every continent and range from Greenlandic lichens that grow only one centimeter a century, to unique desert shrubs in Africa and South America, a predatory fungus in Oregon, Caribbean brain coral, to an 80,000-year-old colony of aspen in Utah. Sussman journeyed to Antarctica to photograph 5,500-year-old moss; Australia for stromatolites, primeval organisms tied to the oxygenation of the planet and the beginnings of life on Earth; and to Tasmania to capture a 43,600-year-old self-propagating shrub that’s the last individual of its kind. Her portraits reveal the living history of our planet—and what we stand to lose in the future. These ancient survivors have weathered millennia in some of the world’s most extreme environments, yet climate change and human encroachment have put many of them in danger. Two of her subjects have already met with untimely deaths by human hands. Alongside the photographs, Sussman relays fascinating – and sometimes harrowing – tales of her global adventures tracking down her subjects and shares insights from the scientists who research them. The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.
A New Look At Evolution
Author: Lynn Margulis
Publisher: Basic Books
View: 5388Although Charles Darwin's theory of evolution laid the foundations of modern biology, it did not tell the whole story. Most remarkably, The Origin of Species said very little about, of all things, the origins of species. Darwin and his modern successors have shown very convincingly how inherited variations are naturally selected, but they leave unanswered how variant organisms come to be in the first place.In Symbiotic Planet, renowned scientist Lynn Margulis shows that symbiosis, which simply means members of different species living in physical contact with each other, is crucial to the origins of evolutionary novelty. Ranging from bacteria, the smallest kinds of life, to the largest—the living Earth itself—Margulis explains the symbiotic origins of many of evolution's most important innovations. The very cells we're made of started as symbiotic unions of different kinds of bacteria. Sex—and its inevitable corollary, death—arose when failed attempts at cannibalism resulted in seasonally repeated mergers of some of our tiniest ancestors. Dry land became forested only after symbioses of algae and fungi evolved into plants. Since all living things are bathed by the same waters and atmosphere, all the inhabitants of Earth belong to a symbiotic union. Gaia, the finely tuned largest ecosystem of the Earth's surface, is just symbiosis as seen from space. Along the way, Margulis describes her initiation into the world of science and the early steps in the present revolution in evolutionary biology; the importance of species classification for how we think about the living world; and the way “academic apartheid” can block scientific advancement. Written with enthusiasm and authority, this is a book that could change the way you view our living Earth.
Author: Douglas Palmer
Publisher: Quercus Books
View: 2559Reproducing one of the most advanced satellite surveys of Earth in its entirety, The Complete Earth explores our planet, explaining the how and when of its mountain ranges, deserts, ice-sheets, volcanoes and oceans. From pole to pole. The Complete Earth presents one of the most advanced portraits of our planet ever created Within these pages, data from NASA's most advanced Earth observing satellites has been combined to produce a cloud-free, digital atlas of the entire planet-a mappamundi for the Information Age. At a scale of 53 kilometres to every centimetre (93 miles to an inch), we can trace the Amazon from Andean headwaters to Atlantic mouth, explore the trackless sand seas of the Sahara, and follow the corrugated ridges of hills and mountains that mark the front-line of India's continental collision with Eurasia. We can track the ebb and flow of seasons across the globe, watching snows fall in the North as they melt in the South and desert lands bloom and fade as rains come and go. Combining NASA's digital portrait of the planet with high resolution satellite imagery that zooms in on noteworthy features-from volcanoes to asteroid craters, river deltas to glaciers-The Complete Earth creates an unprecedented view of our planet's face. Social and political boundaries are invisible and irrelevant, what we see instead is the landscape of the whole Earth - the mountains and deserts, seas and oceans that have shaped human history. Yet this configuration of rock and water represents a fleeting geological moment, having existed for no more than 4 million years-a mere 0.01 percent of the planet's lifetime. But look closer and a deeper past emerges. Earth's 4.5 billion year history can be reconstructed from the layered, twisted and folded rocks that adorn its surface. To understand how to read the planet's deep history, The Complete Earth descends far beneath the continents and oceans to reveal the tectonic plates they rest on. It explains how the ceaseless jostling of these plates has sculpted Earth's ever-changing face and tracks their movements over millennia to reconstruct global views of not only the planet's past, but also its future.
The Living Planet
Author: Barry DiGregorio,Gilbert V. Levin,Patricia Ann Straat
Publisher: Frog Limited
View: 7983Claims of Martian life continue to spur scientific debate; this partisan account summarizes the arguments to date. When several experiments conducted by the 1976 Viking Mars Landers returned positive results regarding signs of life, NASA scientists dismissed them as false positives. According to DiGregorio, this was based on nothing more than a refusal to accept the possibility of life beyond Earth. To bolster this argument, he surveys the history of the idea that life might exist on other planets, invoking such names as Giordano Bruno and Galileo. As our understanding of both biology and astronomy grew, the notion that life is not unique to Earth took hold in the minds of many scientists. The recent rise of the new science of exobiology opened doors to an understanding of how life might have arisen on any planet with the right conditions. Dr. Levin and Dr. Straat, who designed and built one of the Viking experiments, contribute two chapters summarizing the current status of this fascinating debate. The author's detailed research, as well as extensive interviews with Dr. Levin and others, highlights the intriguing evidence pointing to life on the Red Planet.
The Radical New Discoveries about the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth
Author: Peter Ward,Joe Kirschvink
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
View: 4487Charles Darwin's theories, first published more than 150 years ago, form the backbone of how we understand the history of the Earth. In reality, the currently accepted history of life on Earth is so flawed, so out of date, that it's past time we need a 'New History of Life.' In their latest book, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong. Gathering and analyzing years of discoveries and research not yet widely known to the public, A New History of Life proposes a different origin of species than the one Darwin proposed, one which includes eight-foot-long centipedes, a frozen "snowball Earth†?, and the seeds for life originating on Mars. Drawing on their years of experience in paleontology, biology, chemistry, and astrobiology, experts Ward and Kirschvink paint a picture of the origins life on Earth that are at once too fabulous to imagine and too familiar to dismiss--and looking forward, A New History of Life brilliantly assembles insights from some of the latest scientific research to understand how life on Earth can and might evolve far into the future.
A Portrait of Bhutan
Publisher: Penguin Books India
View: 8793Author's memoir of travelogue with the historical and cultural description of Bhutan.
Notes for Living on Planet Earth
Author: Oliver Jeffers
Category: Juvenile Fiction
View: 8780#1 TIME Best Book of the Year for 2017! "Moments of human intimacy jostle with scenes that inspire cosmic awe, and the broad diversity of Jeffers's candy-colored humans...underscores the twin messages that 'You're never alone on Earth' and that we're all in this together."--Publisher's Weekly (starred review) Oliver Jeffers, arguably the most influential creator of picture books today, offers a rare personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child--and in doing so gifts children and parents everywhere with a gently sweet and humorous missive about our world and those who call it home. Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers' user's guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet's terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver's signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents. Praise for Here We Are: -"A sweet and tender distillation of what every Earthling needs to know and might well spend a lifetime striving to achieve. A must-purchase for new parent shelves"--School Library Journal
The 4 billion year story of Earth's climate
Author: Jan Zalasiewicz,Mark Williams
Publisher: OUP Oxford
View: 1069Climate 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'.
Earth in the Age of Humans
Author: W. John Kress,Jeffrey K. Stine
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
View: 5199Explores the causes and implications of the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans, from multiple points of view including anthropological, scientific, social, artistic, and economic. Although we arrived only recently in Earth's timeline, humans are driving major changes to the planet's ecosystems. Even now, the basic requirements for human life--air, water, shelter, food, nature, and culture--are rapidly transforming the planet as billions of people compete for resources. These changes have become so noticeable on a global scale that scientists believe we are living in a new chapter in Earth's story: the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans. Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans is a vital look at this era. The book contextualizes the Anthropocene by presenting paleontological, historical, and contemporary views of various human effects on Earth. It discusses environmental and biological systems that have been changed and affected; the causes of the Anthropocene, such as agricultural spread, pollution, and urbanization; how societies are responding and adapting to these changes; how these changes have been represented in art, film, television, and literature; and finally, offers a look toward the future of our environment and our own lives.
The Zoo Quest Expeditions
Author: David Attenborough
Category: Biography & Autobiography
View: 2958"A GREAT BOOK." --THE NEW YORK TIMES "MARVELOUS." --THE TELEGRAPH "A RARE GLIMPSE OF A FLEDGLING DAVID ATTENBOROUGH IN THE WILD." --VANITY FAIR Living legend and presenter of BBC's Planet Earth series Sir David Attenborough tells the story of his early career as a broadcaster and a naturalist in his own words. In 1954, David Attenborough, a young television presenter, was offered the opportunity of a lifetime--to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for the London Zoo's collection, and to film the expedition for the BBC for a new show called Zoo Quest. This is the story of those voyages. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia, and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team contended with cannibal fish, aggressive tree porcupines, and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. Written with his trademark wit and charm, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is not just the story of a remarkable adventure, but of the man who made us fall in love with the natural world and taught us the importance of protecting it--and who is still doing so today.
A Visual Journey Into the Heart of the Woods
Author: Robert Llewellyn,Joan Maloof
Publisher: Timber Press
View: 2841“With precise, stunning photographs and a distinctly literary narrative that tells the story of the forest ecosystem along the way, The Living Forest is an invitation to join in the eloquence of seeing.” —Sierra Magazine From the leaves and branches of the canopy to the roots and soil of the understory, the forest is a complex, interconnected ecosystem filled with plants, birds, mammals, insects, and fungi. Some of it is easily discovered, but many parts remain difficult or impossible for the human eye to see. Until now. The Living Forest is a visual journey that immerses you deep into the woods. The wide-ranging photography by Robert Llewellyn celebrates the small and the large, the living and the dead, and the seen and the unseen. You’ll discover close-up images of owls, hawks, and turtles; aerial photographs that show herons in flight; and time-lapse imagery that reveals the slow change of leaves. In an ideal blend of art and scholarship, the 300 awe-inspiring photographs are supported by lyrical essays from Joan Maloof detailing the science behind the wonder.
The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures
Author: Ross Piper
View: 2950The animal kingdom is staggeringly diverse, but the animals that most easily spring to mind the tigers, elephants, eagles and crocodiles, or perhaps amphibians, fish, insects and even humans account for only a tiny proportion of known species. Whats more, there are estimated to be many tens of millions still unknown to science. Animal Earth is an unbiased tour of this world, highlighting the bizarre appearances, hidden lives and mostly small scale of the creatures with whom we share our planet. The bewildering number of animal species are all offshoots from a relatively small number of lineages, all sharing a common body plan and evolutionary history. This book provides a broadly equal summary of each of these thirty-five lineages, and is structured according to the latest research on the evolutionary relationships of the animals. Every species is an integral component of the ecosystem we live in, and as intelligent beings it is our duty to protect and understand animal diversity not only for its own sake but also to maintain the natural systems that keep us and everything else alive.
A Vision of the Human Future in Space
Author: Carl Sagan,Ann Druyan
Publisher: Ballantine Books
View: 9079"FASCINATING . . . MEMORABLE . . . REVEALING . . . PERHAPS THE BEST OF CARL SAGAN'S BOOKS." --The Washington Post Book World (front page review) In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time. Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier--space. In Pale Blue Dot Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race. "TAKES READERS FAR BEYOND Cosmos . . . Sagan sees humanity's future in the stars." --Chicago Tribune
Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
Author: Bill McKibben,Schumann Distinguished Scholar Bill McKibben
Publisher: Vintage Books Canada
Category: Climatic changes
View: 6122The bestselling author of Deep Economy shows that we're living on a fundamentally altered planet -- and opens our eyes to the kind of change we'll need in order to make our civilization endure. Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth. That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend -- think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions of dollars it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we've managed to damage and degrade. We can't rely on old habits any longer. Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back -- on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change -- fundamental change -- is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance. From the Hardcover edition.
A Living Economy for a Living Earth
Author: David C. Korten
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Category: Social Science
View: 3706We humans live by stories, says David Korten, and the stories that now govern our society set us on a path to certain self-destruction. In this profound new book, Korten shares the results of his search for a story that reflects the fullness of human knowledge and understanding and provides a guide to action adequate to the needs of our time. Korten calls our current story Sacred Money and Markets. Money, it tells us, is the measure of all worth and the source of all happiness. Earth is simply a source of raw materials. Inequality and environmental destruction are unfortunate but unavoidable. Although many recognize that this story promotes bad ethics, bad science, and bad economics, it will remain our guiding story until replaced by one that aligns with our deepest understanding of the universe and our relationship to it. To guide our path to a viable human future, Korten offers a Sacred Life and Living Earth story grounded in a cosmology that affirms we are living beings born of a living Earth itself born of a living universe. Our health and well-being depend on an economy that works in partnership with the processes by which Earth's community of life maintains the conditions of its own existence—and ours. Offering a hopeful vision, Korten lays out the transformative impact adopting this story will have on every aspect of human life and society.