This introduction is an all-encompassing look at the Earth: how it was formed and how it works. It explores the emerging geological research and explains how new advances in the understanding of plate tectonics, seismology, and satellite imagery have enabled us to begin to see the Earth for what it is, a dynamic and ever changing planet. It introduces the concepts of plate tectonics, continental drift, the earth's structure, and sea-floor spreading.
Our review: "When I came across this little book for the first time in Bookshop Santa Cruz I almost paid full retail for it! I did go straight to the shop and order a bunch of copies. I'm not disappointed. Earth : A Very Short Introduction has become an instant favorite and one of my must have recommendations. Here's a little pocket size book that you can carry with you just about anywhere. It has great coverage of the principles of geology and is presented in a narrative style. This is a fun read, not a dry geological text."
The New Press is pleased to announce the publication of this new title with the American Museum of Natural History, a collaboration that began with the publication of Epidemic! in 2000.
Founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the world's preeminent institutions for scientific research and education, visited by more than four million people annually. Three new titles, Earth, The Biodiversity Crisis, and Cosmic Horizons, are companion volumes to three major new permanent exhibitions at the museum: the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, the Hall of Biodiversity, and the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space.
Drawing on case histories from around the world, Arthur Kruckeberg demonstrates the role of land forms and rock types in producing the unique geographical distributions of plants and in stimulating evolutionary diversification. His examples range throughout the rich and heterogeneous tapestry of the earth's surface: the dramatic variations of mountainous topography, the undulating ground and crevices of level limestone karst, and the subtle realm of sand dunes. He describes the ongoing evolutionary consequences of the geology-plant interface and the often underestimated role of geology in shaping climate. Kruckeberg's research fills a significant gap in the field of environmental science by connecting the conventionally separated disciplines of the physical and biological sciences. Geology and Plant Life is the result of more than forty years of research into the question of why certain plants grow on certain soils and certain terrain structures, and what happens when this relationship is disrupted by human agents. It will be useful to a wide spectrum of professionals in the natural sciences: plant ecologists, paleobiologists, climatologists, soil scientists, geologists, geographers, and conservation scientists, as well as serious amateurs in natural history.
Peter Ward and Don Brownlee, a geologist and an astronomer respectively, are in the vanguard of the new field of astrobiology. Combining their knowledge of how the critical sustaining systems of our planet evolve through time with their understanding of how stars and solar systems grow and change throughout their own life cycles, the authors tell the story of the second half of Earth's life. The process of planetary evolution will essentially reverse itself; life as we know it will subside until only the simplest forms remain. Eventually, they too will disappear. The oceans will evaporate, the atmosphere will degrade, and, as the sun slowly expands, Earth itself will eventually meet a fiery end.
In this masterful melding of groundbreaking research and captivating, eloquent science writing, Ward and Brownlee provide a comprehensive portrait of Earth's life cycle that allows us to understand and appreciate how the planet sustains itself today, and offers us a glimpse of our place in the cosmic order.
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