This latest book in the bestselling '50 Ideas' series is a wonderfully accessible overview of the only place we know of in the universe that is capable of sustaining life. Expert popular science writer Martin Redfern covers all the natural processes of the Earth: climate, ocean currents, air currents, the elements, plate tectonics, fossils, the evolution of life, volcanology, sea levels and the ultimate fate of the Earth.
The 50 Ideas featured include: Geological formation; Rock layers; Formation of the atmosphere; Plate tectonics; Continental rifts; Volcanology; Simple life; Multi-cellular life; Snowball Earth; Gondwana and Pangea; Sexual selection; Complex life; The Cambrian revolution; The dinosaurs; Avalonia; The sauropod puzzle; End of the Mesozoic; The Cenozoic recovery; The Great Warming; The 'Great Flood'; The Holocene; Biodiversity and The fate of the Earth.
Martin Redfern is a senior producer in the BBC Radio Science Unit. He joined the BBC as a studio manager after graduating from University College, London, where he studied geology. He has spent time as a science producer in TV and as science news editor for BBC World Service. Most of his work now is on science feature programs for Radio 4. He has written extensively on science for magazines and newspapers.
Introduction. ORIGINS: Birth of Earth; Our companion Moon; Hell on Earth; The dating game; A tale of three planets; Living planet. INSIDE THE EARTH: Journey to the centre of the Earth; Seeing inside the Earth; Magnetic core; The moving mantle; Superplumes; Crust and continent; Plate tectonics; Seafloor spreading; Subduction; Volcanoes; Earthquakes; Mountain building; Metamorphism; Black gold; Riches from the deep; Deep diamond secrets. SURFACE SYSTEMS: The rock cycle; Carving landscape; Gradualism and catastrophism; Sedimentation; Ocean circulation; Atmosphere circulation; Water cycle; Carbon cycle; Climate change; Ice ages; Ice caps; Snowball Earth. LIVING PLANET: Deep time; Stratigraphy; Life's origins; Evolution; Garden of Ediacara; Diversification; Dinosaurs; Extinction; Adaptation; Fossil molecules; Anthropocene. EARTH FUTURES: Future resources; Future climate; Future evolution; Future continents; The end of the Earth. Glossary. Index.