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The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology…
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805075127, Paperback)
“They deftly bring together findings from many disparate areas of science in a book that science buffs will find hard to put down.” —Publishers Weekly
Science has worked hard to piece together the story of the evolution of our world up to this point, but only recently have we developed the understanding and the tools to describe the entire life cycle of our planet. Peter D. Ward and Donald 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. 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.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:47 -0400)
"Two brilliant scientists - Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee, a paleontologist and an astronomer respectively - are helping to bring this groundbreaking work to a popular audience. Vanguards of a new field called astrobiology - the science of how planets and organisms live and die - Ward and Brownlee combine the discoveries of astronomers, Earth scientists, and those in other scientific disciplines. Astronomers are well-poised to study the end of our world, since they have studied the ends of other worlds, while paleontologists can tell us about "worlds" that have already ended on our planet, such as the death of dinosaurs and other signposts in the rock and fossil record." "Ward and Brownlee present a comprehensive portrait of Earth's ultimate fate, allowing us to understand and appreciate how our planet sustains itself, and offer a glimpse at our place in the cosmic order. As they depict the process of planetary evolution, they peer deep into the future destiny of Earth, showing us that we are living near or shortly after Earth's biological peak. Eventually, the process of planetary evolution will reverse itself; life as we know it will subside until only the simplest forms remain. In time they, too, will disappear. The oceans will evaporate, the atmosphere will degrade, and as the sun slowly expands, Earth will eventually meet a fiery end."--BOOK JACKET.
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