logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: science-earth-science
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-09 15:59
The Earth by Richard Fortey
The Earth: An Intimate History - Richard Fortey

TITLE:  The Earth:  An Intimate History

 

AUTHOR:  Richard Fortey

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2005

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  978-0-00-655137-9

____________________________

 

Blurb:

"This is the life story of our planet - told by one of our most brilliant science writers.  With Richard Fortey as our guide we not only travel back through geological time to discover the planet's spectacular past, but also climb the Alps, wallow in Icelandic hot springs and walk through the luch ecosystems of Hawaii.  On the way we discover the awesome truth about the world we inhabit - from Los Angeles life to statues of the Buddha; from the slow crawl of stained glass to the history of the dollar."

____________________________

This book is an informative but rather rambling mix of geology and travel writing.  The book revolves around the various facets of plate tectonics, how each piece  of the theory was puzzled out and how those pieces fit together to give us the Earth we have today.   Fortey uses examples from all over the world to illustrate the various geological processes. Everything from fault lines, development of mountain ranges and oceans, subduction zones, volcanoes, earthquakessupercontinents, the Earth's interior, mining, minerals and gems, as well as a bit of ecology are covered.  Fortey also emphasizes how the geology and geomorphology of a specific area has shaped ethinic culture and human experiences.  The author is enthusiastic about his subject.  The wirting is poetic and colourful, often dramatic, though sometimes a bit long-winded.  The book contains photographs but is in desperate need of illustrations and diagrams of the various processes discussed.  An interesting book for the intelligent layreader, who isn't afraid of a few technical terms.

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-21 07:03
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean - Jonathan White,Peter Matthiessen

TITLE:   Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

 

AUTHOR:  Jonathan White

 

PUBLICATION DATE:  2017

 

FORMAT:  ebook

 

ISBN-13:  978-1-59534-806-7

___________________________________

 

NOTE:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.  This review is my honest opinion of the book.

___________________________________

 

 

Jonathan White is a sailor, surfer, writer, and active marine conservationist who takes his readers on an adventure around the world to discover the science and spirit of ocean tides.

 

Some of the fascinating topics covered in this book include tidal bores, tidal anomalies, the difference between spring and neap tides, the science and history of forecasting tides, resonance, geophysics, the different methods of harvesting energy from the ocean, and a rather poor attempt to describe the effects of rising tides on civilization. 

 

The author provides a superficial explanation of tidal mechanics – I really was looking for more information on this, especially in a book subtitled “the science and spirit of the ocean”.  The “spirit” part of the subtitle takes over the book in terms of personal anecdotes, “travel writing”, tangential stories and philosophical musings that didn’t particularly appeal to me. 

 

The book was also arranged in an odd manner by explaining specific tidal anomalies before explaining tides in general.  Trying to sift the interesting scientific information out of all the extraneous text didn’t help with the conveyance of information.  However, the book does provide numerous black & white photographs, explanatory diagrams and sixteen colour photographs.

 

If you want to know more about tides and like personal, chatty stories mixed with your science, then you will probably enjoy this book.  If you want more science and less “fluff”, you need to look elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-04 06:03
The Big Ones by Lucy Jones
The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do about Them) - Lucy Jones

TITLE:  The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do about Them).

 

AUTHOR:  Lucy Jones

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2018

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover

 

ISBN-13:  9780385542708

 

_____________________________

From the blurb:

"By a veteran seismologist of the U.S. Geological Survey, a lively and revealing history of the world's most disruptive natural disasters, their impact on our culture, and new ways of thinking about the ones to come.

Natural disasters emerge from the same forces that give our planet life. Earthquakes have provided us with natural springs. Volcanoes have given us fertile soil. A world without floods would be a world without rain. It is only when these forces exceed our ability to withstand them that they become disasters. Together, these colossal events have shaped our cities and their architecture; elevated leaders and toppled governments; influenced the way we reason, feel, fight, unite, and pray. The history of natural disasters is a history of ourselves.


The Big Ones is a look at some of the most devastating disasters in human history, whose reverberations we continue to feel today. It considers Pompeii, and how a volcanic eruption in the first century AD challenged and reinforced prevailing views of religion for centuries to come. It explores the California floods of 1862, examining the failures of our collective memory. And it transports us to today, showing what Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami can tell us about governance and globalization.


With global temperatures rising, natural disasters are striking with greater frequency. More than just history, The Big Ones is a call to action. Natural disasters are inevitable; human catastrophes are not. With this energizing and richly researched book, Jones offers a look at our past, readying us to face down the Big Ones in our future."

_________________________

 

This book provides a superficial look at a few of the world's biggest natural disasters and how these disasters effected societies.  Jones explores how the disaster victims and relevant governments dealt with the catastrophe and what they are doing to mitigate the adverse effects of any subsequent natural disasters.  This is a history book with minimal, superficial science.  The book is informative with an easy going writing style, however, I was hoping for more specific information on the disaster themselves and the engineering options used to mitigate disaster impacts.  This book makes for a good introductory text to the subject.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-30 09:28
The Evolution Underground by Anthony J. Martin
The Evolution Underground: Burrows, Bunkers, and the Marvelous Subterranean World Beneath our Feet - Anthony J. Martin

TITLE:  The Evolution Underground:  Burrows, Bunkers, and the Marvelous Subterranean World Beneath our Feet.

 

AUTHOR:  Anthony J. Martin

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2017

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  978-1-68177-312-4

________________________________

 

In this book, ichnologist Anthony J. Martin takes a look at how burrowing animals have evolved and influenced the ecology of this planet.  Martin starts off with alligators and gopher tortoises, ancient subterranean human settlements in Turkey and more modern underground Cold War bunkers, then travels through time to see what trace evidence and fossils prehistoric animals have left for burrowing behaviour - everything from the first worms, the first vertebrates and invertebrates, insects, dinosaurs, birds, penguins, giant ground sloths, crabs, shrimp, moles, gophers, earthworms and more.  

Martin shows  that burrowing animals are ecosystem engineers that alter their habitats through burrowing action.    He provides a fascinating eye-opening account of earth altering underground activities that effect the flora and fauna that exist on the surface of the planet.  

Martin also theorises that burrowing strategies of prehistoric and contemporary animals help in their survival during catastrophes and the survival of their species, and thus their evolutionary development, after the catastrophes.  Afterall, burrows provide shelter and protection, a reduction in extreme temperature fluctuations, minimized dessication during droughts, safe places to procreate and raise young, and on occassion food storage facilities.  Martin compares the survivors of major prehistoric catastrophes with the survivors of minor modern catastrophes, using examples like the pocket gophers that were hibernating during the eruption of Mt St. Helens.  The sleeping pocket gophers awoke to found an ash and lava covered landscape with minimal food, but due to a shortage in predators and a full storage larder, the gophers survived, prospered and also helped with seed dispersal and soil movement.

Martin is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about his subject.  This book adds a new perspective to evolution, extinction and ecosystem engineering.  There are 85 pages of note references, a whole wad of colour photographs/ illustrations, and a list of genera and species mentioned in the book.  The writing style manages to lively, fun, on the odd occasion amusing,  and informative at the same time.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-04-29 17:21
Ocean Worlds by Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams
Ocean Worlds: The Story of Seas on Earth and Other Planets - Mark Williams,Jan Zalasiewicz

TITLE:  Ocean Worlds: The Story of Seas on Earth and Other Planets

 

AUTHOR:  Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2014

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover

 

ISBN-13:  978-0-19-967288-2

_____________________________________________

 

From the blurb:

"Water, water everywhere?

 

So it would seem, and not ust on our home planet, but across the Universe,  In this exciting exploration of oceans, Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Willimas take us to the beginnings of oceans on the hot, young Earth and show the critical role oceans have played in plate tectonics, in the development of the Earth's climate, and in the evolution of life on the planet.  There is much we still have to learn about the depths of our wold;s oceans.

 

Beyond the Earth, we explore possible oceans past on Mars and Venus, the ocean below the icy carapace of Euopa, and the water jets of Enceladus.  Will the Earth become another Mars or Venus in the future, when its oceans have boiled away?  Do the oceans of Saturn's moons harbour life - at least microbial life?  And the tantalizing possibility of finding another Earth-like world with oceans beckons.  Understanding oceans is central to understanding our planet, managing its future, and seeking life on other worlds."

 

Ocean Worlds is a well written science book that covers information and theories about the history, evolution and future development of the Earth's oceans, and then takes a look at other ocean worlds.  In short, the book is as described on the "tin".  The narrative is clearly written, fast paced and easy to understand but not overly simplified.  Numerous illustrations, diagrams and colour photographs are included.

 

OTHER BOOKS

 

- Ocean of Life by Callum Roberts

- The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels by Brian M. Fagan

- The Worst of Times: How Life on Earth Survived Eighty Million Years of Extinctions by Paul B. Wignall

- The Goldilocks Planet: The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate by Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams

 

 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?