TITLE: The Goldilocks Planet: The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate
AUTHOR: Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams
DATE PUBLISHED: 2013
The Goldilocks Planet: The Four Billion Year Story of Earth's Climate takes a look at the Earth's climate from the planet's formation to the current age and then takes a look at what our future climate might have in store for us. In short, the book contents are as described on the "box".
In this book, the authors reconstruct and describe 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, in fossils, in ancient air samples, in mineral samples, extinction events etc. The book describes how changes in the global and regional climate range from bitterly cold to sweltering hot, from arid to humid, and they have impacted enormously upon the planet's evolving animal and plant communities, and upon its physical landscapes of the Earth. However, in spite 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'.
This book is wonderfully written! And so interesting! Minimal personal anecdotes, not too much biographical detail (just enough to be interesting) and lots of lovely, juicy science - all explained to be easily understandable but not simplified to be completely useless. The authors have also included numerous helpful diagrams and graphs. I wouldn't call this a popular science book, but it isn't a text book either. I wish more science books were written like this book.