Earth Shock: Climate Complexity and the Force of Nature

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9780500277386: Earth Shock: Climate Complexity and the Force of Nature

What causes an earthquake? When will another big shock shake Tokyo or Los Angeles? Can people create deserts and eventually wipe out a civilization? Or are deserts and droughts entirely beyond human control? How are ozone layer and greenhouse effect interlinked? Is global warming a force of Nature - or of man? This book, illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned artwork, explains the latest scientific insights into these fiercely debated, life-and-death questions. Our predecessors, such as Newton and Einstein, built science gradually upon their faith in some fundamental simplicity in Nature: what they called Nature's laws. Today our view is one of Chaos and Complexity, as we grapple with the intricacies of how everything - natural and human - interacts. But understanding these interactions has never been more urgent: for we now find ourselves increasingly at the mercy of planet-threatening upheavals unleashed by our own actions. Andrew Robinson, a King's Scholar at Eton, holds degrees from Oxford University and from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His books include "The Shape of the World: The Mapping and Discovery of the Earth" (1990), which accompanied a six-part television series.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Mixing lively narrative with informative graphics and spectacular photographs, Robinson ( The Shape of the World: The Mapping and Discovery of the Earth ) has produced an absorbing book. He traces the development of our scientific understanding of what causes natural upheavals--from the movement of continents to that of glaciers--as well as traditional cultures' attempts to explain them. A Japanese print, for instance, portrays the mythical catfish believed responsible for earthquakes. He also details attempts to predict and avert disaster; though regarding the success of efforts to tame the great Mississippi, events have overtaken his statement that "the jury is still out." Robinson writes stylishly--"Tornadoes are terrorists, hurricanes lumbering armies"--and in each chapter offers a mix of scientific knowledge, tales of disaster and personal testimony, such as the story of a Kansas farmer who looked into the heart of a tornado. Robinson concludes by musing on the potentially disastrous effects of human intervention in nature, such as global warming; he suggests that avoiding these will require a more complex understanding of the interplay between humans and nature. BOMC and QPB selections.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Robinson, coauthor of The Shape of the World (Rand McNally, 1990), has assembled this interdisciplinary work on the forces of nature into broad categories that flow surprisingly well. Using a wide array of color photographs and charts, he examines the history and latest scientific insight into nature's effect on man and vice versa. Although dealing with some very complex concepts, Robinson writes in an engaging, lucid style. Highlights include an outstanding bibliography and the chapter on global climatic change, which may leave the reader with an appreciation for how little scientists truly understand about "our" planet. Similar in concept but much broader in scope than Charles Officer and Jake Page's Tales of the Earth ( LJ 5/1/93), this is highly recommended for all but science research collections.
- Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Andrew Robinson
Published by Thames & Hudson (1993)
ISBN 10: 0500277389 ISBN 13: 9780500277386
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Robinson, Andrew
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Book Description Thames & Hudson, 1993. Hard Card Covers. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. 275 illustrations, 135 in colour. New & unopened but with minor shelflife (part of a stock closing down Book Shop) An almost fine copy - Guaranteed posting 24hrs- extra postage outside the UK. ST105 Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 009369

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