Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth

3.84 avg rating
( 264 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780813342498: Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth

To many of us, the Earth's crust is a relic of ancient, unknowable history. But to a geologist, stones are richly illustrated narratives, telling gothic tales of cataclysm and reincarnation. For more than four billion years, in beach sand, granite, and garnet schists, the planet has kept a rich and idiosyncratic journal of its past.Fulbright Scholar Marcia Bjornerud takes the reader along on an eye-opening tour of Deep Time, explaining in elegant prose what we see and feel beneath our feet. Both scientist and storyteller, Bjornerud uses anecdotes and metaphors to remind us that our home is a living thing with lessons to teach.She shows how our planet has long maintained a delicate balance, and how the global give-and-take has sustained life on Earth through numerous upheavals. But with the rapidly escalating effects of human beings on their home planet, that cosmic balance is being threatened—and the consequences may be catastrophic.Containing a glossary and detailed timescale, as well as vivid descriptions and historic accounts, Reading the Rocks is literally a history of the world, for all friends of the Earth.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Marcia Bjornerud is a Professor and Chair of Geology at Lawrence University. She is a Fellow of the Geographical Society of America, and was a 2000-2001 Fulbright Scholar. She lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this engrossing volume of pop-geology, geologist Bjornerud chronicles the watersheds in Earth's history from the primordial supernova that seeded the nascent solar nebula to the man-made cataclysms of global warming and habitat destruction, visiting along the way such "near-death experiences" as the Moon's apparent birth from a collision between Earth and a wandering planet, the "Snowball Earth" period when the oceans froze over, and the asphyxiating "Permian-Triassic oxygen crisis," when 90% of the world's species died out in less than a million years. Adopting something of a Gaian perspective of Earth as a self-regulating superorganism, the author attributes the planet's stability in the face of upheaval to dynamic mechanisms that cycle elements back and forth among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biosphere and Earth's crust and interior. Bjornerud conveys these lessons through a stimulating introduction to the geological principles by which Earth's past is teased out of obscure but telling details of rocks and fossils. Her thematically structured chapters, reminiscent of Stephen Jay Gould's essays, are written in an expansive, erudite style ranging from science to philosophy, history and the occasional admonition against humanity's reckless remaking of the environment "like spoiled children." (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bjornerud, Marcia
Published by Basic Books
ISBN 10: 081334249X ISBN 13: 9780813342498
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 081334249X New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0894618

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Bjornerud, Marcia
Published by Basic Books (2005)
ISBN 10: 081334249X ISBN 13: 9780813342498
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11081334249X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 74.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Bjornerud, Marcia
Published by Basic Books (2005)
ISBN 10: 081334249X ISBN 13: 9780813342498
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Basic Books, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB081334249X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 74.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds