The Ends of the World
Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass ExtinctionsBook - 2017
New York Times Editors' Choice 2017
Forbes Top 10 Best Environment, Climate, and Conservation Book of 2017
As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet's history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet's five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future
Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth's past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future.
Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside "scenes of the crime," from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record--which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of sea gulls and guillotine-mouthed fish--and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth's biggest whodunits.
Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light.
From Library Staff
SPL_Shauna Aug 15, 2017
Ever been so terrified or depressed about something that all you can do is laugh? Peter Brannen knows the feeling. Over the past few years he did a deep dive with climate researchers, geologists and other experts, hoping to understand what drove past mass extinction events. What did he discover? ... Read More »
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It might seem silly to care about the well-being of citizens thousands of years from now, but we still commune with the inner lives of people of antiquity.
The hills surrounding Salzburg might be alive with the sound of music, but they're also dead with the eventual victims of the End-Triassic mass extinction.
When you put a log on the fire, the light and heat you see is, in a literal sense, the decades of sunshine that tree basked in over its lifetime.
If you flip a coin enough times, it will eventually come up tails 100 times in a row, and the earth is very old.
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