The Goldilocks Planet: The 4 billion year story of Earths climate

Paperback | September 6, 2013

byJan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams

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Climate change is a major topic of concern today, scientifically, socially, and politically. It will undoubtedly continue to be so for the foreseeable future, as predicted changes in global temperatures, rainfall, and sea level take place, and as human society adapts to these changes. In this remarkable new work, Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams demonstrate 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 - the evidence is abundant, though always incomplete, and also oftenbaffling, puzzling, infuriating, tantalizing, seemingly contradictory. Geologists, though, are becoming ever more ingenious at interrogating this evidence, and the story of the Earth's climate is now being reconstructed in ever-greater detail - maybe even providing us with clues to the future ofcontemporary climate change. The history is dramatic and often abrupt. Changes in global and regional climate range from bitterly cold to sweltering hot, from arid to humid, and they have impacted hugely upon the planet's evolving animal and plant communities, and upon its physical landscapes of the Earth. And yet, through allof 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".

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Climate change is a major topic of concern today, scientifically, socially, and politically. It will undoubtedly continue to be so for the foreseeable future, as predicted changes in global temperatures, rainfall, and sea level take place, and as human society adapts to these changes. In this remarkable new work, Jan Zalasiewicz and Ma...

Dr Jan Zalasiewicz is Senior Lecturer in Geology at Leicester University. A field geologist, palaeontologist, and stratigrapher, he teaches various aspects of geology and Earth history to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is a researcher into fossil ecosystems and environments across over half a billion years of geological ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.07 inPublished:September 6, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199683506

ISBN - 13:9780199683505

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Table of Contents

PrologueA Brief Word on Time1. Primordial Climate2. Earth as a Snowball3. Between Greenhouse and Icehouse4. The Last Greenhouse World5. The Ice Returns6. The Last of the Warmth7. Into the Icehouse8. The Glacial World9. Birth and Death of the Holocene10. The Anthropocene BeginsNotesFurther readingReferences

Editorial Reviews

"A balanced, well written, mostly comprehensive and well-argued book." --Times Higher Education Supplement