Author: C.N. Waters,J.A. Zalasiewicz,M. Williams,M.A. Ellis,A.M. Snelling
Publisher: Geological Society of London
Humankind has pervasively influenced the Earth’s atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere, arguably to the point of fashioning a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. To constrain the Anthropocene as a potential formal unit within the Geological Time Scale, a spectrum of indicators of anthropogenically-induced environmental change is considered, and shown as stratigraphical signals that may be used to characterize an Anthropocene unit, and to recognize its base. This volume describes a range of evidence that may help to define this potential new time unit and details key signatures that could be used in its definition. These signatures include lithostratigraphical (novel deposits, minerals and mineral magnetism), biostratigraphical (macro- and micro-palaeontological successions and human-induced trace fossils) and chemostratigraphical (organic, inorganic and radiogenic signatures in deposits, speleothems and ice and volcanic eruptions). We include, finally, the suggestion that humans have created a further sphere, the technosphere, that drives global change.
Author: Kieran D. O'Hara
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Approximately 200 years of the history of the development of the study of geology.
Cautionary Tales for the Anthropocene
Author: Renata Tyszczuk
This book considers the provisional nature of cities in relation to the Anthropocene – the proposed geological epoch of human-induced changes to the Earth system. It charts an environmental history of curfews, admonitions and alarms about dwelling on Earth. ‘Provisional cities’ are explored as exemplary sites for thinking about living in this unsettled time. Each chapter focuses on cities, settlements or proxy urbanisations, including past disaster zones, remote outposts in the present and future urban fossils. The book explores the dynamic, changing and contradictory relationship between architecture and the global environmental crisis and looks at how to re-position architectural and urban practice in relation to wider intellectual, environmental, political and cultural shifts. The book argues that these rounder and richer accounts can better equip humanity to think through questions of vulnerability, responsibility and opportunity that are presented by immense processes of planetary change. These are cautionary tales for the Anthropocene. Central to this project is the proposition that living with uncertainty requires that architecture is reframed as a provisional practice. This book would be beneficial to students and academics working in architecture, geography, planning and environmental humanities as well as professionals working to shape the future of cities.
Author: W.E.N. Austin,P.M. Abbott,S.M. Davies,N.J.G. Pearce,S. Wastegård
Publisher: Geological Society of London
This Special Publication includes articles presenting recent advances in marine tephrochronological studies and outlines innovative techniques in geochemical fingerprinting, stratigraphy and the understanding of depositional processes. It represents a significant resource for the palaeoceanographic community at a time when marine tephrochronology is being more widely recognized. It will also serve as a valuable reference to a much wider community of Earth scientists, climate scientists and archaeologists, particularly in highlighting the role of tephra studies in stratigraphy and regional/extra-regional correlations, as well as in tracing the long-term history of regional and global volcanism in the deep-sea archive.
Author: Gerta Keller,Andrew C. Kerr
Publisher: Geological Society of America
"Comprises articles stemming from the March 2013 international conference at London's Natural History Museum. Researchers across geological, geophysical, and biological disciplines present key results from research concerning the causes of mass extinction events"--
Author: Ian Shennan,Antony J. Long,Benjamin P. Horton
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Measuring sea-level change – be that rise or fall – is one of the most pressing scientific goals of our time and requires robust scientific approaches and techniques. This Handbook aims to provide a practical guide to readers interested in this challenge, from the initial design of research approaches through to the practical issues of data collection and interpretation from a diverse range of coastal environments. Building on thirty years of international research, the Handbook comprises 38 chapters that are authored by leading experts from around the world. The Handbook will be an important resource to scientists interested and involved in understanding sea-level changes across a broad range of disciplines, policy makers wanting to appreciate our current state of knowledge of sea-level change over different timescales, and many teachers at the university level, as well as advanced-level undergraduates and postgraduate research students, wanting to learn more about sea-level change. Additional resources for this book can be found at: www.wiley.com\go\shennan\sealevel
An Unnatural History
Author: Elizabeth Kolbert
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
A Guide to the Scientific Evidence and Current Debate
Author: Jan Zalasiewicz,Colin N. Waters,Mark Williams,Colin Summerhayes
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The Anthropocene, a term launched into public debate by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen, has been used informally to describe the time period during which human actions have had a drastic effect on the Earth and its ecosystems. This book presents evidence for defining the Anthropocene as a geological epoch, written by the high-profile international team analysing its potential addition to the geological time scale. The evidence ranges from chemical signals arising from pollution, to landscape changes associated with urbanisation, and biological changes associated with species invasion and extinctions. Global environmental change is placed within the context of planetary processes and deep geological time, allowing the reader to appreciate the scale of human-driven change and compare the global transition taking place today with major transitions in Earth history. This is an authoritative review of the Anthropocene for graduate students and academic researchers across scientific, social science and humanities disciplines.
What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks?
Author: Jan Zalasiewicz,Kim Freedman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
If aliens came to Earth 100 millions years in the future, what traces would they find of long-extinct humanity's brief reign on the planet? This engaging and thought-provoking account looks at what our species will leave behind, buried deep in the rock strata, and provides us with a warning of our devastating environmental impact.
How Humans Took Control of Climate
Author: William F. Ruddiman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
The impact on climate from 200 years of industrial development is an everyday fact of life, but did humankind's active involvement in climate change really begin with the industrial revolution, as commonly believed? Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum has sparked lively scientific debate since it was first published--arguing that humans have actually been changing the climate for some 8,000 years--as a result of the earlier discovery of agriculture. The "Ruddiman Hypothesis" will spark intense debate. We learn that the impact of farming on greenhouse-gas levels, thousands of years before the industrial revolution, kept our planet notably warmer than if natural climate cycles had prevailed--quite possibly forestalling a new ice age. Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum is the first book to trace the full historical sweep of human interaction with Earth's climate. Ruddiman takes us through three broad stages of human history: when nature was in control; when humans began to take control, discovering agriculture and affecting climate through carbon dioxide and methane emissions; and, finally, the more recent human impact on climate change. Along the way he raises the fascinating possibility that plagues, by depleting human populations, also affected reforestation and thus climate--as suggested by dips in greenhouse gases when major pandemics have occurred. While our massive usage of fossil fuels has certainly contributed to modern climate change, Ruddiman shows that industrial growth is only part of the picture. The book concludes by looking to the future and critiquing the impact of special interest money on the global warming debate. In the afterword, Ruddiman explores the main challenges posed to his hypothesis, and shows how recent investigations and findings ultimately strengthen the book's original claims.
Author: Andrew Yoram Glikson
This book presents projections and blueprints of the future geologic period, climate and biosphere, based on our current understanding of the Earth’s history and recent developments in the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere system. By the second decade of the 21st century it has become clear that, rather than channel its efforts into protecting its planetary biosphere and living species, Homo sapiens continues to sink its remaining resources into weapons, including nuclear missiles – thus increasing the risk of intentional or accidental spread of radioactive nuclides on land, oceans and atmosphere. With time, possibility becomes probability, and probability becomes certainty ‒ heralding a transition from the Anthropocene to a new geological period, named here as Plutocene after the element Plutonium. During the Plutocene the biosphere is dominated by elevated temperatures, analogous to the Pliocene (2.6 – 5.3 Ma ago) or the Miocene (5.3 - 23 Ma ago) when mean global temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees Celsius warmer and sea levels 20 to 40 meters higher than pre-industrial levels. High levels of radioactivity will persist for at least 20,000 years and acid oceans will severely limit biological activity to the hardiest species. Atmospheric CO2 higher than 500 ppm with residence time on the order of thousands of years will delay the subsequent glacial cycle. These factors restrict comparisons of the Plutocene with biosphere conditions during the Miocene and Pliocene periods, partly because the flora and fauna evolved more gradually during these periods, unlike the abrupt climate shift of state during the second half of the 20th century and first part of the 21st century. Following a long lull in biological activity dominated by radiation-resistant organisms, especially Arthropods, a resumption of glacial cycles and decline in radioactivity will lead to the re-emergence of descendants of burrowing mammals and other genera. Depending on the intensity of radioactive pollution, hunter-gatherer humans may survive in northern latitudes, relatively cold high-altitude mountain valleys and elevated volcanic islands. In some areas subsistence farming may be possible. A new cycle will commence.
How Close Are We to the Edge?
Author: Anthony D. Barnosky,Elizabeth A. Hadly
Four people are born every second of every day. Conservative estimates suggest that there will be 10 billion people on Earth by 2050. That is billions more than the natural resources of our planet can sustain without big changes in how we use and manage them. So what happens when vast population growth endangers the world’s food supplies? Or our water? Our energy needs, climate, or environment? Or the planet’s biodiversity? What happens if some or all of these become critical at once? Just what is our future? In Tipping Point for Planet Earth, world-renowned scientists Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly explain the growing threats to humanity as the planet edges toward resource wars for remaining space, food, oil, and water. And as they show, these wars are not the nightmares of a dystopian future, but are already happening today. Finally, they ask: at what point will inaction lead to the break-up of the intricate workings of the global society? The planet is in danger now, but the solutions, as Barnosky and Hadly show, are still available. We still have the chance to avoid the tipping point and to make the future better. But this window of opportunity will shut within ten to twenty years. Tipping Point for Planet Earth is the wake-up call we need.
The story of seas on Earth and other planets
Author: Jan Zalasiewicz,Mark Williams
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Oceans make up most of the surface of our blue planet. They may form just a sliver on the outside of the Earth, but they are very important, not only in hosting life, including the fish and other animals on which many humans depend, but in terms of their role in the Earth system, in regulating climate, and cycling nutrients. As climate change, pollution, and over-exploitation by humans puts this precious resource at risk, it is more important than ever that we understand and appreciate the nature and history of oceans. There is much we still do not know about the story of the Earth's oceans, and we are only just beginning to find indications of oceans on other planets. In this book, geologists Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams consider the deep history of oceans, how and when they may have formed on the young Earth — topics of intense current research — how they became salty, and how they evolved through Earth history. We learn how oceans have formed and disappeared over millions of years, how the sea nurtured life, and what may become of our oceans in the future. We encounter some of the scientists and adventurers whose efforts led to our present understanding of oceans. And we look at clues to possible seas that may once have covered parts of Mars and Venus, that may still exist, below the surface, on moons such as Europa and Callisto, and the possibility of watery planets in other star systems.
Author: Georges-Louis Leclerc
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Georges-Louis Leclerc, le comte de Buffon's The Epochs of Nature, originally published as Les Époques de la Nature in 1778, is one of the first great popular science books, a work of style and insight that was devoured by Catherine the Great of Russia and influenced Humboldt, Darwin, Lyell, Vernadsky, and many other renowned scientists. It is the first geological history of the world, stretching from the Earth’s origins to its foreseen end, and though Buffon was limited by the scientific knowledge of his era—the substance of the Earth was not, as he asserts, dragged out of the sun by a giant comet, nor is the sun’s heat generated by tidal forces—many of his deductions appear today as startling insights. And yet, The Epochs of Nature has never before been available in its entirety in English—until now. In seven epochs, Buffon reveals the main features of an evolving Earth, from its hard rock substrate to the sedimentary layers on top, from the minerals and fossils found within these layers to volcanoes, earthquakes, and rises and falls in sea level—and he even touches on age-old mysteries like why the sun shines. In one of many moments of striking scientific prescience, Buffon details evidence for species extinction a generation before Cuvier’s more famous assertion of the phenomenon. His seventh and final epoch does nothing less than offer the first geological glimpse of the idea that humans are altering the very foundations of the Earth—an idea of remarkable resonance as we debate the designation of another epoch: the Anthropocene. Also featuring Buffon’s extensive “Notes Justificatives,” in which he offers further evidence to support his assertions (and discusses vanished monstrous North American beasts—what we know as mastodons—as well as the potential existence of human giants), plus an enlightening introduction by editor and translator Jan Zalasiewicz and historians of science Sverker Sörlin, Libby Robin, and Jacques Grinevald, this extraordinary new translation revives Buffon’s quite literally groundbreaking work for a new age.
Author: Donald Robert Coates
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Mankind lives, works, and plays on the earth's surface. The majority of such human activities change in some manner the geological materials and processes of our planet. It is the basis of this book that an understanding of this relationship is significant. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that natural processes and events can in turn greatly affect society. Erosion devastates farms and grazing lands. The spectacular hazards of earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and landslides can lead to disastrous loss of life and property. Thus, one theme in this book is to provide perspective on the duality of these impacts on the environmental scene. Geology is a key component that can lead to an improved understanding of these changes and influences. A care full orchestration of geological studies can help soften the deleterious aspects of nature and minimize the harmful byproducts of civilization. This is the central message that is repeated throughout these pages. This book is one of a series of volumes published and in preparation in the series entitled "Environmental Resources Management. " Books already in print include two on soils, and others on mineral resources, and land-use planning. These will be followed by books on surface-water resources, groundwater resources, environmental pollution, energy resources, coastal environments, glacial environments, arid regional environments, and others. Chapter 1 provides the introduction and sets the stage and tone for the book. Chapters 2,3, and 4 deal with the resource base of society - minerals, fuels, and water.
Reflections on the End of a Civilization
Author: Roy Scranton
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Category: Political Science
An Iraq War vet's bracing, visionary response to the challenge posed by global warming and his hope in the humanities.
Defects, Photorefraction and Ferroelectric Switching
Author: Tatyana Volk,Manfred Wöhlecke
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Technology & Engineering
This book covers new research on LiNbO3 including current studies on intrinsic and extrinsic point defects and the contribution of intrinsic defects to photoinduced charge transport. Applications of this material are also discussed.
A Requiem to Late Liberalism
Author: Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Social Science
In Geontologies Elizabeth A. Povinelli continues her project of mapping the current conditions of late liberalism by offering a bold retheorization of power. Finding Foucauldian biopolitics unable to adequately reveal contemporary mechanisms of power and governance, Povinelli describes a mode of power she calls geontopower, which operates through the regulation of the distinction between Life and Nonlife and the figures of the Desert, the Animist, and the Virus. Geontologies examines this formation of power from the perspective of Indigenous Australian maneuvers against the settler state. And it probes how our contemporary critical languages—anthropogenic climate change, plasticity, new materialism, antinormativity—often unwittingly transform their struggles against geontopower into a deeper entwinement within it. A woman who became a river, a snakelike entity who spawns the fog, plesiosaurus fossils and vast networks of rock weirs: in asking how these different forms of existence refuse incorporation into the vocabularies of Western theory Povinelli provides a revelatory new way to understand a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalism but now becoming visible much further beyond.
Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future
Author: Richard B. Alley
Publisher: Princeton University Press
In the 1990s Richard B. Alley and his colleagues made headlines with the discovery that the last ice age came to an abrupt end over a period of only three years. In The Two-Mile Time Machine, Alley tells the fascinating history of global climate changes as revealed by reading the annual rings of ice from cores drilled in Greenland. He explains that humans have experienced an unusually temperate climate compared to the wild fluctuations that characterized most of prehistory. He warns that our comfortable environment could come to an end in a matter of years and tells us what we need to know in order to understand and perhaps overcome climate changes in the future. In a new preface, the author weighs in on whether our understanding of global climate change has altered in the years since the book was first published, what the latest research tells us, and what he is working on next.