From the Inside Flap
From pole to pole, The Complete Earth presents one of the most advanced portraits of our planet ever created. Within these pages, data from NASA's most advanced Earth observing satellites has been combined to produce a cloud-free, digital atlas of the entire planet - a mappamundi for the Information Age. At a scale of 53 kilometres to every centimetre (93 miles to an inch), we can trace the Amazon from Andean headwaters to Atlantic mouth, explore the trackless sand seas of the Sahara, and follow the corrugated ridges of hills and mountains that mark the front-line of India's continental collision with Eurasia. We can track the ebb and flow of seasons across the globe, watching snows fall in the North as they melt in the South and desert lands bloom and fade as rains come and go. Combining NASA's digital portrait of the planet with high resolution satellite imagery that zooms in on noteworthy features - from volcanoes to asteroid craters, river deltas to glaciers - The Complete Earth creates an unprecedented view of our planet's face. Social and political boundaries are invisible and irrelevant, what we see instead is the landscape of the whole Earth - the mountains and deserts, seas and oceans that have shaped human history. Yet this configuration of rock and water represents a fleeting geological moment, having existed for no more than 4 million years - a mere 0.01 percent of the planet's lifetime. But look closer and a deeper past emerges. Earth's 4.5 billion year history can be reconstructed from the layered, twisted and folded rocks that adorn its surface. To understand how to read the planet's deep history, The Complete Earth descends far beneath the continents and oceans to reveal the tectonic plates they rest on. It explains how the ceaseless jostling of these plates has sculpted the Earth's ever-changing face and tracks their movements over millennia to reconstruct global views of not only the planet's past, but also its future.
From the Back Cover
Reproducing one of the most advanced satellite surveys of Earth in its entirety, The Complete Earth explores our planet, explaining the how and when of its mountain ranges, deserts, ice-sheets, volcanoes and oceans.
About the Author
Douglas Palmer is a lecturer in Natural and Earth Sciences at Cambridge University and a science writer. He is the author of The Discovery Channel's Prehistoric Atlas of the World, and the principal editor of DK's Earth. He is also a regular contributor to a variety of journals including The Guardian, Science, Nature and New Scientist.