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The Earth After Us: What legacy will humans leave in the rocks? by [Zalasiewicz, Jan]
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The Earth After Us: What legacy will humans leave in the rocks? 1st , Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Review

A fascinating and thought provoking read. (Adventure Travel)

A wonderfully thought-provoking and fascinating look at the impression we're leaving on our planet. Zalasiewicz...does a fantastic job. (Chris Turney, www.Nature.com)

'The Earth After Us' is a thoroughly inspirational book. (Chris Turney, www.nature.com)

A fantastic introduction to the world around us taken from a highly original angle. (Chris Turney, www.Nature.com)

Zalasiewicz presents an elegant and authoritative primer on the earth sciences....this book is beautifully written. (Times Higher Education Supplement.)

This is a wonderful, elegant, short book. (Michael Benton, Times Higher Education Supplement)

A delightful retelling of how Earth's geoscientists reconstructed its history. (Nature Geoscience.)

I highly recommend this book for geoscientists in general. (William R Ruddiman. Nature Geoscience.)

Elegantly written book, one of the best of recent geology popularisations. (New Scientist.)

About the Author

Jan Zalasiewicz is a Lecturer in Geology at the University of Leicester, before that working at the British Geological Survey. 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 time. He has published over a hundred papers in scientific journals.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1219 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199214972
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1 edition (10 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006QV80HM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #359,984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the very first book on geology I have ever read and I was amazed that I was able to stick with it - indeed enjoy it throughly - throughout. Cleary written for the general reader, rather than the specialist, it's an engaging read but honestly, it does make me wonder what will be the legacy of the human race? One day we won't even be history...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wide range of readers with some scientific knowledge and anyone concerned about the effects of climate change should find interest and stimulation from this well written book.
The presently short span of life on earth of our species and the record of the changes we are responsible for are put into the geological context.
I bought this book as a geology student but found it very much more thought provoking than any text book.
Never before have I felt moved to give 5 stars to a book on Amazon but this is the one I would recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a thought-provoking book. On the one hand it reduces the human span of life to its rightful place in the universe, ie. a passing phase.
The subject is tackled in a logical manner and also attempts to instruct the non-geologist in a way that leads to an understanding of what has happened to the earth in the past and linking that to likely events in the, for most people, distant future. It reinforced my decision to have my cremated ashes tossed into the sea; in that way my bits and pieces will make it up the geological elevator that much quicker. I would not say it is an easy read, but certainly interesting and worthy of the 5-star rating.
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Format: Paperback
The Urban Stratum

The Urban Stratum is the provocative stratigraphic name that Jan Zalasiewicz gives to our remains in The Earth After Us - What legacy will humans leave in the rocks? Perhaps reflecting the current global issues that cause us to contemplate our mortality and vulnerability as a species, there are several books around (Year Million, The Earth After Us) that focus on the post-human earth. However, this one is written by a geologist, a paleontologist and stratigrapher. His perspective is from 100 million years hence - without doubt long post-human. The structure is from the point of view of future geologists/archeologists/anthropologists - re-evolved editions of ourselves or alien, it doesn't matter - attempting to discern and reconstruct the nature of the species which dominated the planet for a brief time in the distant past. Along the way, there is a highly readable narrative of the methodologies and the trials and tribulations of stratigraphy and paleontology, all eminently accessible to the non-specialist.

To geologists, the fact that this account is a humbling one will come as no surprise, but the poverty of our legacy, thoroughly thought through and documented in the book, is, nevertheless, humbling. While, in this year of Darwin festivities, the imagery of the "tree of life" is under profound revision, our view of our superiority and dominance at the head of that tree is enduring, the arrogance of our species seemingly in-built (if cockroaches were to construct their tree of life, guess who would be perched at the top). Zalasiewicz cleverly examines our understanding of life 100 million years in the past - and its many limitations - to shed light on how thin, paltry, discontinuous and incomplete the "Urban Stratum" will be.
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Format: Paperback
This book is about the history of the geology and the life on Earth from the beginning to 100 million years into the future. In the process you get to know many curious things about "our" very inconstant planet. The storyline (which is not really necessary) is that extraterrestrial explorers land on Earth in the future. We follow their struggle to understand the unusual things that happened around now from the tracks the long extinct humanity left (the authors thinks the most likely tracks to be preserved is the pilings under the skyscrapers).

One strong theme is what our future climate will be and if and how humanity will influence it. The problem with predicting the future climate is that you cannot extrapolate a function unless you know the shape of that function. And we have no idea what the function underlying, for example, the average temperature is. So, instead Zalasiewicz uses examples from the, by now, quite well-known climates of the Earth's past, trying to find similar events. What he comes up with scared me much more than all extrapolations from recent temperature curves I have seen so far. And we do know it can happen because it did happen before. Zalasiewicz does not come up with any solutions or any particular agenda. But he does mention what he considers the biggest problem we have: and overabundance of Homo sapiens on a too inconstant world.
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