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Earth by [Lunine, Jonathan I.]
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Earth 2nd , Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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'… I am aware of no other book on this subject with the breadth, depth, and accuracy of Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World.' Michael Drake, University of Arizona

'Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World is thrilling reading … The mastery of this text will give the reader new perspectives on the interaction between the evolution of Earth and life, life's place in the Universe, how it might have started, and where it might be going.' Richard N. Zare, Stanford University

'… the book is, in many respects, a tour de force … a remarkably broad-visioned treatment of the origin and evolution of Earth … I believe this to be an outstanding book.' Eugene H. Levy, University of Arizona

' … an excellent, up-to-date introduction'. New Scientist

'The book is splendidly illustrated with copious figures and diagrams. It provides what is perhaps the best currently available overview of the long and still continuing story of the Earth. Anyone even remotely interested in planetary science should have a copy of this book on their shelf.' R. L. S. Taylor, Spaceflight

' … splendidly illustrated with copious figures and diagrams. It provides what is perhaps the best currently available overview of the long and still continuing story of the Earth. Anyone even remotely interested in planetary science should have a copy of this book on their shelf'. Spaceflight

'Lunine's Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World provides an excellent, up-to-date introduction to this way of looking at our world. It should prove attractive to the new generation of cosmological rock enthusiasts.' New Scientist

' … the book is an interesting and fascinating novelty.' Earth, Moon and Planets

'… this book is easy to read but it should also appeal to non-science students who are interested in the Earth on which they live.' Elizabeth Maddocks, The Open University Geological Society

Book Description

This is an outstanding overview of the history of the Earth from a unique planetary perspective for introductory courses in the earth sciences. The book approaches Earth history as an evolution, encompassing the origin of the cosmos through the inner working of living cells. It tells how the Earth has come to its present state, why it differs from its neighboring planets, what life's place is in Earth's history, and how humanity affects the Earth.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 37405 KB
  • Print Length: 327 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (31 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,471,143 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The blurb on the back says this book is 'excellent, up to date,..' 'remarkably broad-visioned...' 'thrilling reading.' And it is all of these things. This is an excellent book. It covers everything from the origins of the sun, solar system and the elements, Earth history, plate tectonics, climate history, human history, climate change, etc. It's very well written at the level of educated general reader to undergraduate. The only criticism I have is that all of the diagrams and photographs are in black and white which is very disappointing and makes some of them difficult to understand. Otherwise this is a brilliant book which I'm very glad to have.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although an earlier edition it was barely dated and was an excellent text delivered in extremely good condition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative 17 April 2014
By H. Baki Iz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used the book for a book report in teaching. It nicely complemented the topics covered in the syllabus. Occasionally narrative becomes boring with emphasis on astrophysics. Nonetheless, the content clearly reflects the author's deeper understanding of the topics in a unifying scheme.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great study book 10 Sept. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finishing the initial chapters. Reading is clear, straightforward and with commentary which gives context or references.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The evolution of our planet from a new perspective 8 July 1999
By Philip Eklund (phileklund@aol.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Earth, Evolution of a Habitable World by Jonathan I. Lunine
Review by Philip Eklund
Dr. Lunine is a Professor of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, and a NASA advisor. His new book describes Earth's evolution in a fresh perspective, in relation to its sister planets, particularly Mars and Venus. This 319 page textbook covers Earth's origin, the development of its atmosphere and oceans, the variations of its orbit and climate, and at what point we are enmeshed in its long and lively history. The reader can see how we can be unwittingly in the teeth of an ice age and why the number of species has crescendoed now, in our time.
The vast territory that Lunine succinctly covers is all that anyone with a bit of gumption needs to become an authority on the state of our planet. Guideposts to this territory include the sciences of measurement (basically, math, the metric system, and dating methods), and of physics as applied to geology and biology (and some chemistry). Unfortunately Lunine sometimes lapses into off-topic diversions of astronomy (Doppler shifts, lunar phases, Stonehenge, eclipses, and aging planets by the density of their craters). Also, there is no glossary, but the index is adequate. (A few undefined jargons, like "cratonization", sneak in.)
The book is profusely illustrated by Jonathan's wife, Cynthia. There is a color section, mostly of refugees of some astronomy book showing various wonders of the universe. But one color map of the Southwest occupied my attention for a long time. It compares vegetation regimes during the Pleistocene and the Present, the ancient record being derived from pollen counts meticulously gleaned from old packrat middens. I amused myself by examining these data to see whether elephants could be reintroduced into Arizona. Another color figure shows fantastic computer sequences on how the moon must have been formed by an impact between Earth and a Mars-sized billiard ball.
The description of the origin of life is a gem. Lunine's compelling prose springs out as lively as the quasi-stable whirlpools of life he describes (basically an autocatalysis model describing a mode of life existing before reproduction). An alternative model depicting an RNA origin of life is provided mainly for comic relief. Although the role of biology in forming Earth's almost explosive atmosphere covers several subsequent chapters, life is depicted as along for the ride, and the Gaia "biofeedback" theory is dismissed in a sentence.
Unfortunately, the origin of sentience, an event indisputably more profound than the origin of life, is not mentioned. However, the fossil evolution rise of humanity, particularly the Neanderthals, is wonderfully covered. Lunine mentions the "blitzkrieg" theory of his neighbor, Dr. Paul Martin, who postulates the extinction of American megafauna, such as the great elephants and saber-tooths, as being the result of the invasion of "native" Americans with spears. A nice contrast to the increase in American bio-diversity that accompanied the post-Columbian invasion of technologically advanced humans.
Lunine was identified by Time magazine as one of its 1994 "50 for the Future" list of emerging American leaders. Lunine himself would prefer the term "policy-maker" to leader, in the sense of presenting knowledge that self-led individuals can organize into principles of purposeful and long range action. The power of a comprehensive book such as this is that current issues such as global warming can be put in the perspective of past "atmosphere crises" of Earth, such as the super-high greenhouse prevailing at the end of the dinosaur era.
The penultimate chapter, titled "Limited Resources" fails this potential, being anecdotal without the factual rigor of the preceding chapters. (I was told that this chapter was written at the last minute at the request of the publisher.) Lunine starts by treating limited resources and overpopulation as arbitrary assertions, in defiance of his tradition of listing the assumptions of every dating method or limitations of climate modeling.
On the plus side, Lunine does take a rational stand against the Luddites. But where are the charts on air pollution, famine frequencies, human fertility, wetland or forest land acreage, etc. over time? The charts that do appear, on projections of population, energy use, kilos of grain per person, and "undiscovered" oil, have none of the error bars, validation, or context of previous chapters. Bemoaning the tiny amount of land urbanized each year to support farmers moving to the cities as a result of a world-wide food glut is an example of the surreal non-sequitor grab-bag of alarmist insinuations of which fill this chapter.
Particularly nasty is the bromide that less industrialized nations need a "reasonable" standard of living, with the implication that the U.S., (which creates most of the resources that feed and run the world), somehow deprives them of this even as the U.S. demonstrates the technological and political blueprints on how to achieve abundance. Since humans are too greedy or stupid to be allowed the freedom to despoil their own nest, only coercive regulation, or supra-governmental "cooperation" is required to tell their citizenry what is in their own best interests at gun-point. The nadir of these politics is an inexcusable sanction of coercive sterilization in China.
Other than the coverage of our most recent millennium, Lunine has written a tightly integrated and ambitious book. Particularly evocative is the imagery of the continents, floating and jostled into each other like froth on the churning oceanic plates of the Earth, teeming with a surprisingly robust and assertive biological component, laughing yet seesawing through cosmic disasters, extinctions, and self-induced crises of a scale that reduces the palimpsest of human intervention to ripples from a plunked stone.
This beautiful and vigorous accomplishment surmounts what has heretofore been a dry subject, and it literally groundbreaks the placement of our planet and ourselves in the objective context of existence and history.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect book for reference 5 Jan. 2000
By Michael G McGauley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a book that is a great read and even a better reference book about the geosciences, this is the one. I refer to it often in my scientific education. The references at the end of each chapter are also a great way for people to get further information on each subject, if they need it.
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