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The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

by Robert M. Hazen

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Hailed by The New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” nationally bestselling author Robert M. Hazen offers a radical new approach to Earth history in this intertwined tale of the planet’s living and nonliving spheres. With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s eye, Hazen calls upon twenty-first-century discoveries that have revolutionized geology and enabled scientists to envision Earth’s many iterations in vivid detail—from the mile-high lava tides of its infancy to the early organisms responsible for more than two-thirds of the mineral varieties beneath our feet. Lucid, controversial, and on the cutting edge of its field, The Story of Earth is popular science of the highest order.

"A sweeping rip-roaring yarn of immense scope, from the birth of the elements in the stars to meditations on the future habitability of our world." -Science

"A fascinating story." -Bill McKibben

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101580684
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/26/2012
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 334,058
File size: 755 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert M. Hazen is the Clarence Robinson professor of earth science at George Mason University and a senior scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory. The author of numerous books—including the bestselling Science Matters—he lives in Glen Echo, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Birth The Formation of Earth 7

2 The Big Thwack The Formation of the Moon 31

3 Black Earth The First Basalt Crust 53

4 Blue Earth The Formation of the Oceans 77

5 Gray Earth The First Granite Crust 102

6 Living Earth The Origins of Life 127

7 Red Earth Photosynthesis and the Great Oxidation Event 154

8 The "Boring" Billion The Mineral Revolution 181

9 White Earth The Snowball-Hothouse Cycle 206

10 Green Earth The Rise of the Terrestrial Biosphere 232

11 The Future Scenarios of a Changing Planet 257

Epilogue 281

Acknowledgments 285

Index 280

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The Story of Earth is that rare book that can transform the way you see the world. By synthesizing a vast span of time and knowledge into crisp, delightful prose, Hazen really does make our planet into a story, and a compelling one. I was left with a new sense of context for our place in this galactic home.”
Charles Wohlforth, author of The Fate of Nature and The Whale and the Supercomputer

Customer Reviews