Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World

Overview

Fully updated throughout, including revised illustrations and new images from NASA missions, this new edition provides an overview of Earth's history from a planetary science perspective for Earth science undergraduates. Earth's evolution is described in the context of what we know about other planets and the cosmos at large, from the origin of the cosmos to the processes that shape planetary environments and from the origins of life to the inner workings of cells. Astronomy, earth science, planetary science and ...

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Earth

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Overview

Fully updated throughout, including revised illustrations and new images from NASA missions, this new edition provides an overview of Earth's history from a planetary science perspective for Earth science undergraduates. Earth's evolution is described in the context of what we know about other planets and the cosmos at large, from the origin of the cosmos to the processes that shape planetary environments and from the origins of life to the inner workings of cells. Astronomy, earth science, planetary science and astrobiology are integrated to give students the whole picture of how the Earth has come to its present state and an understanding of the relationship between key ideas in different fields. The book presents concepts in nontechnical language and mathematical treatments are avoided where possible. New end-of-chapter summaries and questions allow students to check their understanding and critical thinking is emphasized to encourage students to explore ideas scientifically for themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The keenly awaited second edition of Lunine’s book does not disappoint. The clarity of writing and level of scholarship remain high, and there is no other treatment of our planet with this interdisciplinary breadth. As we home in on Earth-like worlds far from home, this book is a perfect component for an undergraduate astronomy or astrobiology course.” - Professor Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Dept. Head, Astronomy, University of Arizona

“Lunine focusses on the Earth as a system, and sets it in context in comparison with other Solar System bodies. This is how a geoscience text should be done these days.” - Dr David A. Rothery, The Open University

“Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World brings the knowledge gained by 50 years of Solar System exploration back to Earth and infuses the often hazy first half of Earth history with new energy and insight, providing a unique perspective on the entire history of our home planet.” - Professor James Head Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences, Brown University

“Lunine’s astrobiological perspective on Earth history is a breath of fresh air, drawing on the entire breadth of science to address fundamental questions about the origins of life, and the development of the systems that sustain it here on Earth, in a manner that quickly and directly connects to students.” - Dr Marshall Bartlett Assistant Professor and Chair of Physics, Hollins University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521850018
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan I. Lunine is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences at Cornell University. His research interests center broadly on planetary origin and evolution, in our solar system and around other stars. He works as an interdisciplinary scientist on the Cassini mission to Saturn and on the James Webb Space Telescope, and is also a co-investigator on the Juno mission which launched for Jupiter in August 2011. Dr Lunine is the author of over 230 scientific papers and besides the first edition of this book (Cambridge University Press, 1999), he has also written Astrobiology: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2005). He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. The Astronomical Planet: 1. An introductory tour of Earth's cosmic neighbourhood; 2. Largest and smallest scales; 3. Forces and energy; 4. Fusion, fission, sunlight, and element formation; Part II. The Measurable Planet: Tools to Discern the History of Earth and the Planets: 5. Determination of cosmic and terrestrial ages; 6. Other uses of isotopes for Earth history; 7. Relative age dating of cosmic and terrestrial events: the cratering record; 8. Relative age dating of terrestrial events: geologic layering and geologic time; 9. Plate tectonics: an introduction to the process; Part III. The Historical Planet: Earth and Solar System through Time: 10. Formation of the solar system; 11. The Hadean Earth; 12. The Archean eon and the origin of life: i. Properties of and sites for life; 13. The Archean eon and the origin of life: ii. Mechanisms; 14. The first greenhouse crisis: the faint early sun; 15. Climate histories of Mars and Venus, and the habitability of planets; 16. Earth in transition: from the Archean to the Proterozoic; 17. The oxygen revolution; 18. The Phanerozoic: flowering and extinction of complex life; 19. Climate change across the Phanerozoic; 20. Toward the age of humankind; Part IV. The Once and Future Planet: 21. Climate change over the past 100,000 years; 22. Human-induced global warming; 23. Limited resources: the human dilemma; 24. Coda: the once and future Earth; References; Index.

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