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The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide / Edition 1

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This sumptuously illustrated, beautifully written encyclopedia, the best book available on the topic, presents the most up-to-date information about planet Earth in a style and format that will appeal to an extremely wide range of readers. With thousands of photographs, illustrations, diagrams, and maps and a text written by a team of international experts, it presents an impressive overview of our globe—beginning with the history of the universe and ending with today's conservation issues. A truly spectacular reference, The Encyclopedia of Earth offers new visual interpretations of many ideas, concepts, and facts, painting a fascinating picture of Earth today and across the ages.

The encyclopedia is divided into six sections that are designed for either browsing or in-depth study. Birth gives an overview of Earth's 4.6-billion-year history, including the evolution of life. Fire explains the inner workings of our dynamic planet, its structure, and the tectonic forces that have molded its landscape. Land surveys rocks, minerals, and habitats. Air covers weather, including extreme weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Water tours the oceans, rivers, and lakes of the world. The final section, Humans, provides a compelling portrait of our relationship with Earth, and of how the natural world has shaped social and political developments.

Copub: Weldon Owen Publishing

The Encyclopedia of Earth features:

• Some of the world's finest landscape photography and hundreds of detailed illustrations and diagrams, cross sections, cutaways, maps, and charts

* Coverage of topics including volcanology, paleontology, geology, natural history, cosmology, and more

* Simple, easy-to-understand explanations of complex phenomena

* The most recent scientific information and conservation data

* "Fact files" providing information at readers' fingertips

* "Heritage Watch" boxes focusing on key conservation issues and World Heritage sites

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Editorial Reviews

Science News
“The reference book for the planet, complete with thousands of photographs, illustrations, diagrams and maps.”
Seed Magazine
“For anyone keen to understand the many interwoven elements of Earth science. . . it offers an essential, and gorgeous, baseline.”
Washington Post Book World
“The amount of far-flung material stuffed into this book is staggering.”
School Library Journal
“Encyclopedia will find uses in history and social studies classes.”
Miami Herald
“This gorgeously illustrated guide to Earth is useful and absorbing. . . . An excellent guide for the shelf of any student.”
Civil Engineering
“Absolutely stunning. . . . A wonderful introduction to many of the processes that shape our planet and, by extension, us.”
Geotimes Magazine
“Proves that reference books don’t have to be drab or prohibitively pricey.”
Seattle Times
“Digestible and easy to track down, thanks to the index (aardvark to Zu, the Akkadian god of storms and darkness).”
“Sublimely comprehensible and aesthetically well-organized.”
“Visually stunning. . . . Could not have arrived at a better time.”
The Ledger
“This gorgeously illustrated guide to Earth is useful and absorbing. . . . An excellent guide for the shelf of any student.”
Scottsdale Tribune
“This gorgeously illustrated guide to Earth is useful and absorbing. . . . An excellent guide for the shelf of any student.”
“This gorgeously illustrated guide to Earth is useful and absorbing. . . . An excellent guide for the shelf of any student.”
Curious Parents-Delaware Valley
“Full of beautiful color photos (1700 total). . . plus charts, illustrations, cross-sections, and cutaways, this book truly offers something for everyone.”
Columbus Parent
“Covering topics as varied as volcanology, paleontology, geology and cosmology, [this book] is...designed for either browsing or in-depth study.”
Alaska Airlines Mag
“A fascinating compendium of Earth facts.”
Times Record News
“This gorgeously illustrated guide to Earth is useful and absorbing. . . . An excellent guide for the shelf of any student.”
Jackson Citizen Patriot
“This gorgeously illustrated guide to Earth is useful and absorbing.”
The Tribune
“This gorgeously illustrated guide to Earth is useful and absorbing.”
Nashville Parent Magazine
“This wonderful book can take you all around the world with a flip of a page.”
Williamson Parent
“This wonderful book can take you all around the world with a flip of a page.”
Washington Parent
“1,700 photographs. . . take readers from Tanzania’s Serengeti Plain to Qaanaaq, Greenland (the world’s most northerly town).”
Los Angeles Times
Anybody who’s curious about the world . . . . will find this a fascinating tome to dip into over and over.
Library Journal

"Geology is a science of great beauty," states Walter Alvarez (Univ. of California, Berkeley) in his introduction to this visually stunning work. Written by Allaby (author of four volumes in the "Biomes of the Weather" series) and noted geoscience academics and writers from around the world, this lavishly illustrated and easily accessible tome introduces readers to the mysterious and complex process that has shaped our world. In six sections-appropriately named "Birth," "Fire," "Land," "Air," "Water," and "Humans"-we are given a cinematic view covering everything from the earth's stellar origins to our role in its feared demise. While the text of the articles is lucid and informative, it's also quite sparse. The adage about the worth of a picture helps to keep this work to a single volume. Regular "Fact file" sidebars identify geographic superlatives and also include numerous graphs and charts as well as detailed views of events, processes, and even organisms. Several two-page sections provide a decidedly human perspective by focusing on topics such as theories of evolution, the historical use of precious metals and gems, and historical meteorology.
—Daniel Sifton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520254718
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 553,546
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Allaby is author of A Change in the Weather, A Chronology of Weather, and four volumes of the Biomes of the Weather series. Robert Coenraads, a leading gemologist, geologist, and geophysicist, is a lecturer at the Gemmological Association of Australia. Stephen Hutchinson is Senior Research Fellow at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom. Karen McGhee, a science writer and journalist, is a consulting author of the best-selling Encyclopedia of Animals (UC Press). John O'Byrne is Senior Lecturer and Director of Academic Programs at the University of Sydney School of Physics. Ken Rubin is Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii and at the Hawaii Center for Volcanology.

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Table of Contents

Birth 12

Earth's Place in the Universe 16

Third Planet from the Sun 34

The Emergence of Life 42

Fire 78

Earth from the Inside Out 82

Heat from Within 106

Land 150

Rocks 154

Minerals 168

Landforms 202

Biomes 244

Air 274

Earth's Atmosphere 278

Wind 290

Climate 298

Weather 304

Record-Breaking Weather 334

Water 350

Oceans and Seas 354

The Marine Environment 394

Rivers 424

Wetlands and Swamps 450

Landlocked Water 460

Humans 466

A Peopled Planet 470

Earth's Resources 490

Human Impact 522

Global Conservation 566

Into the Future 584

Glossary 586

Index 592

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    The "Encyclopedia of Earth" is terrific for all those interested in our planet's past and present, while developing an appreciation and awareness of what needs to be protected for the future of our home.

    I loved the cover and each and every picture, which really did say more than the proverbial "thousand words." The paper quality was superb and the book is large enough to see details. The photography is simply outstanding, along with all of the diagrams and graphics. Every chapter and explanation was clear and concise. My 4 year-old grandson runs into my home and asks for the "Earth Book." His favorite sections/topics are Volcanos and Lightening, which he is able to explain in his terms, as he looks at each picture. He has learned to turn each page carefully and sometimes uses a magnifying glass to look more closely at creatures both above and below the earth and seas. I feel as though I am standing at the very place on earth of the photographs, actually looking through the camera's lense. This book will be in my living room and serve as a treasured addition to my library. I would recommend The Encylopedia of Earth to readers as a reference book, however, The Encyclopedia is so informative, exciting and creative, that readers will return to it many times in the future.

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