The Immeasurable World
Journeys in Desert Places
Throughout history, many travellers have seen deserts as hostile, desolate places; but William Atkins was drawn to them. Travelling to five continents over three years, he visited Oman’s Empty Quarter, Australia’s nuclear test grounds, China’s Gobi Desert, the dried-out Aral Sea, and the arid regions of the American West. Illustrated with maps of each area, his travelogue explores the history, the people, the cultures, the folklore and the symbolism of these forbidding places.
The Dark Stuff
Stories from the Peatlands
Blending memoir, travelogue and natural history, The Dark Stuff investigates a unique, often undervalued resource. Recalling his childhood on the moorland of Lewis, Murray explores the story of peat-cutting for fuel and compost. He visits peatlands from Ireland to Australia, examines the role of peat in folklore and the ancient bodies preserved in it, and explains the environmental threats faced by peat landscapes.
The Ends of the World
Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans And Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
At five moments in our planet’s history, catastrophic events caused mass extinctions, when more than half of its species were lost. New technologies now enable scientists both to study these ancient disasters and to predict what lies ahead in a new phase of habitat destruction and climate change. Ranging across half a billion years, from the fossil record’s extraordinary creatures to today’s coral reefs, this book explains these new, urgent insights into Earth’s fragile ecosystems.
You Are Here
Around the World in 92 Minutes
During the 2,597 orbits he made on the International Space Station, astronaut Chis Hadfield took 45,000 photographs of the Earth. In this edited collection of images, Hadfield creates a single, ‘virtual orbit’ of our planet, capturing close-up detail of six continents. From the scorched-red ripples of the Australian outback to the pixelated farmland of California’s San Joaquin Valley, his work reveals visual patterns and abstractions created by climate, geological processes, farming, urbanization and, disturbingly, deforestation.
Not the End of the World?
Isolated environments have encouraged the evolution of distinct species, which are then vulnerable to extinction when contact with the wider world is established; the Mauritian Dodo and Lonesome George, the last of a Galapagos subspecies of giant tortoise, being famous examples. This Natural History Museum introduction to the subject explores extinctions from the earliest organisms to creatures under threat today and assesses whether climate change and the activities of man threaten a modern mass extinction.
Portrait of the Gulf Stream
In Praise of Currents
The prizewinning novelist Erik Orsenna grew up on an island off the coast of Brittany, giving thanks to the Atlantic current that brings warmth to the shores of Europe. In this remarkable book, he follows the Gulf Stream from Cape Hatteras to the legendary Norwegian Maelstrom, meeting scientists and scholars in an attempt to understand the phenomenon, and the threat posed by global warming.