ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
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This is a summary of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History...Summarized by J.J. Holt
Over the last 530 million years there have been five mass extinctions of species-the last,65 million years ago,when the dinosaurs disappeared.The biodiversity of our planet may now be on the verge,Leakey and Lewin believe,of a sixth extinction,caused this time by the relentless expansion and limitless appetites of human beings. The new science of 'biodiversity',presented clearly and cogently by Leakey and Lewin,combines insights from palaeontology,biology,ecology and even economics.It integrates the role of Darwenian evolution with the increasingly recognised importance of external and unpredictable forces.
So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of The Sixth Extinction tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Elizabeth Kolbert’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter overviews Detailed timeline of key events Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert: Our planet has endured five events of mass extinction, from centuries of catastrophic heating and cooling to the asteroid that fell to earth and ended the Cretaceous Period. We are currently facing the sixth extinction, and this time the human species is to blame. Elizabeth Kolbert travels the world and meets with scientists who are grappling with the ecological outcomes of human activity. Her Pulitzer Prize–winning modern science classic tells the stories of thirteen different species that have already disappeared or are on the brink of extinction as a result of human activity. A captivating blend of research and historical anecdotes enlightens readers about the unintentional consequences of our behaviors, from climate change and global warming to invasive species and overexploitation. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.
The Sixth Extinction is a haunting account of the age in which we live. Ecologists are calling it the Sixth Great Extinction, and the world isn't losing just its ecological legacy; also vanishing is a vast human legacy of languages and our ways of living, seeing, and knowing. Terry Glavin confirms that we are in the midst of a nearly unprecedented, catastrophic vanishing of animals, plants, and human cultures. He argues that the language of environmentalism is inadequate in describing the unraveling of the vast system in which all these extinctions are actually related. And he writes that we're no longer gaining knowledge with every generation. We're losing it. In the face of what he describes as a dark and gathering sameness upon the Earth, Glavin embarks on a global journey to meet the very things we're losing (a distinct species every ten minutes, a unique vegetable variety every six hours, an entire language every two weeks) and on the way encounters some of the world's wonderful, rare things: a human-sized salmon in Russia; a mysterious Sino-Tibetan song-language; a Malayan tiger, the last of its kind; and a strange tomato that tastes just like black cherry ice cream. And he finds hope in the most unlikely places---a macaw roost in Costa Rica; a small village in Ireland; a relic community of Norse whalers in the North Atlantic; the vault beneath the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew; and the throne room of the Angh of Longwa in the eastern Himalayas. A fresh narrative take on the usual doom and gloom environmentalism, The Sixth Extinction draws upon zoology, biology, ecology, anthropology, and mythology to share the joys hidden within the long human struggle to conserve the world's living things. Here, we find hope in what's left: the absolute and stunning beauty in the Earth's last cultures and creatures.
Paleobiologist Anthony D. Barnosky weaves together evidence from the deep past and the present to alert us to the looming Sixth Mass Extinction and to offer a practical, hopeful plan for avoiding it. Writing from the front lines of extinction research, Barnosky tells the overarching story of geologic and evolutionary history and how it informs the way humans inhabit, exploit, and impact Earth today. He presents compelling evidence that unless we rethink how we generate the power we use to run our global ecosystem, where we get our food, and how we make our money, we will trigger what would be the sixth great extinction on Earth, with dire consequences. Optimistic that we can change this ominous forecast if we act now, Barnosky provides clear-cut strategies to guide the planet away from global catastrophe. In many instances the necessary technology and know-how already exist and are being applied to crucial issues around human-caused climate change, feeding the world’s growing population, and exploiting natural resources. Deeply informed yet accessibly written, Dodging Extinction is nothing short of a guidebook for saving the planet.
Looks at the history, causes, and controversies surrounding species extinction, discussing whether it can be prevented and how past geological events can be used to predict the future.
Work more effectively and gauge your progress as you go along! This Study Guide that is designed to accompany Raven’s Environment, 4th Edition includes study outlines, key terms, and practice questions in a variety of formats (multiple choice, matching, short answer, and discussion/critical thinking). The key to a sustainable future lies with the students. It is their passion, their understanding of the issues, and most of all their choices that will shape the future of our planet. As it has through three previous editions, Peter Raven and Linda Berg’s Environment gives students all the skills and tools they need to make the right choices for a sustainable environment! Covering the enormous environmental challenges facing our world today, this Fourth Edition helps readers think critically about these challenges and understand the concepts that underlie environmental problems.
An Iraq War vet's bracing, visionary response to the challenge posed by global warming and his hope in the humanities.
"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists. A New York Times Bestseller • Goodreads Choice Awards WINNER A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Smithsonian, NPR Science Friday, The Times (London), Popular Mechanics, Science News, Library Journal, Booklist, and Chicago Public Library "A masterpiece of science writing." —Washington Post "This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous." —Nature The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before. In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages. Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.” Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China. An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come. Includes 75 images, world maps of the prehistoric earth, and a dinosaur family tree.