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Earth's Evolving Systems: The History of Planet Earth

ISBN: 9781449648909 | 1449648908
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning
Pub. Date: 2/1/2012

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Earth's Evolving Systems: The History of Planet Earth is intended as an introductory text that examines the evolution of the Earth and its life from a systems point of view. The text covers major topics like the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere, and discusses how these systems interacted with each other and evolved through geologic time. The author takes care to integrate the current state of our Earth systems with those of the past in an effort to develop students' interests in Earth system in general. It begins with by examining the basics of Earth systems, including discussions of sedimentation, evolution, stratigraphy, and plate tectonics. Part Two looks at the beginning of time with the origin of the Earth and discusses its early evolution, through the origin of life and its evolution to multiculluraity. The third section goes on to cover the Paleozoic through the Neogene eras, discussing topics such as tectonics, mountain building, sea level, climate, life, and mass extinctions in each era. The final part moves on to the modern world, discussing the interactions between humans and Earth systems, with an emphasis on the climatic system. Key Features of Earth's Evolving System:- Presents the Earth as a continuously evolving and dynamic planet whose history consists of a succession of vastly different worlds very much unlike our modern Earth.- Discusses the scientific method in Chapter 1, emphasizing how historical geology differs from the standard "scientific method" presented as the paradigm of experimental sciences and of all science.- Bridges traditional historical geology texts by discussing historical information in the context of the interaction and integration of Earth systems through geologic time by using the tectonic (Wilson) cycle as a unifying theme.- Concentrates on North America but offers a global perspective on Earth systems on processes such as orogenesis, seaways, and ocean circulation, the evolution of life, and mass extinction.- Discusses rapid climate change and anthropogenic impacts in the context of a continuously evolving Earth whose environments are now being altered by anthropogenic climate change.- End-of-chapter materials include: general review questions, more challenging "Food for Thought" questions, key terms listing, and a "Sources and Further Readings" section.- Boxes throughout the text highlight interesting bits of related information, unusual occurrences, or elaborates on material presented in the text


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