Fossils: A Very Short Introduction [EPUB]
19 August 2014, 10:44
2005 | EPUB | 0.8MB
Fossils have been vital to our understanding of the formation of the earth and the origins of life. However, their impact has not been limited to debates about geology and evolution: attempts to explain their existence has shaken religion at its very roots, and they have remained a subject of ceaseless fascination for people of all ages and backgrounds. In this readable and wide-ranging book, Keith Thomson provides a remarkably all-encompassing explanation of fossils as a phenomenon.
How did Darwin use fossils to support his theory of evolution? What are "living fossils"? What fossils will we leave behind for future generations to examine? Beyond the scientific aspects, Thomson highlights the impact of fossils on philosophy and mythology, our concept of time, and today's popular culture. From the black market to the Piltdown Man, and from mythological dragons to living dinosaurs, fossils hold a permanent place in the popular imagination.
The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction [EPUB]
19 August 2014, 10:21
2012 | EPUB | 4.95MB
The Antarctic is one the most hostile natural environments in the world, an extraordinary physical space which changes significantly in shape and size with the passing of the seasons.
In this Very Short Introduction, Klaus Dodds provides an up-to-date account of Antarctica, highlighting the main issues facing the continent today. The book sheds light on the scientific, historical, cultural, and political significance of one of the world's most remote regions, providing the background to the physical geography of the continent. Politically, it is unique as it contains one of the few areas of continental space not claimed by any nation-state. Scientifically, the continental ice sheet has provided us with vital evidence about the Earth's past climate. Looking at how the Antarctic has been explored and represented in the last hundred years, Dodds considers the main exploratory and scientific achievements of the region. In addition, he explains how processes such as globalization mean that the Antarctic is increasingly involved in a wider circuit of ideas, goods, people, trade, and governance-all of which have an impact on the future of the region.
Marine Biology: A Very Short Introduction [EPUB]
19 August 2014, 10:14
2013 | EPUB | 1005.66KB
The marine environment is the largest, most important, and yet most mysterious habitat on our planet. It contains more than 99% of the world's living space, produces half of its oxygen, plays a critical role in regulating its climate, and supports a remarkably diverse and exquisitely adapted array of life forms, from microscopic viruses, bacteria, and plankton to the largest existing animals.
In this unique Very Short Introduction, biologist Philip Mladenov provides a comprehensive overview of marine biology, offering a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, and from shoreline mollusks to deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Mladenov also looks at a number of factors that pose a significant threat to the marine environment and to many of its life forms-threats such as overfishing, coastal development, plastic pollution, oil spills, nutrient pollution, the spread of exotic species, and the emission of climate changing greenhouse gases. Throughout the book he successfully weaves around the principles of marine biology a discussion of the human impacts on the oceans and the threats these pose to our welfare.