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The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How Science can Predict the Ultimate Fate of our World

Popular Science

By: Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee

240 pages, B/w illus

Piatkus Books

Paperback | Aug 2007 | #171095 | ISBN-13: 9780749950095
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £11.99 $15/€13 approx

About this book

This is the first real biography of the Earth - not only a brilliant portrait of the emergence and evolution of life on this planet, but a vivid and frightening look at Earth's remote future. Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee combine storytelling power with extreme scientific care, and their narrative is as transfixing as any of H.G. Wells's fantasies, but more enthralling, for Ward and Brownlee have real power to prognosticate.

This is a book that makes one shiver, but also inspires one to wonder how humanity (if we survive in the short term) will fare in the distant future. Oliver Sachs Peter Ward and Don Brownlee, a geologist and an astronomer respectively, are in the vanguard of the new field of astrobiology. Combining their knowledge of the evolution of life on our planet with their understanding of the life cycles of stars and solar systems, the authors tell the awe-inspiring story of the second half of Earth's life.

The process of planetary evolution will essentially reverse itself; life as we know it will subside until only the simplest forms remain. The oceans will evaporate, and as the sun slowly expands, Earth itself will eventually meet a fiery end.

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Peter Ward is Professor of Geological Sciences and Zoology at the University of Washington in Seattle. David Brownlee is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington, and co-author with Peter Ward of the acclaimed and bestselling Rare Earth.

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