From Earth we have looked deep into the universe, embarking on a journey of discovery that has revealed the cosmos to be richer than we could ever imagine. But what happens when we reverse the process, when we look back on Earth from the heavens? We see a familiar planet from a new perspective. We are presented with an atlas of an invisible Earth - an Earth that lives and breathes around us but one which, paradoxically, we are too close to see. With the satellite's all-seeing eye we can follow a thread of gold weaving its way through a mountain range; we can uncover cities swallowed by shifting sands or dense jungle; we can gaze into the eye of the hurricane or the maw of the volcano; we can watch forests disappear and ice sheets melt. Often possessing an abstract - almost alien - beauty, such vistas are the landscapes of the information age.
The book travels the world in four chapters: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Earth flies us over mountains, forests, deserts and tundra. Water follows rivers and coastlines, explores ice fields and seas before plunging into the abyss of the deep ocean. Air examines storms, hurricanes, wind-sculpted patterns and atmospheric phenomena such as the aurora borealis. Finally, Fire ends the book with volcanoes, asteroid impacts, forest fires, pollution and man's impact on the environment.