A thin, invisible layer of air surrounds the Earth, sustaining all known life on the planet and creating the unique climates and weather patterns that make each part of the world different.
In Firmament, atmospheric scientist and science communicator Simon Clark offers a rare and accessible tour of the ins and outs of the atmosphere and how we know what we know about it. From the workings of its different layers to why carbon dioxide is special, from pioneers like Pascal to the unsung heroes working in the field to help us understand climate change, Firmament introduces us to an oft-overlooked area of science and not only lays the groundwork for us to better understand the debates surrounding the climate today but also provides a glimpse of the future that is possible with this knowledge in hand.
Simon Clark is a scientist, video producer, and online educator. Simon read Physics at St. Peter's College, Oxford before researching a PhD in atmospheric physics at the University of Exeter. During his studies, he began creating YouTube videos about student life and his research and has since accrued nearly 20 million views. Firmament is his first book.
"An engaging account of something essential to life on Earth yet barely understood by most people: the atmosphere. If you don't know your stratosphere from your troposphere, you will after reading this lively history [...] all the more powerful thanks to a final chapter that explains how this complex system is changing, and what that means for the future of humanity."
– Financial Times
The author's enthusiasm shines through every page of this captivating guide to our unpredictable weather [...] He serves up high drama in balloons, deep ice drilling in the Antarctic, and through it all draws out the patterns in our seemingly chaotic weather – and the science behind them – with clarity and verve."
– Sunday Times
"Simon Clark writes with a lightness and enthusiasm that ensures that what goes on above us doesn't go over our heads."
– Irish Independent