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The Revolutionary Genius of Plants: A New Understanding of Plant Intelligence and Behavior
Do plants have intelligence? Do they have memory? Are they better problem solvers than people? The Revolutionary Genius of Plants—a fascinating, paradigm-shifting work that upends everything you thought you knew about plants—makes a compelling scientific case that these and other astonishing ideas are all true.Plants make up eighty percent of the weight of all living things on earth, and yet it is easy to forget that these innocuous, beautiful organisms are responsible for not only the air that lets us survive, but for many of our modern comforts: our medicine, food supply, even our fossil fuels.On the forefront of uncovering the essential truths about plants, world-renowned scientist Stefano Mancuso reveals the surprisingly sophisticated ability of plants to innovate, to remember, and to learn, offering us creative solutions to the most vexing technological and ecological problems that face us today. Despite not having brains or central nervous systems, plants perceive their surroundings with an even greater sensitivity than animals. They efficiently explore and react promptly to potentially damaging external events thanks to their cooperative, shared systems; without any central command centers, they are able to remember prior catastrophic events and to actively adapt to new ones.Every page of The Revolutionary Genius of Plants bubbles over with Stefano Mancuso’s infectious love for plants and for the eye-opening research that makes it more and more clear how remarkable our fellow inhabitants on this planet really are. In his hands, complicated science is wonderfully accessible, and he has loaded the book with gorgeous photographs that make for an unforgettable reading experience. The Revolutionary Genius of Plants opens the doors to a new understanding of life on earth.
The Story of Earth
Hazen, Robert M.
Hailed by The New York Times for writing "with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along," nationally bestselling author Robert M. Hazen offers a radical new approach to Earth history in this intertwined tale of the planet's living and nonliving spheres. With an astrobiologist's imagination, a historian's perspective, and a naturalist's eye, Hazen calls upon twenty-first-century discoveries that have revolutionized geology and enabled scientists to envision Earth's many iterations in vivid detail--from the mile-high lava tides of its infancy to the early organisms responsible for more than two-thirds of the mineral varieties beneath our feet. Lucid, controversial, and on the cutting edge of its field, The Story of Earth is popular science of the highest order.
Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River
An eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes.The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado’s headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert —and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.
Everyday Amazing: Fascinating Facts about the Science That Surrounds Us
Beatrice the Biologist
Like fan mail addressed to the natural world, Everyday Amazing is filled with uplifting and interesting musings on science from Beatrice the Biologist. Beatrice the Biologist is an easily amused former high school biology teacher with a soft spot for the mind-blowing science we encounter daily that we often take for granted. In Everyday Amazing, she shines the spotlight on ten different types of amazing everyday scientific facts in short chapters full of fun and fascinating tidbits bound to both entertain you and expand your horizons!Learn the basics of atomic science, sound waves, bioscience, microbiology, and more in accessible chapters offering a fresh perspective on concepts you may have learned about, but aren’t totally clear on. Quirky illustrations throughout add to the fun!
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth. Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings - established and speculative - regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive arena of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable.
The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast
The weather is the foundation of our daily lives. It’s a staple of small talk, the app on our smartphones, and often the first thing we check each morning. Yet behind all these humble interactions is the largest and most elaborate piece of infrastructure human beings have ever constructed—a triumph of both science and global cooperation. But what is the weather machine, and who created it?In The Weather Machine, Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey through the people, places, and tools of forecasting, exploring how the weather went from something we simply observed to something we could actually predict. As he travels across the planet, he visits some of the oldest and most important weather stations and watches the newest satellites blast off. He explores the dogged efforts of forecasters to create a supercomputer model of the atmosphere, while trying to grasp the ongoing relevance of TV weather forecasters.In the increasingly unpredictable world of climate change, correctly understanding the weather is vital. Written with the sharp wit and infectious curiosity Andrew Blum is known for, The Weather Machine pulls back the curtain on a universal part of our everyday lives, illuminating our changing relationships with technology, the planet, and our global community.
We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast
Foer, Jonathan Safran
Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know. Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response?In We Are the Weather, Jonathan Safran Foer explores the central global dilemma of our time in a surprising, deeply personal, and urgent new way. The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves - with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. We have, he reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic. Only collective action will save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat - and don’t eat - for breakfast.
Kings of the Yukon: One Summer Paddling Across the Far North
A thrilling journey by canoe across Alaska, by critically acclaimed writer Adam WeymouthThe Yukon river is 2,000 miles long, the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the United States. In this riveting examination of one of the last wild places on earth, Adam Weymouth canoes along the river's length, from Canada's Yukon Territory, through Alaska, to the Bering Sea. The result is a book that shows how even the most remote wilderness is affected by the same forces reshaping the rest of the planet.Every summer, hundreds of thousands of king salmon migrate the distance of the Yukon to their spawning grounds, where they breed and die, in what is the longest salmon run in the world. For the communities that live along the river, salmon was once the lifeblood of the economy and local culture. But climate change and a globalized economy have fundamentally altered the balance between man and nature; the health and numbers of king salmon are in question, as is the fate of the communities that depend on them.Traveling along the Yukon as the salmon migrate, a four-month journey through untrammeled landscape, Adam Weymouth traces the fundamental interconnectedness of people and fish through searing and unforgettable portraits of the individuals he encounters. He offers a powerful, nuanced glimpse into indigenous cultures, and into our ever-complicated relationship with the natural world. Weaving in the rich history of salmon across time as well as the science behind their mysterious life cycle, Kings of the Yukon is extraordinary adventure and nature writing at its most urgent and poetic.
The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
At 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964, a magnitude 9.2. earthquake – the second most powerful in world history – struck the young state of Alaska. The violent shaking, followed by massive tsunamis, devastated the southern half of the state and killed more than 130 people. A day later, George Plafker, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, arrived to investigate. His fascinating scientific detective work in the months that followed helped confirm the then-controversial theory of plate tectonics.In a compelling tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, New York Times science journalist Henry Fountain combines history and science to bring the quake and its aftermath to life in vivid detail. With deep, on-the-ground reporting from Alaska, often in the company of George Plafker, Fountain shows how the earthquake left its mark on the land and its people - and on science.
The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man an the Sea
The sea feeds and sustains us, but its future is under catastrophic threat. In this powerful and ambitious book Callum Roberts - one of the world's foremost conservation biologists - tells the story of the history of the sea, from the earliest traces of water on earth to the oceans as we know them today. He offers a devastating account of the impact of overfishing, deep-sea mining, pollution, and climate change and explains what we must do now to preserve our rapidly dwindling marine life. Passionate and persuasive, The Ocean of Life is a wake-up call that will appeal to anyone who loves the sea and its creatures.
Snow: A Scientific and Cultural Exploration
Brimming with interesting facts and surprising anecdotes, this scientific and cultural history opens our eyes to the wonders of one of nature’s most delicate, delightful, and deadly phenomena: SNOW! Perfect for fans of The Hidden Life of Trees and Rain.Go on an extraordinary journey across centuries and continents to experience the wonders of snow; from the prehistoric humans that trekked and even skied across it tens of thousands of years ago to the multi-billion-dollar industry behind our moving, making, and playing with snow. Blending accessible writing with fascinating science, Giles Whittell explores how snow dictates where we live, provides us with drinking water, and has influenced countless works of art and more.Whittell also uncovers compelling mysteries of this miraculous substance, such as why avalanches happen, how snow saved a British prime minister’s life, where the legend of the yeti comes from, and the terrifying truth behind the opening ceremony of the 1960 winter Olympics.Filled with in-depth research and whip-smart prose, Snow is an eye-opening and charming book that illuminates one of the most magnificent wonders of nature.
Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science
What are the causes and consequences of climate change? When the scale is so big, can an individual make any difference? Documentary, diary, and masterwork graphic novel, this up-to-date look at our planet and how we live on it explains what global warming is all about. With the most complicated concepts made clear in a feat of investigative journalism by artist Philippe Squarzoni, Climate Changed weaves together scientific research, extensive interviews with experts, and a call for action. Weighing the potential of some solutions and the false promises of others, this groundbreaking work provides a realistic, balanced view of the magnitude of the crisis that An Inconvenient Truth only touched on. Climate Changed is printed on FSC-certified paper from responsibly-managed, environmentally-sound sources.
Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future
An urgent call to arms by one of the most important voices in the international fight against climate change, sharing inspiring stories and offering vital lessons for the path forward.Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people--people battling for food, water, and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate. The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal.Mary Robinson’s mission would lead her all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. From Sharon Hanshaw, the Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her speaking at the United Nations, to Constance Okollet, a small farmer who transformed the fortunes of her ailing community in rural Uganda, Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change.Powerful and deeply humane, Climate Justice is a stirring manifesto on one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and a lucid, affirmative, and well-argued case for hope.
All too often books about the study of weather are so tedious that even your favorite weatherperson would be bored to tears. Weather 101 changes all that.With an engaging, conversational tone, this easy-to-follow guide will keep you entertained - whether you're a novice meteorologist or just interested in learning more about weather patterns. From clear blue skies to hail to dust storms and featuring information on how to predict the weather; how to be ready for natural disasters; and how climate change is affecting the world, t his guide turns anyone into a weather expert.From low- and high-pressure systems to floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes, Weather 101 has all the answers - even the ons you didn't know you were looking for.
Meteorites: The Story of Our Solar System
Meteorites are natural objects that have fallen from space to the Earth's surface. Once considered bad omens, they are now recognized as a unique window onto the processes that forged the formation of the solar system 4,570 million years ago. They reveal how impacts have shaped and modified planets, asteroids and moons; and they even contain evidence of astrophysical phenomena that occurred long before our solar system was born.This book contains all the latest information on key meteorite falls and considers some of the big questions that still remain - such as whether our solar system is unusual in creating a planet that supports life, and if it is likely we will find complex life elsewhere. With a mix of photographs, diagrams and maps, Meteorites is essential reading for all those with an interest in the nature of our solar system.
The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them)
By the world-renowned seismologist, a riveting history of natural disasters, their impact on our culture, and new ways of thinking about the ones to come.Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanoes--they stem from the same forces that give our planet life. Earthquakes give us natural springs; volcanoes produce fertile soil. It is only when these forces exceed our ability to withstand them that they become disasters. Together they have shaped our cities and their architecture; elevated leaders and toppled governments; influenced the way we think, feel, fight, unite, and pray. The history of natural disasters is a history of ourselves.In The Big Ones, leading seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones offers a bracing look at some of the world's greatest natural disasters, whose reverberations we continue to feel today. At Pompeii, Jones explores how a volcanic eruption in the first century AD challenged prevailing views of religion. She examines the California floods of 1862 and the limits of human memory. And she probes more recent events--such as the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and the American hurricanes of 2017--to illustrate the potential for globalization to humanize and heal.With population in hazardous regions growing and temperatures around the world rising, the impacts of natural disasters are greater than ever before. The Big Ones is more than just a work of history or science; it is a call to action. Natural hazards are inevitable; human catastrophes are not. With this energizing and exhaustively researched book, Dr. Jones offers a look at our past, readying us to face down the Big Ones in our future.
An urgent and provocative call to action from the world's leading climate scientist - speaking out here for the first time with the full story of what we need to know about humanity's last chance to get off the path to a catastrophic global meltdown, and why we don't know the half of it.
The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World - and Could Destroy It
The mystery of Earth's invisible, life-supporting powerAlanna Mitchell's globe-trotting history of the science of electromagnetism and the Earth's magnetic field--right up to the latest indications that the North and South Poles may soon reverse, with apocalyptic results--will soon change the way you think about our planet.Award-winning journalist Alanna Mitchell's science storytelling introduce intriguing characters--from the thirteenth-century French investigations into magnetism and the Victorian-era discover that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same fundamental force to the latest research. No one has ever told so eloquently how the Earth itself came to be seen as a magnet, spinning in space with two poles, and that those poles have dramatically reversed many time, often coinciding with mass extinctions. The most recent reversal was 780,000 years ago.Mitchell explores indications that the Earth's magnetic force field is decaying faster than previously thought. When the poles switch, a process that takes many years, the Earth is unprotected from solar radiation storms that would, among other disturbances, wipe out much and possible all of our electromagnetic technology. Navigation for all kinds of animals is disrupted without a stable, magnetic North Pole. But can you imagine no satellites, no Internet, no smartphones--maybe no power grids at all?Alanna Mitchell offers a beautifully crafted narrative history of surprising ideas and science, illuminating invisible parts of our own planet that are constantly changing around us.
Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake
A journey around the United States in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts, and ultimately the kind of preparations that will actually help guide us through disasters. It’s a road trip full of surprises.Earthquakes. You need to worry about them only if you’re in San Francisco, right? Wrong. We have been making enormous changes to subterranean America, and Mother Earth, as always, has been making some of her own. . . . The consequences for our real estate, our civil engineering, and our communities will be huge because they will include earthquakes most of us do not expect and cannot imagine - at least not without reading Quakeland. Kathryn Miles descends into mines in the Northwest, dissects Mississippi levee engineering studies, uncovers the horrific risks of an earthquake in the Northeast, and interviews the seismologists, structual engineers, and emergency managers around the country who are addressing this ground shaking threat. As Miles relates, the era of human-induced earthquakes began in 1962 in Colorado after millions of gallons of chemical-weapon waste was pumped underground in the Rockies. More than 1,500 quakes over the following seven years resulted. The Department of Energy plans to dump spent nuclear rods in the same way. Evidence of fracking’s seismological impact continues to mount. . . . Humans as well as fault lines built our “quakeland”.What will happen when Memphis, home of FedEx's 1.5-million-packages-a-day hub, goes offline as a result of an earthquake along the unstable Reelfoot Fault? FEMA has estimated that a modest 7.0 magnitude quake (twenty of these happen per year around the world) along the Wasatch Fault under Salt Lake City would put a $33 billion dent in our economy. When the Fukushima reactor melted down, tens of thousands were displaced. If New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant blows, ten million people will be displaced. How would that evacuation even begin?Kathryn Miles’ tour of our land is as fascinating and frightening as it is irresistibly compelling.
Improving Your Soil
Valuable advice from an expert in soil science. Intended for both small and medium-size gardens, Improving Your Soil reveals the steps to take to achieve the perfect soil base in which to grow plants. With directions on amending poor soil, modifying mediocre earth, aerating compacted topsoil and substrates, and testing pH levels, this book enables gardeners to nurture their plants and promote more abundant growth. The features of good soil include proper structure and nutrients that encourage healthy plant growth. Soil in "good tilth" is loamy, nutrient-rich and friable because it has an optimal mixture of sand, clay and organic matter that prevents severe compaction. Improving Your Soil shows gardeners how to improve the soil in their garden to encourage good seed bedding and a strong root system for proper nutrient disbursement throughout various soil depths. Flower gardeners and vegetable gardeners will all benefit from the tips and methods in Improving Your Soil. Topics include: What your soil can tell you about how you need to manage it Soil texture and structure -- building soil tilth Using amendments to correct soil problems, such as clay or sandy soil Creating a good environment for plant growth in different situations Providing the right amount of water for plants The teeming microscopic world of soils Building soil organic matter Crop rotations Types of compost and how to make good compost Managing soils to minimize pest and disease problems Feeding the plants -- the nutrients they need, and how to get them there Overcoming common nutrient deficiencies Organic vs. mineral fertilizers. The detailed information is complemented with line drawings, diagrams and illustrations that demonstrate various soil issues and how to resolve common problems. With information on remedying specific problems with particular plants, Improving Your Soil will be an often-consulted resource for all gardeners.
Into the Storm: Two Ships, a Deadly Hurricane, and an Epic Battle for Survival
The true story of two doomed ships and a daring search-and-rescue operation that shines a light on the elite Coast Guard swimmers trained for the most dangerous ocean missionsIn late September 2015, Hurricane Joaquin swept past the Bahamas and swallowed a pair of cargo vessels in its destructive path: El Faro, a 790-foot American behemoth with a crew of thirty-three, and the Minouche, a 230-foot freighter with a dozen sailors aboard. From the parallel stories of these ships and their final journeys, Tristram Korten weaves a remarkable tale of two veteran sea captains from very different worlds, the harrowing ordeals of their desperate crews, and the Coast Guard’s extraordinary battle against a storm that defied prediction.When the Coast Guard received word from Captain Renelo Gelera that the Minouche was taking on water on the night of October 1, the servicemen on duty helicoptered through Joaquin to the sinking ship. Rescue swimmer Ben Cournia dropped into the sea—in the middle of a raging tropical cyclone, in the dark—and churned through the monstrous swells, loading survivors into a rescue basket dangling from the helicopter as its pilot struggled against the tempest. With pulsating narrative skill in the tradition of Sebastian Junger and Jon Krakauer, Korten recounts the heroic efforts by Cournia and his fellow guardsmen to haul the Minouche’s crew to safety.Tragically, things would not go as well for Captain Michael Davidson and El Faro. Despite exhaustive searching by her would-be rescuers, the loss of the vessel became the largest U.S. maritime disaster in decades. As Korten narrates the ships’ fates, with insights drawn from insider access to crew members, Coast Guard teams, and their families, he delivers a moving and propulsive story of men in peril, the international brotherhood of mariners, and the breathtaking power of nature.
Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future
An urgent call to arms by one of the most important voices in the international fight against climate change, sharing inspiring stories and offering vital lessons for the path forward.Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people--people battling for food, water, and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate. The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal.Mary Robinson's mission would lead her all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. From Sharon Hanshaw, the Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her speaking at the United Nations, to Constance Okollet, a small farmer who transformed the fortunes of her ailing community in rural Uganda, Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change.Powerful and deeply humane, Climate Justice is a stirring manifesto on one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and a lucid, affirmative, and well-argued case for hope.
Reading the Clouds: How You Can Forecast the Weather
An at-a-glance guide to the clouds for anyone taking part in outdoor activities on land or at sea, anywhere in the world. This book is an accessible and practical handbook for predicting the weather by recognizing cloud types, shapes, color, and behavior.TV forecasts, online predictions and smartphone apps are all based on the same data--a number-crunched overview of how air pressure and temperature will have an impact on the weather across a large geographical area.But to get an idea of how the weather will develop for the precise spot where you're standing (or walking, sailing, golfing, fishing, etc) you don't need any equipment or any in-depth scientific understanding. You just need to look up.With this book in hand, you will get a broad understanding of why the clouds are symptoms of weather patterns, not causes. People have been reading signs in the sky for thousands of years, and with clear, full-color photographs, this book shows you exactly what those signs mean.
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