The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions

By Peter Brannen
Read by Adam Verner

9.96 Hours 06/13/2017 unabridged
Format: Digital Download
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    ISBN: 9781538416761

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Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future. Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside “scenes of the crime,” from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record—which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of seagulls and guillotine-mouthed fish—and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits. Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave and casts our future in a completely new light.

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Summary

Summary

Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future.

Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside “scenes of the crime,” from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record—which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of seagulls and guillotine-mouthed fish—and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits.

Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave and casts our future in a completely new light.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“If readers have time for only one book on the subject, this wonderfully written, well-balanced, and intricately researched (though not too dense) selection is the one to choose.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Revealing . . . Effectively linking past and present…with projections for the future and a warning against inaction in the face of climate change.” Publishers Weekly
“A much-needed overview…both as a cautionary lesson and a hopeful demonstration of how life on Earth keeps rebounding from destruction.” Booklist
“A simultaneously enlightening and cautionary tale of the deep history of our planet and the possible future, when conscious life may become extinct.” Kirkus Reviews
“Want to know the future? Look to the past, the deep past. That’s one of the many insights you’ll glean from reading Brannen’s entertaining, engaging, elegant book.” David Biello, author of The Unnatural World
“A vivid, fascinating story about all the past and future lives of our planet.” Michael Pye, author of The Edge of the World

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Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Peter Brannen

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Runtime: 9.96
Audience: Adult
Language: English