Extinctions

Living and Dying in the Margin of Error

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Pub Date 28 Sep 2021 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

Are we now entering a mass extinction event? What can mass extinctions in Earth's history tell us about the Anthropocene? What do mass extinction events look like and how does life on Earth recover from them? The fossil record reveals periods when biodiversity exploded, and short intervals when much of life was wiped out in mass extinction events. In comparison with these ancient events, today's biotic crisis hasn't (yet) reached the level of extinction to be called a mass extinction. But we are certainly in crisis, and current parallels with ancient mass extinction events are profound and deeply worrying. Humanity's actions are applying the same sorts of pressures - on similar scales - that in the past pushed the Earth system out of equilibrium and triggered mass extinction events. Analysis of the fossil record suggests that we still have some time to avert this disaster: but we must act now.

Are we now entering a mass extinction event? What can mass extinctions in Earth's history tell us about the Anthropocene? What do mass extinction events look like and how does life on Earth recover...


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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781108843539
PRICE $24.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

A sobering look at life on Earth and an in-depth exploration of mass extinction. We actually used this a bit in one of our homeschool units on extinction. So well written and organized. A great resource for our science and geology units. Will definitely purchase for our homeschool coop.

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Extinctions by Michael Hannah sounds an ominous yet hopeful alarm about our current climatic situation as it relates to past mass extinction events. The research tells us we are on the way, at a similar pace and with similar occurrences, to a mass extinction event, but it also highlights the planet's ability to correct and/or recover, which offers us hope. But only if we make substantial changes immediately. Otherwise, we may well reach a point of no return and whether humans survive such an event is not a given but the harsh conditions would mean human life would be severely changed, and not for the better. Hannah presents a wonderful history of our planet and while he advocates throughout for us to act he stops short of any sensationalizing of the situation through hyperbolic terms or threats. He also acknowledges where assumptions are made in the research and offers reasonable best and worst case scenarios for those. I would recommend this to anyone interested in our climate change situation but wants to understand the science and the rationale behind the concern. While very well researched it is written in an accessible style that is both compelling and clear. Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

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Emotional, depressing and sobering AF. Some of this is already happening. I like there is a lot of science to back tall the observations in this book. A climatology book for sure and another warning for the planet. Again sobering AF but very relevant to everyone on the planet. Well written and current. Recommended for those interested in climatology and those interested in mass extinctions. Thanks to Netgalley, Michael Hannah and Cambridge University Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Available: 9/2/21

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