Dangerous Earth: What We Wish We Knew about Volcanoes, Hurricanes, Climate Change, Earthquakes, and More

Ellen Prager (Author)
Available

Description

The Earth is a beautiful and wondrous planet, but also frustratingly complex and, at times, violent: much of what has made it livable can also cause catastrophe. Volcanic eruptions create land and produce fertile, nutrient-rich soil, but they can also bury forests, fields, and entire towns under ash, mud, lava, and debris. The very forces that create and recycle Earth's crust also spawn destructive earthquakes and tsunamis. Water and wind bring and spread life, but in hurricanes they can leave devastation in their wake. And while it is the planet's warmth that enables life to thrive, rapidly increasing temperatures are causing sea levels to rise and weather events to become more extreme.

Today, we know more than ever before about the powerful forces that can cause catastrophe, but significant questions remain. Why can't we better predict some natural disasters? What do scientists know about them already? What do they wish they knew? In Dangerous Earth, marine scientist and science communicator Ellen Prager explores the science of investigating volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, rip currents, and--maybe the most perilous hazard of all--climate change. Each chapter considers a specific hazard, begins with a game-changing historical event (like the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens or the landfall and impacts of Hurricane Harvey), and highlights what remains unknown about these dynamic phenomena. Along the way, we hear from scientists trying to read Earth's warning signs, pass its messages along to the rest of us, and prevent catastrophic loss.

A sweeping tour of some of the most awesome forces on our planet--many tragic, yet nonetheless awe-inspiring--Dangerous Earth is an illuminating journey through the undiscovered, unresolved, and in some cases unimagined mysteries that continue to frustrate and fascinate the world's leading scientists: the "wish-we-knews" that ignite both our curiosity and global change.

Product Details

Price: $25.00  $22.50
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Published Date: March 02, 2020
Pages: 272
Dimensions: 6.1 X 0.9 X 9.1 inches | 1.05 pounds
Language: English
Type: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780226541693
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Ellen Prager is a marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She was formerly the chief scientist at the world's only undersea research station, Aquarius Reef Base in the Florida Keys, and assistant dean at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Currently, she is a freelance writer, consultant, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Among her numerous works of popular science writing is Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Reviews

"Genuinely bracing."--Marcus Berkmann "Daily Mail"
"An in-depth survey. . . . Prager offers an illuminating look at a range of natural events. . . . Readable and relatable. . . . A skillful example of a user-friendly scientific treatise that should appeal to readers interested in Earth science, especially those seeking solid analyses of various natural phenomena."--Laura Hiatt "Library Journal"
"A comprehensive and compelling account. . . . This short book is both a model of how to explain what our scientists have discovered about natural disasters, and particularly climate change, and how they have done so, and an unequivocal caution for all of us to believe in their science."--G. T. Dempsey "Geography Realm"
"Prager again and again makes the point that preparation not prediction is key. As we're experiencing with the coronavirus pandemic--which epidemiologists have long forewarned was on the horizon--the direst of predictions are likely to come true. We know that volcanoes and earthquakes and hurricanes and, yes, climate crises are inevitable, so why not prepare for what lies ahead? Fund research that transforms the unknowns into knowns."--Rien Fertel "On the Seawall"
"Dangerous Earth is an expert narrative describing the state of the sciences dealing with natural hazards. It should be read by anyone who is having difficulty separating the fear and hype from solid scientific information. A beauty of this book is that it doesn't pretend that we are nearing the end of understanding of earth's hazards. Rather, it points the way to better evaluation of risk and when to act. In this era of fake news and alternative facts, Prager's well-reasoned and engaging explanation of what is known and what has yet to be known reassures us that today's scientists are carefully moving into the future."--Robert B. Halley, retired geologist with the US Geological Survey "On the Seawall"