An explosive, completely new understanding of heat, the lethal force which threatens every living cell on Earth. Jeff Goodell presents a searing examination of the impact that temperature rise will have on our lives and on our planet, offering a vital new perspective on where we are headed, how we can prepare and what is at stake if we fail to act.
No one can make the mysteries of the universe more comprehensible and fun than Neil deGrasse Tyson. Drawing on mythology, history, and literature - alongside his trademark wit and charm - Tyson and StarTalk senior producer Lindsey Nyx Walker bring planetary science down to Earth and principles of astrophysics within reach. In this entertaining book, illustrated with vivid photographs and art, readers travel with him through space and time, starting with the Big Bang and voyaging to the far reaches of the universe and beyond. Along the way, science greets pop culture as Tyson explains the triumphs - and bloopers - in Hollywood’s blockbusters: all part of an entertaining ride through the cosmos. The book begins as we leave Earth, encountering new truths about our planet’s atmosphere, the nature of sunlight, and the many missions that have demystified our galactic neighbors. But the farther out we travel, the weirder things get. What’s a void and what’s a vacuum? How can light be a wave and a particle at the same time? When we finally arrive in the blackness of outer space, Tyson takes on the spookiest phenomena of the cosmos: parallel worlds, black holes, time travel, and more. For science junkies and fans of the conundrums that astrophysicists often ponder, To Infinity and Beyond is an enlightening adventure into the farthest reaches of the cosmos.
Few books have had a greater impact than A Sand County Almanac, which many credit with launching a revolution in land management. Written as a series of sketches based principally upon the flora and fauna in a rural part of Wisconsin, the book, originally published by Oxford in 1949, gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; a final section addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation. Beloved for its description and evocation of the natural world, Leopold's book, which has sold well over 2 million copies, remains a foundational text in environmental science and a national treasure.
There’s no better guide through mind-expanding questions such as what the nature of space and time is, how we fit within the universe, and how the universe fits within us than Neil deGrasse Tyson. But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in digestible chapters consumable any time and anywhere in the busy day. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry reveals just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
An August 2023 Indie Next Pick, selected by booksellersA Vogue Most Anticipated Book of 2023A WBUR Summer Reading RecommendationA Next Big Idea Club's August 2023 Must-Read BookAn astonishing, vital book about Antarctica, climate change, and motherhood from the author of Rising, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.In 2019, fifty-seven scientists and crew set out onboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer. Their destination: Thwaites Glacier. Their goal: to learn as much as possible about this mysterious place, never before visited by humans, and believed to be both rapidly deteriorating and capable of making a catastrophic impact on global sea-level rise.In The Quickening, Elizabeth Rush documents their voyage, offering the sublime—seeing an iceberg for the first time; the staggering waves of the Drake Passage; the torqued, unfamiliar contours of Thwaites—alongside the workaday moments of this groundbreaking expedition. A ping-pong tournament at sea. Long hours in the lab. All the effort that goes into caring for and protecting human life in a place that is inhospitable to it. Along the way, she takes readers on a personal journey around a more intimate question: What does it mean to bring a child into the world at this time of radical change?What emerges is a new kind of Antarctica story, one preoccupied not with flag planting but with the collective and challenging work of imagining a better future. With understanding the language of a continent where humans have only been present for two centuries. With the contributions and concerns of women, who were largely excluded from voyages until the last few decades, and of crew members of color, whose labor has often gone unrecognized. The Quickening teems with their voices—with the colorful stories and personalities of Rush’s shipmates—in a thrilling chorus.Urgent and brave, absorbing and vulnerable, The Quickening is another essential book from Elizabeth Rush.
Fungi are everywhere. Most are harmless, some are helpful. A few are killers. Collectively, infectious fungi are the most devastating agents of disease on Earth, and a fungus that can persist in the environment without its host is here for the long haul. In gripping, accessible prose, Emily Monosson documents how changing climate, trade and travel are making us all more vulnerable to invasion. Populations of bats, frogs and salamanders face extinction, and scientists don’t have a cure. The American Northwest’s beloved National Parks are covered with the spindly corpses of white bark pines. Food crops are under siege, threatening our coffee, bananas and wheat—and, more broadly, our global food security. In humans, Candida auris infects hospital patients and those with weakened immune systems. Monosson’s critical reporting demonstrates that prevention is difficult but not impossible. Exposing the connection between pathogens and human action, Blight serves as a wake-up call, a reminder of the delicate interconnectedness of the natural world.
Phosphorus has played a critical role in some of the most lethal substances on earth: firebombs, rat poison, nerve gas. But it’s also the key component of one of the most vital: fertilizer, which has sustained life for billions of people. In this major work of explanatory science and environmental journalism, Pulitzer Prize finalist Dan Egan investigates the past, present, and future of what has been called “the oil of our time.” The story of phosphorus spans the globe and vast tracts of human history. First discovered in a seventeenth-century alchemy lab in Hamburg, it soon became a highly sought-after resource. The race to mine phosphorus took people from the battlefields of Waterloo, which were looted for the bones of fallen soldiers, to the fabled guano islands off Peru, the Bone Valley of Florida, and the sand dunes of the Western Sahara. Over the past century, phosphorus has made farming vastly more productive, feeding the enormous increase in the human population. Yet, as Egan harrowingly reports, our overreliance on this vital crop nutrient is today causing toxic algae blooms and “dead zones” in waterways from the coasts of Florida to the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes and beyond. Egan also explores the alarming reality that diminishing access to phosphorus poses a threat to the food system worldwide—which risks rising conflict and even war. With The Devil’s Element, Egan has written an essential and eye-opening account that urges us to pay attention to one of the most perilous but little-known environmental issues of our time.
How would Saturn’s rings look from a spaceship sailing just above them? If you were falling into a black hole, what’s the last thing you’d see before your spaghettification? What would it be like to visit the faraway places we currently experience only through high-powered telescopes and robotic emissaries? Faster-than-light travel may never be invented, but we can still take the scenic route through the universe with renowned astronomer and science communicator Philip Plait. On this lively, immersive adventure through the cosmos, Plait draws ingeniously on the latest scientific research to transport readers to ten spectacular sites, from our own familiar Moon to the outer reaches of our solar system and far beyond. Whether strolling through a dust storm under Mars’ butterscotch sky, witnessing the birth of a star or getting dizzy in a technicolour nebula, Plait is an illuminating, entertaining guide to the most otherworldly views in our universe.
Challenges long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don't arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation, but that revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of normal science.
Decades of research document plants’ impressive abilities: they communicate with each other, manipulate other species, and move in sophisticated ways. Lesser known, however, is that although plants may not have brains, their internal workings reveal a system not unlike the neuronal networks running through our own bodies. They can learn and remember, possessing an intelligence that allows them to behave in flexible, forward-looking, and goal-directed ways. In Planta Sapiens, Paco Calvo, a leading figure in the philosophy of plant signaling and behavior, offers an entirely new perspective on plants’ worlds, showing for the first time how we can use tools developed to study animal cognition in a quest to understand plant intelligence. Plants learn from experience: wild strawberries can be taught to link light intensity with nutrient levels in the soil, and flowers can time pollen production to pollinator visits. Plants have social intelligence, releasing chemicals from their roots and leaves to speak to and identify one another. They make decisions about where to invest their growth, judging risk based on the resources available. Their individual preferences vary, too—plants have personalities. Calvo also illuminates how plants inspire technological advancements, from robotics to AI. Most importantly, he demonstrates that plants are not objects: they have their own agency. If we recognize plants as actors alongside us in the climate crisis—rather than seeing them simply as resources for carbon capture and food production—plants may just be able to help us tackle our most urgent problems.
The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.