Download PDF Snowball Earth: The Story of the Global Catastrophe That Spawned Life As We Know It

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One wouldn't think that a book about a radical geological theory could be described as thrilling, but Walker natural sciences, Cambridge Univ. Paul Hoffman, a brilliant and irascible scientist at Harvard, claims that the Earth experienced just such a climate cataclysm million years ago. The consequences of this idea are far-reaching.

About Snowball Earth

For Hoffman believes that Jan 12, George Cook rated it really liked it. Slow starter but a really interesting story of the science and scientists behind discovering the huge snow ball ice ages. Shows the hard work behind the scientific method and putting forward new theories.

Dec 11, Stephan Riediker rated it it was amazing. It's a really interesting book and it shows how scientific theories can change by investigating new discoveries. We normally take it for granted that we know how the world works but if we have a look beyond the public general education, we can get a clue how scientists struggle to keep or alter a theory by interpreting every slice of evidence. The imagination of a totally different looking and behaving planet indeed makes it very difficult to create reliable models how the climate might have dev It's a really interesting book and it shows how scientific theories can change by investigating new discoveries.

The imagination of a totally different looking and behaving planet indeed makes it very difficult to create reliable models how the climate might have developed. I recommend this book to everyone who is aiming to understand not only our current climate models but also the challenges behind creating those models under completely different conditions.

Quite ok, the science and scientist of this story are a bit overhyped, but it's still a fun read. Could have been a stronger book, if the editor and author had used well thought out and drawn illustrations.

In the beginning...

Sep 09, Helen rated it did not like it Shelves: Well, one paragraph from the description says it all: Everything else is a story of what lead to this discovery, in tides. I'm not in the age of being interested in such things. If such book was marked as a early teens book, other readers could make informed choice. If the book was named "Adventurous Lives of the Eccentrics", then, at least, reader would have been given a fair warnin Well, one paragraph from the description says it all: If the book was named "Adventurous Lives of the Eccentrics", then, at least, reader would have been given a fair warning, and who doesn't need all of this wouldn't pick it up.

It seems that we have different opinion about what is "well written" or even "brilliant". I stumbled over diversions as long as I could, trying eventually find something substantial, related to the book's title, then, after reaching limits of tolerance, closed it and put it down. One story is interrupted by another, as if someone was unable to follow own thought, drifting away at any distraction.

Excessive attention to physical appearances and extravagance. Career achievements, good for him! Where is the topic of the book, the snow ball Earth? What jazz, blues, romantic stories and physical fitness have to with it? Terminology, using "groupie" as hoodie, foodie - not my cup of tea. Dramatic passes sound as tempered child's whims. Couldn't go through all this rubbish. Jun 16, bup rated it really liked it Shelves: A really engaging book, but the most frustrating part is it didn't explain why the snowball period million years ago assuming it existed, which the book does a good job of convincing you would have led to such a proliferation of complex life.

Yes, environmental stress leads to new species. But after the thesis given in the first chapter, that this was the catalyst that led single-celled life, which had been quite content for 2. Wouldn't multi-cellular life with specialization have always worked better?

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In a late chapter, we're also given evidence that a snowball-earth period happened 2 billion years ago, with the really weak "maybe life wasn't developed enough to get multicellular then. Ultimately, it feels like there's a real coincidence of events here that pro-snowballers that sounds dirty, doesn't it? Still, the geology is interesting, and the process through which this hypothesis that there even was a period during which the whole earth was freezing slowly gained traction, makes a good read. Although much of the information contained within the book was nothing new to me seeing as a lot of it is taught in A Level Geology classes, I found the way it was written hugely helpful when it came to explaining some of the more complex theories and processes.

Despite this, I feel that it would not be a highly recommended book for those looking for something more in depth in terms of the science surrounding Snowball Earth as this seems to keep the level of science very simplified and focuses a Although much of the information contained within the book was nothing new to me seeing as a lot of it is taught in A Level Geology classes, I found the way it was written hugely helpful when it came to explaining some of the more complex theories and processes.

Despite this, I feel that it would not be a highly recommended book for those looking for something more in depth in terms of the science surrounding Snowball Earth as this seems to keep the level of science very simplified and focuses a lot more on the bibliographical points of Snowball Earth's history, which I, personally, very much enjoyed. One down side of the book, and this is probably a flaw unique to my own preferences, but the author says the work 'intrigued' far too much, which does begin to bug you after a while.

Apart from that, I can find little fault with Walker's writing. Oct 29, Kendra rated it it was amazing Shelves: I liked this book quite a bit and I think Gabrielle Walker is probably a new favorite science writer of mine. I've also read The Ocean of Air which was really wonderful.

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That one was a much quicker read than this one. I tried to really remember, focus on and understand the geology being discussed here. Maybe not a good book for a half-hearted science reader. I've seen some reviews that were critical of the focus being on both the scientists AND their work as opposed to JUST on the work , but th I liked this book quite a bit and I think Gabrielle Walker is probably a new favorite science writer of mine.

I've seen some reviews that were critical of the focus being on both the scientists AND their work as opposed to JUST on the work , but that's the part I like best. Aug 12, Angela Boord rated it really liked it Shelves: While, as usual, I was a bit irked by the tendency of scientific authors to personify "Earth" and evolutionary processes and plate techtonics, in this case as a sort of substitute for God, this was an excellent story of how science is done -- how theories are made, how the personalities of the scientists involved affect the making of theories -- in addition to the science itself being fascinating.

It's also a well-written book by a good story-teller. Jul 04, Donna Jo Atwood rated it it was ok Shelves: I obviously haven't been keeping up. I've missed this theory that at at least one point earth--ocean and all-- was covered with ice, including the equator.

Review: Snowball Earth and In the Blink of an Eye | Books | The Guardian

I was reading a long and enjoying it and then I get to checking dates and ages of the people she talking about and I can't make them match up. First Paul is 23 in , and then in he is Then somebody is his student, and then he's age progressed. Feb 26, Weavre rated it really liked it Shelves: This was a great romp through a fascinating geological controversy. Walker brings to life the scientists, with all their human foibles and brilliance, who conducted the research she presents.

Step by step, vehement argument after vehement argument, she follows the development of the now-widely-accepted theory that our planet has, in the past, been a frozen alien world. This work is definitely a storytelling triumph. Apr 17, Scott rated it really liked it.


  • Snowball Earth!
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Don't get too caught up in this promo about this being fiction! Many scientists today agree with the evidence pointing to this episode in the history of our planet. I had to read this for my Geology class in college. It was interesting to look at a history of the Earth that wasn't taught in public school. Fascinating topic, poor treatment: Jun 23, Ken rated it really liked it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Dr Gabrielle Walker is an expert on climate change and the energy industry. She has been a Professor at Princeton University and is the author of four books including co-authoring the bestselling book about climate and energy: Gabrielle is currently Chief Scientist at X Dr Gabrielle Walker is an expert on climate change and the energy industry.

Gabrielle is currently Chief Scientist at Xynteo, an advisory firm with a mission to reinvent growth: She has been Climate Change Editor at Nature and Features Editor at New Scientist and has written very extensively for many international newspapers and magazines. Books by Gabrielle Walker. Because the global snowball happened so long ago the ice has now long gone - but it left its traces in rocks around the world and in order to see the evidence, Walker visited such places as Australia, Namibia, South Africa and Death Valley, USA.

Part adventure story and part travel book, it's a tale of the ultimate human endeavour to understand our origins. Walker is an ideal person to tell it