Under A Green Sky

Under A Green Sky

Global Warming,the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
Argues that all but one of the major extinction events of the past were caused by environmental factors, examines the ways in which global warming compromises the Earth's ability to sustain life, and makes recommendations for averting future disasters.


More than 200 million years ago, a cataclysmic event known as the Permian extinction destroyed more than 90% of all species and nearly 97% of all living things. Its origins have long been a puzzle for paleontologists, and during the 1990s and the early part of this century a great battle was fought between those who thought that death had come from above and those who thought something more complicated was at work.

Paleontologist Peter D. Ward, fresh from helping prove that an asteroid had killed the dinosaurs, turned to the Permian problem, and he has come to a stunning conclusion. In his investigations of the fates of several groups of mollusks during those extinctions and others, he discovered that the near-total devastation at the end of the Permian was caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide leading to climate change. But it's not the heat (nor the humidity) that's directly responsible for the extinctions, and the story of the discovery of what is responsible makes for an fascinating, globe-spanning adventure.

& Taylor

Arguing that all but one of the major extinction events that have occurred on the planet have been caused by environmental factors, an examination of the ways in which elevated carbon dioxide levels and global warming compromise the earth's ability to sustain life makes cautionary recommendations for averting future disasters. Reprint.

Publisher: Collins, 2008. New York
Edition: Reprint
ISBN: 9780061137921
Characteristics: 242 p ; cm


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Apr 28, 2015

The book is in part a professional history and what the author himself discovered that convinced him that major past extinctions were not primarily the result of extraterrestrial impacts (e.g., asteroids), but the result of changes in the atmosphere.
The writing is clear, but would have been helped with more diagrams and graphs.
Many of the most important points are not highlighted or had their significance communicated.

May 31, 2013

Couldn't get through this. I so wanted to read it - the subject matter seems very interesting - but the style is atrocious. About 80% of the sentences are incredibly loooong (60+ words), giving the book a breathless and confusing tone. Where's a good editor when a book needs one?!

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