An Introduction to the Earth-Life System
Cambridge University Press, Feb 28, 2008 - Science - 319 pages
This concise undergraduate textbook brings together Earth and biological sciences to explore the co-evolution of the Earth and life over geological time. Written for a one-semester course, it explores the Earth system at and above the surface of the Earth by examining the interactions and feedback processes between the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. It also explains how the Earth's surface environment involves a complex interplay between these systems. Through a wealth of features and student questioning, the book allows students to understand how physical controls make our planet hospitable for life, investigate the processes of global change that operate on a range of timescales, understand important cross-disciplinary connections and explore how the whole Earth system has evolved. Finally, it assesses how and why the climate of the Earth has varied over geological time, and considers whether life itself is passive or an active agent for change.
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aerosols amount animals Antarctic areas atmospheric CO2 average biomass Cambrian Explosion carbon cycle carbon dioxide Carboniferous cells chromosomes climate change CO2 concentrations continental continents Cretaceous crust currents decrease deep ocean deposits dissolved Earth Earth's surface Ediacaran effect energy Equator equilibrium eruption eukaryotes evolution evolutionary fauna feedback flood basalts flux forests fossil fossil record gases genes geological geological timescales global climate global cooling greenhouse heat Hemisphere high latitudes Himalaya ice caps incoming solar radiation increase land leaf longwave low latitudes marine mass extinctions molecules monsoon mountain North Atlantic northern occur organic carbon oxygen Pangaea pattern Permian Phanerozoic photosynthesis phytoplankton planktonic plants polar primary productivity processes prokaryotes Proterozoic Question regions relatively reproduction reservoir respiration result rise rocks sea level seawater sediments silicate sinking soil solar radiation southern species surface waters temperature Tethys Ocean Tibetan Plateau timescales tropical uplift upwelling volcanic warm weathering rates winds