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In this lavish companion to the BBC series Earth: The Power of the Planet , rewned science writers Iain Stewart and John Lynch use stunning imagery and the latest scientific discoveries to explain how our remarkable planet functions. Earth has survived four and a half billion years of being 'stirred from below and bombarded from above' but at the start of the twenty-first century our planet faces new threats, brought about by human actions. It is the perfect time to look back on an extraordinary life and give Earth a thorough health-check. Each chapter focuses on one of Earth's most powerful forces - meteor impacts, plate tectonics, the ocean, atmosphere and ice - and explores their central role in keeping Earth alive.These are the forces that drive our planet and shape its destiny. We discover how a devastating cosmic impact blasted a huge chunk of Earth into space to form the Moon, how Earth nearly froze to death when it was completely encased in ice for millions of years, and how Earth's remarkable heat engine, its molten core, saved the day. Earth has been able to sustain complex life thanks to an extraordinary number of lucky breaks and coincidences. Scientists predict that one day it will die as the Sun heats up and expands. But are we hastening its end through our actions? This lavishly illustrated book will tell the epic story of the birth, life and future of our amazing planet.
Iain Stewart is a lecturer in geology at the University of Plymouth's School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences. He presented the six-part BBC geology series Journeys From the Centre Of The Earth, for which he wrote the accompanying book. His follow-up series on the geology and culture around the Pacific Rim, Journeys Into The Ring of Fire, was broadcast on the BBC in 2006. Iain is the presenter of Earth: The Power of the Planet. John Lynch is the BBC's head of Science and History. As a producer and director he made many successful films on subjects ranging from the eruption of Mount St Helens to the BAFTA award-winning Fermat's Last Theorem, before becoming Editor of the BBC's long-running science series Horizon. John was the executive producer of the landmark TV series The Planets and Walking With Dinosaurs, and then headed the BBC Science Unit as Creative Director unit being appointed to his current role. John is the author of Wild Weather and co-author of Walking with Cavemen.