If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.
This richly illustrated book collects and explores the colorful histories behind a striking range of real antique maps that are all in some way a little too good to be true.
Mysteries within ancient maps: The Phantom Atlas is a guide to the world not as it is, but as it was imagined to be. It's a world of ghost islands, invisible mountain ranges, mythical civilizations, ship-wrecking beasts, and other fictitious features introduced on maps and atlases through mistakes, misunderstanding, fantasies, and outright lies.
Where exploration and mythology meet: Author Edward Brooke-Hitching is a map collector, author, writer for the popular BBC Television program QI and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He lives in a dusty heap of old maps and books in London investigating the places where exploration and mythology meet.
Cartography’s greatest phantoms: The Phantom Atlas uses gorgeous atlas images as springboards for tales of deranged buccaneers, seafaring monks, heroes, swindlers, and other amazing stories behind cartography's greatest phantoms.
If you are a fan of this popular genre and a reader of books such as Prisoners of Geography, Atlas of Ancient Rome, Atlas Obscura, What If, Book of General Ignorance, or Thing Explainer, your will love The Phantom Atlas
By venturing out of her clinic and spending time on seven family farms, Miller uncovers all the aspects of farming—from seed choice to soil management—that have a direct and powerful impact on our health. Bridging the traditional divide between agriculture and medicine, Miller shares lessons learned from inspiring farmers and biomedical researchers and artfully weaves their insights and discoveries, along with stories from her patients, into the narrative. The result is a compelling new vision for sustainable healing and a treasure trove of farm-to-body lessons that have immense value in our daily lives.
In Farmacology you will meet:a vegetable farmer in Washington State who shows us how the principles he uses to rejuvenate his soil apply just as well to our own bodies. Here we also discover the direct links between healthy soil and healthy humans. a beef farmer in Missouri who shows how a holistic cattle-grazing method can grow resilient calves and resilient children. an egg farmer in Arkansas who introduces us to the counterintuitive idea that stress can keep us productive and healthy. We discover why the stressors associated with a pasture-based farming system are beneficial to animals and humans while the duress of factory farming can make us ill. a vintner in Sonoma, California, who reveals the principles of Integrated Pest Management and helps us understand how this gentler approach to controlling unwanted bugs and weeds might be used to treat invasive cancers in humans. a farmer in the Bronx who shows us how a network of gardens offers health benefits that extend far beyond the nutrient value of the fruits and vegetables grown in the raised beds. For example, did you know that urban farming can lower the incidence of alcoholism and crime? finally, an aromatic herb farmer in Washington State who teaches us about the secret chemical messages we exchange with plants—messages that can affect our mood and even keep us looking youthful.
In each chapter, Farmacology reveals the surprising ways that the ecology of our body and the ecology of our farms are intimately linked. This is a paradigm-changing adventure that has huge implications for our personal health and the health of the planet.
Don’t worry it’s never too late to find out about what makes the weather tick.
And there’s never been an easier or more enjoyable way to learn than Weather For Dummies. In know time, you’ll know enough of weather basics to be able to:Identify cloud types Make sense of seasonal differences in the weather Understand what causes hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme events Make your own weather forecasts Avoid danger during severe weather Understand the global warming debate Get a handle on smog, the greenhouse effect, El Niño, and more
Award-winning science writer John D. Cox brings the science of meteorology down to earth and, with the help of dozens of cool maps and charts and stunning photographs of weather conditions, he covers a wide range of fascinating subjects, including:What is weather and how it fits into the entire global ecosystem What goes into making a professional daily weather forecast The basic elements of weather, including air pressure, clouds, and humidity Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, and other extreme forms of weather Seasonal weather effects and why they vary Lightening, rainbows, sundogs, haloes, and other special effects
Featuring clear explanations, stunning illustrations, and fun, easy experiments and activities you can do at home , Weather For Dummies is your guide to making sense of the baffling turmoil of the ever-changing skies above.
Interweaving physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology, this sweeping account tells Earth’s complete story, from the synthesis of chemical elements in stars, to the formation of the Solar System, to the evolution of a habitable climate on Earth, to the origin of life and humankind. The book also addresses the search for other habitable worlds in the Milky Way and contemplates whether Earth will remain habitable as our influence on global climate grows. It concludes by considering the ways in which humankind can sustain Earth’s habitability and perhaps even participate in further planetary evolution.
Like no other book, How to Build a Habitable Planet provides an understanding of Earth in its broadest context, as well as a greater appreciation of its possibly rare ability to sustain life over geologic time.
Leading schools that have ordered, recommended for reading, or adopted this book for course use:
*Lizards in Puerto Rico are evolving feet that better grip surfaces like concrete.
*Europe’s urban blackbirds sing at a higher pitch than their rural cousins, to be heardover the din of traffic.
How is this happening?
Menno Schilthuizen is one of a growing number of “urban ecologists” studying how our manmade environments are accelerating and changing the evolution of the animals and plants around us. In Darwin Comes to Town, he takes us around the world for an up-close look at just how stunningly flexible and swift-moving natural selection can be.
With human populations growing, we’re having an increasing impact on global ecosystems, and nowhere do these impacts overlap as much as they do in cities. The urban environment is about as extreme as it gets, and the wild animals and plants that live side-by-side with us need to adapt to a whole suite of challenging conditions: they must manage in the city’s hotter climate (the “urban heat island”); they need to be able to live either in the semidesert of the tall, rocky, and cavernous structures we call buildings or in the pocket-like oases of city parks (which pose their own dangers, including smog and free-rangingdogs and cats); traffic causes continuous noise, a mist of fine dust particles, and barriers to movement for any animal that cannot fly or burrow; food sources are mainly human-derived. And yet, as Schilthuizen shows, the wildlife sharing these spaces with us is not just surviving, but evolving ways of thriving.
Darwin Comes toTown draws on eye-popping examples of adaptation to share a stunning vision of urban evolution in which humans and wildlife co-exist in a unique harmony. It reveals that evolution can happen far more rapidly than Darwin dreamed, while providing a glimmer of hope that our race toward over population might not take the rest of nature down with us.
From the Rocky Mountains to the Great barrier Reef and everything in between, Natural Wonders of the World combines breathtaking landscape photography and illustrations with 3-D terrain models and other explanatory artworks to reveal what lies beneath the surface and explain the geological processes to show how the features were formed. Plants and animals that inhabit each environment are also included, making Natural Wonders of the World a complete celebration of our world.
Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution.
For centuries, agricultural practices have eroded the soil that farming depends on, stripping it of the organic matter vital to its productivity. Now conventional agriculture is threatening disaster for the world’s growing population. In Growing a Revolution, geologist David R. Montgomery travels the world, meeting farmers at the forefront of an agricultural movement to restore soil health. From Kansas to Ghana, he sees why adopting the three tenets of conservation agriculture—ditching the plow, planting cover crops, and growing a diversity of crops—is the solution. When farmers restore fertility to the land, this helps feed the world, cool the planet, reduce pollution, and return profitability to family farms.
Tropical Ecology begins with a historical overview followed by a sweeping discussion of biogeography and evolution, and then introduces students to the unique and complex structure of tropical rain forests. Other topics include the processes that influence everything from species richness to rates of photosynthesis: how global climate change may affect rain forest characteristics and function; how fragmentation of ecosystems affects species richness and ecological processes; human ecology in the tropics; biodiversity; and conservation of tropical ecosystems and species.
Drawing on real-world examples taken from actual research, Tropical Ecology is the best textbook on the subject for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
Leading universities that have adopted this book include:
From Russia to Bengal to Palm Beach, Randall Packard’s far-ranging narrative traces the natural and social forces that help malaria spread and make it deadly. He finds that war, land development, crumbling health systems, and globalization—coupled with climate change and changes in the distribution and flow of water—create conditions in which malaria's carrier mosquitoes thrive. The combination of these forces, Packard contends, makes the tropical regions today a perfect home for the disease.
Authoritative, fascinating, and eye-opening, this short history of malaria concludes with policy recommendations for improving control strategies and saving lives.
Sustainability is a global imperative and a scientific challenge like no other. This concise guide provides students and practitioners with a strategic framework for linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable development, and serves as an invaluable companion to more narrowly focused courses dealing with sustainability in particular sectors such as energy, food, water, and housing, or in particular regions of the world.
Written by leading experts, Pursuing Sustainability shows how more inclusive and interdisciplinary approaches and systems perspectives can help you achieve your sustainability objectives. It stresses the need for understanding how capital assets are linked to sustainability goals through the complex adaptive dynamics of social-environmental systems, how committed people can use governance processes to alter those dynamics, and how successful interventions can be shaped through collaborations among researchers and practitioners on the ground.
The ideal textbook for undergraduate and graduate students and an invaluable resource for anyone working in this fast-growing field, Pursuing Sustainability also features case studies, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading.
The Wealth of Nature suggests public policy initiatives and personal choices that can help alleviate the economic impact of peak oil. These strategies must address not only financial concerns, but the issues of resource depletion and pollution as well. Examples include:Adjusting tax policy to penalize the use of natural nonrenewable resources over recycled materials Placing public welfare above corporate interests Empowering individuals, families, and communities by prioritizing local, sustainable solutions Building economies at an appropriate scale.
Profoundly insightful and impeccably argued, this book is required reading for anyone interested in the intersection of the environment and the economy as we enter the twilight of the Age of Abundance .
Topics covered in this book include
• The definitions of wildlife and management• Human dimensions of wildlife management• Animal behavior• Predator–prey relationships • Structured decision making• Issues of scale in wildlife management• Wildlife health• Historical context of wildlife management and conservation• Hunting and trapping• Nongame species• Nutrition ecology• Water management• Climate change• Conservation planning
In a new preface, the author weighs in on whether our understanding of global climate change has altered in the years since the book was first published, what the latest research tells us, and what he is working on next.