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Surviving 1000 Centuries: Can We Do It? [Hardcover]

Roger-Maurice Bonnet , Lodewyk Woltjer

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Book Description

July 30 2008 0387746331 978-0387746333 2008

The circumstances that will shape the long-term future of our planet will be constrained by what is physically possible and what is not. This full color book provides a quantitative view of our civilization over the next 100,000 years, in comparison to the 40-60,000 years it took for modern humans to emerge from Africa, on the basis of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge. The evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere and the origin of water are highlighted as the most important factors for the emergence and the development of life.

The authors consider both cosmic and natural hazards, pointing out that scientific information provided by satellites and communication systems on the ground could prevent many unnecessary casualties by forward planning and the installation of elementary precautions. The Earth’s evolving climate is considered, showing how greenhouse gases have played an important role in the past climate, whereas human industrial and agricultural emissions will greatly impact our future.

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From the reviews:

"A good initial feeling for the thesis of the book can be obtained simply by reading the … chapters. … the authors turn to threats to survival from outside (from nearby supernovae to asteroid impact) and from inside (disease, seismic events, and climatic hazards), before turning to the current burning issue of climate change, both past and future. … This is a fascinating and challenging book which is published at just the right moment. It should be required reading for all politicians … ." (Robert Connon Smith, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1210), June, 2009)

About the Author

Dr R M Bonnet and Dr L Woltjer are outstanding, internationally renowned scientists. During his long tenure at the European Space Agency, Dr Bonnet has directed the launch of 17 artificial scientific satellites, initiating the development of the Huygens probe placed on the NASA Cassini Saturn Orbiter which landed on Titan on 14 January 2005, developing the successful Mars Express mission and directing the SMART-1 European lunar mission. He is President of COSPAR and Executive Director of ISSI and has acquired a world reputation in the field of space politics. After 11 years at Columbia University, NY, Dr Woltjer returned to Europe as Director General of ESO for 13 years. Since then he has worked closely with the Observatories de Haute Provence in France and the University of Florence in Italy, was President of the International Astronomical Union and Chairman of the Space Science Advisory Committee of ESA for 4 years.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing summary of how life on earth came to be...and may come (or not) to an end! Jan. 9 2009
By S. Lavadinho - Published on
This is a truly amazing book, that achieves the "tour de force" of telling us how life on earth came to be, and how it can evolve given our present and future resources and skills. Taking a deep breath into a far distant future, the authors come back inspired to talk about the present, and how we are best to aim towards that distant future, still thriving as a civilisation. It is very concise, well-written, extremely accurate,and deploys a wealth of documented sources. Truly a must-read if you are into serious mind-blowing thinking regarding the mysteries of the universe and our life past, present and future.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wide overview about what may happen to Earth and Mankind within the 100.000 year. March 7 2014
By Paul René Marie LE SAUX - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The authors are among the best qualified people to answer many questions one can have pending about possible futures for our planet and ourselves. By the way, they prove once again how fundamental science very often ends up useful for humanity without having it as a purpose.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound and Fury Oct. 16 2008
By Hofstadt Paul Daniel - Published on
By traveling through this book you will feel that you are living on earth as well as living with the planet earth. Our planet becomes alive through a comprehensive and captivating account of its historic and current behavior. The book portrays its sound and fury and let you know that the time has come to guide its destiny.
How? Read the book.

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