The Story of Earth’s Climate review: 25 discoveries tell tangled tale


An animation of the primitive Earth in the process of formation, more than four billion years ago. We view the newborn world from its troubled surface a sea of lava dotted with volcanoes spewing more lava, ash and smoke into the atmosphere. Meteorites fall frequently, illuminating the black, lifeless, surface rocks. And in the sky, the Moon -- much closer to us then than it is now -- endures a similar bombardment.

Once the first life took hold on Earth, it started influencing the climate


The Story of Earth’s Climate in 25 Discoveries
Donald R. Prothero (Columbia University Press, out 12 March)

IT IS is a truism to say that life and climate are intertwined. Living organisms can change Earth’s climate by, say, pumping out or absorbing the greenhouse gases that warm the planet. Equally, climate affects life by making conditions too hot, too cold or too dry for some organisms to survive.

This means that the story of life is also the…

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