Download E-books Countdown To Apocalypse: A Scientific Exploration Of The End Of The World PDF

By Paul Halpern

Inspired by way of the top of the millennium, celebrated technology author Paul Halpern tackles the destiny of human civilization and our planet during this meditation at the finish of the area. starting with the spiritual origins of the belief of apocalypse, Halpern indicates how technology has borrowed the metaphor to explain power around the globe catastrophes. He spins out a variety of situations for destruction, from nuclear struggle and worldwide warming to an excellent flood and a brand new Ice Age. He argues that whereas human heritage will sometime come to a close-even if we survived for billions of years, we might ultimately face the tip of the universe itself-in the period in-between we've won amazing keep watch over over our destiny as a species. confronted with the ability to guide our planet towards paradise or remodel it into hell, he says, we needs to take steps to prevent these catalysts of apocalypse which are inside our control.

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As drained vistas crumbled less than the load of abrasion, new terrain used to be slowly equipped up of their stead. The pressed land gave solution to new configurations, the compliant seas shifted to fill the gaps, and the fiery sunlight of the Cretaceous heavens blazed down upon all of it. Reigning over this primitive country have been the undisputed rulers of land, sea and sky: the enormous reptiles. there has been scarcely part of Earth that those thundering beasts (dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and different comparable species) did not roam. And the place mey roamed, they flourished; the place they flourished, they triumphed. think the nightmarish spectacle of gargantuan "lizards," trampling upon the muddy floor, wading via steamy swamps, hovering, swooping, snatching, and supping. The meat-eaters between them, similar to the fiercesome Tyrannosaurus rex, tore their sabre-like the teeth via any dwelling flesh on hand, together with the great hides of different dinosaurs. No creature in the world may well get away those striking predators, retailer by way of hiding in a distinct segment too small for the titanic reptiles to find. And T. Rex did not even symbolize the biggest of the saurians. The 8 ton Gigantosaurus carolinii, lately came across through Argentine paleontologists within the distant quarter of Patagonia, is assumed to were even taller. the enormous reptiles have been way more clever than as soon as given credits. At one time it used to be as a rule believed that those creatures have been slow, silly, and unconcerned approximately their younger. Now scientists 22 COUNTDOWN TO APOCALYPSE become aware of that many dinosaurs might circulate particularly fast and stalk their prey. in addition, there's plentiful facts that not less than a few of them displayed nesting habit just like birds. In Mongolia, skeletons of Protoceratops, dinosaurs from the overdue Cretaceous interval, were stumbled on besides nests of eggs that contained preserved embryos. those symptoms of a nesting intuition recommend that dinosaurs, like birds or mammals, can have to a point fostered their younger. hovering excessive above the dinosaurs have been their aerodynamically proficient cousins, the pterosaurs or "flying lizards. " just like the dinosaurs, many pterosaurs have been huge—some even the scale of airplanes. the biggest pterosaur, named Quetzalcoatlus for the Aztec winged serpent god, had a wing span of over thirty-six ft. inspite of their frequently significant proportions, although, pterosaurs had no difficulty flying. Their bones have been hole, rendering them lighter than their dimensions may recommend. They navigated during the air by way of flapping elongated wings. the nice reptiles reigned for a hundred and forty million years. Why do not the dinosaurs and pterosaurs rule the Earth this day? Why is it that other than their descendants, the birds and lizards, there is no such thing as a unmarried residing instance of those creatures? those questions beg for a passable answer. really, the disappearance of the enormous reptiles represents one of many maximum mysteries of technology. Fossil documents paint a curious photo of mass extinction on the shut of the Cretaceous interval, sixty five million years in the past.

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