Donald R. Prothero (Download read online) Catastrophes

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Catastrophes

PDevastating natural disasters have profoundly shaped human history leaving us with a respect for the mighty power of the earthmdash;and a humbling view of our future Paleontologist and geologist Donald R Prothero tells the harrowing human stories behind these catastrophic eventsPProthero describes in gripping detail some of the most important natural disasters in history#58;PAcirc;bull; the New Madrid Missouri earthuakes of 1811ndash;1812 that caused church bells t Catastrophes Earthuakes Tsunamis Tornadoes and Other Earth Shattering Disasters By Donald R Prothero Catastrophes is a first rate look at natural disasters from a paleontological approach Inspired by the catastrophe of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami acclaimed science author and educator Donald R Prothero provides not only a fascinating look at catastrophes by category but shares many stories of the scientists and people affected by them This captivating 360 page book includes the following twelve chapters 1 Earthuakes The Earth in Upheaval 2 Tsunamis The Sea Rises Up 3 Volcanoes Hell s Cauldron 4 Landslides Gravity Always Wins 5 Floods Raging Waters 6 Hurricanes Cyclones and Typhoons Nature on the Rampage 7 Tornadoes Funnels of Death 8 Blizzards White Death 9 Ice Ages Frozen Planet 10 Greenhouse Planet Too Hot to Handle 11 Mass Extinctions When Life Nearly Died and 12 Can We Survive Nature and Our Own Folly Positives1 Well written accessible page turner of a science book Mixes in historical narratives with science fun and enlightening2 A fascinating topic in the hands of a subject matter expert With a PhD in geological sciences and authorship of many books and scientific papers Prothero has earned my trust as a high uality science writer3 Great use of visual materials Plenty of charts and photos4 A solid introductory history to modern geology 5 Goes through the birth of modern seismology while narrating historical earthuakes6 Throughout the book myths are debunked Many people believe in the myth of earthuake weather Supposedly great earthuakes happen during unusually hot days In reality there is no correlation between the occurrence of earthuakes and weather daytime temperature or time of day 7 Unbelievable facts As the Indian plate is pushed under the Burma plate it produces a huge subduction zone that is responsible for the island nations of Indonesia and Malaysia The fault line of this plate boundary formed a rupture about 400 km 250 miles long and 100 km 60 miles wide which was located 30 km 19 miles beneath the seabed the longest rupture ever caused by an earthuake The energy released by the uake was about 550 million times powerful than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima 8 Goes through the different kinds of eruptions Not all volcanoes explode like Vesuvius Krakatau Tambora or Mont Pel e Hawaiian volcanoes familiar from nature films erupt with relatively thin lava flows but do not blow their tops in a catastrophic explosion 9 Find out what country has the deadliest volcanoes and why10 The underrated catastrophe of landslides A Richter magnitude 8 earthuake struck off the coast of Peru on May 31 1970 to cause one of the deadliest landslides in recent history 11 A look at some of the world s deadliest floods 12 A fascinating look at the hurricanes of 2005 The year 2005 was turning out to be the worst hurricane season in recorded history By the end of the season in January 2006 there were a record 28 large officially named tropical storms and a record 15 had become hurricanes 13 Find out the costliest natural disaster in American history14 Debunking popular tornado myths 15 Inside the Storm of the Century 1993 The storm caused about 66 billion in damage making it one of the most costly blizzards in American history New Englanders may point to the blizzard of 1978 as severe in their region while the blizzard of 1996 was severe in the mid Atlantic states however for sheer size volume and destructiveness the 1993 snowstorm was truly the Storm of the Century in North America 16 The story behind Pangea all Earth 17 Perhaps one of the best answers to climate change denialists Prothero takes his gloves off and it s a work of beauty The most famous of these was conducted by Naomi Oreskes in 2004 which looked at all papers published on the topic in the world s leading scientific journal Science between 1993 and 2003 Of the hundreds of papers written by the world s top scientists 980 supported global warming and none opposed it 18 A look at mass extinctions19 Putting natural disasters in perspective Even AIDS which is a relatively young epidemic spreading only since the 1980s has killed than 25 million people worldwide far than any natural disaster 20 Excellent bibliography Negatives1 Links provided are limited to figures and chapters Notes are not provided2 Not necessarily a catastrophe unless you are involved but sinkholes are becoming a hot button topic of late 3 Never hurts to go over the scientific method and in this case from a geologist and or paleontologist perspective It could be added in an appendix to avoid disrupting the flow of the book In summary a fun and enlightening book on natural disasters Prothero produces high uality books for the masses to enjoy and this one doesn t disappoint This book is a good mix of historical anecdotes and sound science If you are looking for a fun book to read this summer and that will always be topical this is it I highly recommend it Further recommendations Evolution What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters by the same author The Rocks Don t Lie by David R Montgomery The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman Why Evolution Works and Creationism Fails by Matt Young and The Making of the Fittest by Sean B Carroll

Summary Catastrophes

Urricanes that destroy everything in their pathmdash;all are here to remind us of how little control we have over the natural world Dramatic photographs and eyewitness accounts recall the devastation wrought by these events and the peoplemdash;both heroes and foolsmdash;that are caught up in the earth's relentless forces PEerie fascinating and often moving these tales of geologic history and human fortitude and folly will stay with you long after you put the book do It is what it claims to be an overview of types and examples of natural disasters that afflict our world It provides a fairly good overview of the most dangerous and catastrophic events that humanity has experienced while offering reasons for some of the major events and suggestions as to how such occurrences can be mitigated in the future The writing style is clear and concise not overly flowery or needlessly gruesomeI have this book for stars because most of the material was exactly as described However I withheld the fifth star because the last three chapter were like school lessons about ice ages global warming and mass extinction One section even discussed how the world might end going beyond the scope of this book

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O ring in BostonAcirc;bull; the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed than 230000 peopleAcirc;bull; the massive volcanic eruptions of Krakatau Mount Tambora Mount Vesuvius Mount St Helens and Nevado del RuizPHis clear and straightforward explanations of the forces that caused these disasters accompany gut wrenching accounts of terrifying human experiences and a staggering loss of human life PFloods that wash out whole regions earthuakes that level a single country h Very interesting and readable book for a non science reader like me interested in geology climate and history The book is divided into chapters about different types of disasters the earthuake chapter starts with a description of how the 1755 Lisbon earthuake crushed the European optimistic spirit of its times We all know about the Christmas Indian Ocean tsunami now but interesting to read about it in context with other disasterous tsunamis that have hit coasts in the past Earthuakes volcanoes floods ice ages landslides hurricanes amazing things have happened to the Earth The top five natural disasters that have killed the most people have all occurred in Asia Floods in China hold the record for deadliest disasters Will look for books by this author


About the Author: Donald R. Prothero

Donald R Prothero is a Professor of Geology at Occidental College and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology He teaches Physical and Historical Geology Sedimentary Geology and Paleontology His specialties are mammalian paleontology and magnetic stratigraphy of the Cenozoic His current research focuses on the dating of the climatic changes that occurred between 30 an



10 thoughts on “Catastrophes

  1. says:

    Since the dawn of human history catastrophes like earthuakes volcanic eruptions and blizzards have been seen by many as the capricious acts of a wrathful Deity bent on punishing humanity Even today most might ascribe such disasters

  2. says:

    Catastrophes Earthuakes Tsunamis Tornadoes and Other Earth Shattering Disasters By Donald R Prothero “Catastrophes is a fi

  3. says:

    Not a bad account of various disasters though obviously written very fast and without checking the facts too thoroughly the Pompeian episode which I know better than others as well as the Lisbon one have some obvious mistakes mostly in numbers Otherwise useful though at an early point it goes in the direction which is of less inte

  4. says:

    oh man This book probably deserves it’s own post for the bad ness of its numerical editing and the unevenly applied science Read with caution and a hefty dose of not taking it seriously That said the general depictions of past disasters were uite interesting

  5. says:

    As files to wanton boys are we to th' gods they kill us for their sport Gloucester King Lear Act 4 Scene 1This book chronicles some of the greatest natural disasters in human history and the mechanics that make them so deadly With a clear straight forward style Prothero recounts the 1906 San Francisco Earthuake

  6. says:

    Very interesting and readable book for a non science reader like me interested in geology climate and history The book is divided into chapters about different types of disasters the earthuake chapter starts with a description of how the 1755 Lisbon earthuake crushed the European optimistic spirit of its times We all know about the Christmas Indian Ocean tsunami now but interesting to read about it in context with other

  7. says:

    It is what it claims to be an overview of types and examples of natural disasters that afflict our world It provides a fairly good overview of the most dangerous and catastrophic events that humanity has experienced while offering reasons for some of the major events and suggestions as to how such occurrences can be mitigated in the future The writing style is clear and concise not overly flowery or needlessly

  8. says:

    Naturally occurring catastrophes are fascinating and frightening We had just visit New Madrid Missouri the site of hundreds of earthuakes between 1811 and 1812 so I was intrigued and wanted to learn I also wanted to learn about the zones susceptible to hurricanes the how and the why There were several brief succinct accounts of m

  9. says:

    A noteworthy contribution to our understanding of our planet Very readable and interesting on several levels with a powerful ending that hits the reader with a gut punch that shocks us in the knowledge that despite how explosive the catastrophic tsunamis tornadoes earthuakes and hurricanes are the greatest threats to our well being both in the short and long term are the flooding drought and climatic changes that we ar

  10. says:

    Don Prothero is a science hero of mine and he is a genuinely nice guy with a lovely family I suppose since I have heard Don speak on a number of these issues there was not too much for me to learn in this his latest book If you never

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