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GSC102- Review - Book Report/Review Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Book Review on the Future is Wild by Dougal Dixon and John Adams The ideas that I found most interesting in this book were the elaborate comparison of the past 200 million years and the 200 million years in the future. The writers place the context of the book interestingly, against a historical context…
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Download file to see previous pages The writers, in an interesting way, talk about the life cycle of life. They expound on the topic by addressing the water cycle. They simplify the future into five million years, 100 million years and 200 million years into the future. The five million years is the ice age. It relates it to the past five million years, where there was existence of some extinct animals such as mammoths and sabre tooth tigers. The 100 million years into the future will have high temperatures, hence melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps. This would lead to the higher sea levels. They talk about the existence of species with interesting features such as the giant reptile that is bigger than a dinosaur. I find the occurrence in the final 200 million years where there will be formation of the second Pangaea and the global ocean thought provoking. In this age, there will be extinction of 95% of the world’s species (Dougal & Adams, p 23-70). This book vividly illustrates how species will adopt, with time, to the changing environmental conditions such as forest fish, four-winged birds, flying ocean fish and the grim worms that emerge from the beetles. The authors describe these species vividly and use computer-generated illustrations to make them more vivid but also state that they may, or may not, exist. What I really do not agree with in this book, is the over simplification of the biosphere, hence, giving a narrow understanding on the subject matter. It limits plate tectonics and cycles of life to only the trophic levels and cycling, thus, leaving out some important subtleties. The book assumes that there was only one glacial throughout the past few million years. It does not mention the existence of the glacial/interglacial cycles, whereby the interglacial are the short warm spells within the Quaternary ice age while the glacial are the long cold spells within this age. The authors explain that the end of ice age will be because of emission of the volcanic carbon dioxide (Dougal & Adams, p100). More activities could lead to end the current Milankovitch ice age besides the volcanic carbon dioxide. These may include human activities, such as air pollution and deforestation, which could lead to global warming. I also disagree with the point the authors make that Bengal swam area will be a source of coal. There may be existence of carboniferous 350 million years ago, where water ran off in this land. The land will, therefore, not have sea level fluctuations. The detrivore systems will not facilitate the formation of coal from the buried carboniferous carbon. The writers make a mistake in naming the earthworms as polychaetes, while their identity is oligochaete annelids (Dougal & Adams, p118). The Future is Wild, does not talk about the evolution of the sun. The authors could have included the deep carbon cycle and biosphere homeostasis to account for the rise of atmospheric temperatures. The most valuable contribution that I think this book makes to our understanding of the evolution of Earth’s biosphere is the elementary overview of the biosphere. Throughout the book, they show diversity of the world’s species, mostly those in the fauna group, for example the earthworms, variety of fish, mammoths and birds. The book simplifies the biosphere by giving examples in the future, of alternate evolutions and implicit time travel. In simple, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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