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Supercontinent

a book review

product linkSupercontinent
sub-titleTen Billion Years in the Life of Our Planet
authorTed Nield and E. W. Nield
date reviewed2009.05.31
genreScience
isbn1862079439

This book is a lengthy telling of not only the science of continents but the scientists and their many investigations into how the science works. It details the long cycle of supercontinent formation and destruction, and how we know what we know - right down to details such as aging rocks and determining how and when they were created. Plate tectonics, the projected future state of the Earth's continents, and even where we get rain are covered. I'm fascinated by what a hellscape our planet can be at times: frozen solid at one point, completely submerged at another, baking hot and acidic at yet another.

But a lot of this book covers the insane difficulty of getting new ideas accepted and my god did people fight this one tooth and nail. Surprisingly, there are also links to the stories we tell today.

At well over three hundred pages, and being gifted to my just prior to my first child's birth, it came at a time when my reading all but stopped but this book was one I kept picking up. That said, I found the unleavened scope of the writing a challenge, and I now realize that I must have been reading at an average pace of about four pages a day. Perhaps with some more photography or illustrations this could have been broken up into two books - one dealing with the science, the other with the human aspects.

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