Tag Archive for: climate science

The Ends of the World - Peter Brannen

When we talk about ‘saving the planet,’ we forget that the planet is perfectly capable of saving itself. In the last half billion years there have been five major Earth catastrophes resulting in mass extinction – most as a result of changing climate, and some even caused by the lifeforms they extinguished. But each time, life has bounced back, often more glorious and incredible than before.

Journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through these mass extinctions and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future. There are many analogs with present-day climate shifts and Brannen introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who are piecing together what really happened.

Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes a deep-time tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light. A fascinating and compelling read.

– Sandy Winterbottom

The Arctic treeline is the frontline of climate change, where the trees have been creeping towards the pole for fifty years. These vast swathes of forests, which encircle the north of the globe in an almost unbroken green ring, comprise the world’s second largest biome.

Scientists are only just beginning to understand the astonishing significance of these northern forests for all life on Earth. Six tree species – Scots pine, birch, larch, spruce, poplar and rowan – form the central protagonists of Ben Rawlence’s story. In Scotland, northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland, he discovers what these trees and the people who live and work alongside them have to tell us about the past, present and future of our planet.

At the treeline, Rawlence witnesses the accelerating impact of climate change and the devastating legacies of colonialism and capitalism. But he also finds reasons for hope. Humans are creatures of the forest; we have always evolved with trees. The Treeline asks us where our co-evolution might take us next. Deeply researched and beautifully written, The Treeline is a blend of nature, travel and science writing, underpinned by an urgent environmental message.