Here is the essential guide to the earth sciences, an authoritative reference book and timeline that examines how we figured out how the world works - literally. That process has revealed how the planet formed from a disc of dust left behind by the young Sun. It showed how the surface of Earth is in constant - but slow - motion, driven by the same forces that result in devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
Geology has uncovered all this by studying the processes that shape Earth's crust today, here and now, and rewinding the clock to the distant past to retell the story of the planet. While geologists study rocks hard, oceanographers dive into the waters that cover most of Earth - the seabed is still more of a mystery than the surface of the Moon.
Meteorologists monitor and model the atmosphere that cloaks the planet, offering a life-sustaining barrier between us and outer space, but for how much longer? Meanwhile planetary scientists focus their knowledge of earth sciences on other worlds using discoveries made down here to unlock the secrets of space. Will they find other planets like ours or is Earth very special indeed?