Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids


E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Snowball Earth

Snowball Earth

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Snowball Earth

Written by Gabrielle WalkerAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Gabrielle Walker

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
  • On Sale: February 24, 2004
  • Price: $16.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-4000-5125-0 (1-4000-5125-8)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

Did the Earth once undergo a super ice age, one that froze the entire planet from the poles to the equator? In Snowball Earth, gifted writer Gabrielle Walker has crafted an intriguing global adventure story, following maverick scientist Paul Hoffman’s quest to prove a theory so audacious and profound that it is shaking the world of earth sciences to its core.

In lyrical prose that brings each remote and alluring locale vividly to life, Walker takes readers on a natural history expedition to witness firsthand the supporting evidence Hoffman has pieced together. That evidence, he argues, shows that 700 million years ago the Earth did indeed freeze over completely, becoming a giant “snowball,” in the worst climatic catastrophe in history. Even more startling is his assertion that, instead of ending life on Earth, this global deep freeze was the trigger for the Cambrian Explosion, the hitherto unexplained moment in geological time when a glorious profusion of complex life forms first emerged from the primordial ooze.

In a story full of intellectual intrigue, we follow the irascible but brilliant Hoffman and a supporting cast of intrepid geologists as they scour the planet, uncovering clue after surprising clue. They travel to a primeval lagoon at Shark Bay in western Australia, where dolphins cavort with swimmers every morning at seven and “living rocks” sprout out of the water like broccoli heads; to the desolate and forbidding ice fields of a tiny Arctic archipelago seven hundred miles north of Norway; to the surprising fossil beds that decorate Newfoundland’s foggy and windswept coastline; and on to the superheated salt pans of California’s Death Valley.

Through the contours of these rich and varied landscapes Walker teaches students to read the traces of geological time with expert eyes and to marvel at the stunning feats of resilience and renewal our remarkable planet is capable of. Snowball Earth is science writing at its most gripping and enlightening.