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18 Miles - The Epic Drama of the Atmosphere and its Weather

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18 Miles - The Epic Drama of the Atmosphere and its Weather

Christopher Dewdney

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Winner of the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada General Audience award

We live at the bottom of an ocean of air – 5,200 million million tons, to be exact. It sounds like a lot, but Earth’s atmosphere is smeared onto its surface in an alarmingly thin layer. Shrink the earth to the size of a basketball and our atmosphere would be as thick as a layer of food wrap – 99 percent contained within 18 miles. Yet within this fragile margin lies a magnificent realm – at once gorgeous, terrifying, capricious, and elusive.

18 Miles is a kaleidoscopic and fact-filled journey through our atmosphere and weather. Author Christopher Dewdney reveals to us the invisible rivers in the sky that affect how our weather works, and the rollercoaster of our climate. He details the history of weather forecasting, looking at weather events from ancient history to the present day, and introduces us to the eccentric and determined pioneers of science and observation whose efforts gave us the understanding of weather we have today. Throughout history, humanity has been obsessed with the weather and the atmosphere. We have been determined to find reliable ways to predict our seemingly unpredictable weather, and in the 21st century, faced with the challenges of climate change, it is more important than ever that scientists are able to study our atmosphere and work out how and why humanity has affected it. From the roaring winds of Katrina to the frozen oceans of Snowball Earth, 18 Miles provides an entertaining and in-depth look at the very air we breathe.

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