From an American hero and dedicated scientist: A compelling introduction to the changes taking place in Earth's climate, written for the audience that matters most to our planet's future.
Beginning with Sally Ride's unique, astronaut's-eye view of Earth's fragile atmosphere, Mission: Planet Earth describes how water, air, and other climate systems shape our world, and how a disruption in one part of the system can spread through the entire planet. Drawing on the latest scientific research and presenting a clear, even-handed account of the current state of climate studies, illustrated with helpful diagrams and stunning photographs of and from the front lines of climate change, here is a celebration of Earth's natural complexity--and a call to action for a new generation.
|Publisher:||Roaring Brook Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||7.80(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.46(d)|
|Age Range:||9 - 14 Years|
About the Author
In 1983, SALLY RIDE became the first American woman to travel into space. She has remained in the limelight as an astronaut, astrophysicist, and advocate for encouraging girls in the sciences.
TAM O'SHAUGHNESSY is a professor of school psychology and children's science. She has co-authored four award-winning books with Sally Ride
Read an Excerpt
Mission: Planet EarthOur World and Its Climate--and How Humans Are Changing Them
By Sally Ride
Flash PointCopyright © 2009 Sally Ride
All right reserved.
Mission: Planet Earth
MISSION, PLANET EARTHWhen I was an astronaut, I spent hours gazing down at the Earth below. Our planet is beautiful. It's home to everything we know and hold dear.
When I looked out the window, I could see winding rivers emptying into blue oceans, mountainsides of a tropical rain forest, and muddy waters of river deltas. I could see city lights twinkle at night and contrails of airplanes crisscross the sky.More than anything, though, I could see how fragile Earth is. When I looked toward the horizon, I could see a thin, fuzzy blue line outlining the planet. At first, I didn't know what I was seeing. Then I realized it was Earth's atmosphere. It looked so thin and so fragile, like a strong gust of interplanetary wind could blow it all away. And I realized that this air is our planet's spacesuit--it's all that separates every bird, fish, and person on Earth from the blackness of space.In the last few decades we've started to change that atmosphere. Some of the changes, like the smog hovering over Los Angeles, are even visible to astronauts in space. Others are invisible to the eye but are now easy to measure. The most dangerous--the one that will affect everything on our planet--is the warming that we now know we humans are causing.Our warming climate is not visible to astronauts, but its effects will be. The next generation of astronauts could look down and see deserts where we now have lakes, meadows where we now have glaciers, and oceans where we now have beaches. Future astronauts may even have to launch into space from a new launch pad--Cape Canaveral could be underwater. They may look down and say, "That's where Washington, D.C., used to be," or "Did you know farmers used to grow wheat in Kansas?"To a person standing on the ground, our air seems to go on forever. The sky looks so big, and people haven't worried about what they put into the air. From space, though, it's obvious how little air there really is. Nothing vanishes "into thin air." The gases that we're sending into the air are piling up in our atmosphere. And that's changing Earth's life-support system in ways that could change our planet forever.Copyright © 2009 by Sally Ride and Tam O'Shaughnessy
Excerpted from Mission: Planet Earth by Sally Ride Copyright © 2009 by Sally Ride. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
MISSION, PLANET EARTH,
EARTH: IT'S ALL CONNECTED,
IN THE BEGINNING,
WHAT ELSE WARMS US?,
RIVERS OF AIR,
OCEANS IN MOTION,
A DROP OF WATER,
WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE WE DOING?,
IT'S GETTING WARMER,
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT,
ADDING TO THE ATMOSPHERE,
BACK TO THE FUTURE,
IT'S HAPPENING NOW,
SPECIES ON THE MOVE,
WARMER DAYS ...,
... AND CHANGING SEASONS,
OUT OF STEP,
DRIP BY DRIP,
A MELTING OCEAN,
SHRINKING SHEETS OF ICE,
MORE ACIDIC OCEANS,
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