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From Crust to Core
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Book description

Carbon plays a fundamental role on Earth. It forms the chemical backbone for all essential organic molecules produced by living organisms. Carbon-based fuels supply most of society's energy, and atmospheric carbon dioxide has a huge impact on Earth's climate. This book provides a complete history of the emergence and development of the new interdisciplinary field of deep carbon science. It traces four centuries of history during which the inner workings of the dynamic Earth were discovered, and documents extraordinary scientific revolutions that changed our understanding of carbon on Earth forever: carbon's origin in exploding stars; the discovery of the internal heat source driving the Earth's carbon cycle; and the tectonic revolution. Written with an engaging narrative style and covering the scientific endeavours of more than a hundred pioneers of deep geoscience, this is a fascinating book for students and researchers working in Earth system science and deep carbon research.


‘A beautifully accessible history of geology told through the unique lens of how the element carbon cycles between different parts of the Earth. The reader will be drawn into the stories behind some of the key discoveries and developments in the field. A must read for anyone interested in how scientific revolutions are made.

Cin-Ty Lee - Rice University

‘A very interesting narrative that weaves the historical development of ideas and controversies in Geoscience into the theme of the significance of the Deep Earth Carbon cycle. Mitton has researched both the well-known and the less well-known personalities and anecdotes that bring the human element into the quest to discover how the Earth works.’

Andrew Putnis - University of Münster

‘Simon Mitton's book takes us through centuries of frontline research on the origin and evolution of carbon in the universe and our planet… rarely have the challenges and innovations of geological research been exposed in such a broad context and in connection with other branches of science. Most appealing is the realization that a common thread links almost all scientific disciplines, which are complementary and constantly feed one another, sometimes in unexpected ways. Simon Mitton puts us in the driver's seat with his lively sketches of scientists at work. We take comfort in the outstanding advances that have been made and at the same time realize how far we still need to go. I was sorry when I reached the end of his book because I wanted the story to continue for much longer.’

Claude Jaupart - Université de Paris, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris

‘Simon Mitton's book ‘From Crust to Core, A Chronicle of Deep Carbon Science’ takes the reader on a wonderful trip through the time, documenting the challenges and advances made by different generations of scientists to develop an understanding of Earth’s processes. This comprehensive work extends until the construction of the revolutionary paradigm known as Earth System science, on which Deep Carbon Science is unfolding today.’

Antonio Costa - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Bologna, Italy

‘… I recommend this book as delivering an enriching contextual narrative of the development of the subject that is well suited to basic background reading for all aspiring Earth scientists.’

Gillian R. Foulger Source: The Observatory

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  • 1 - Why Carbon in Earth Matters
    pp 4-21


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