In this book fifteen distinguished scientists discuss the effects of life-past and present-on planet Earth. Unlike other earth science and biology books, Environmental Evolution describes the impact of life on the Earth's rocky surfaces, presenting an integrated view of how our planet evolved. Modeled on the Environmental Evolution course developed by Lynn Margulis and her colleagues, it provides a unique synthesis of atmospheric, biological, and geological hypotheses that explain the present condition of the biosphere. It also develops scientific concepts essential to the reconstruction of the intertwined history of Earth's air, rocks, water, and life.
After an introduction by James E. Lovelock on Gaia theory, the material proceeds in roughly chronological order from the origin of life in the early Archean Eon to the emergence of new environmental diseases in today's industrialized world. The second edition is thoroughly revised, with more comprehensive chapters, additional illustrations, and new references.