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space (6)

volcanoes, etc (9)

sustainability (5)

weather (3)​​

23 books

Last updated November 2019

What do I know about this?

Our planet — we can't live without it. But sometimes it's a bit, well, boisterous. Or naughty.

But planets will be planets. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami (giant waves), floods, wildfires, terrible weather - it's all part of what you signed up for when you chose to be born on Earth rather than as some multi-pronged alien on a distant exoplanet.

So you might as well read the manual and find out what the planet's up to with all that lava and climate change.

I first met a volcano in 1980: Mount Tiede on Tenerife. It burnt me. I've been burnt by two more volcanoes since then, and almost washed overboard from a ship while trying to observe a volcano in the Straits of Messina. I have been in a flash flood, but never a tsunami or hurricane. Amateur, I know. But one of my very best friends is an expert on earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami, so I can always get help.

We live on Earth and Earth lives in space. It's not a cosy little home – it goes on and on and on and on... OK, there should be a Space page. I haven't done it yet, so the rest of space can camp out here for a while.

500 space facts
500 space facts
maths - space
maths - space

500 Fantastic Space Facts (Arcturus, 2019)

You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Gravity (Salariya, 2016)

Stars and Planets Handbook (TickTock, 2014)

Space Record Breakers (Carlton, 2014)

Exploring Space (Badger, 2014)

Outer Space (Heinemann, 2008)

Slipstream: Space (Franklin Watts, 2013)

​Easy to read

Volcanoes aren't all towering mountains spitting fiery, liquid rock into the air. Some seep hot rock slowly out of cracks in the ground. Some are even hidden under the sea and leak rock  that grows into massive islands. Hawaii is a volcanic island - it's a really a giant volcanic mountain sitting on the seabed. And it's a much taller mountain than Mount Everest if you measure from the bottom of the sea. 

Volcano (Dorling Kindersley, 2006)

Find out what goes on deep within a volcano, and what happens when a volcano blasts apart, wreaking devastation. This book has stunning computer-generated images and a giant fold-out poster to stick on your wall.

Volcanoes (TickTock, 2010)

Volcano! (Franklin Watts, 2009)
Easy to read


All the land, and even the sea, is made of big plates of rock that float on a semi-liquid layer of hot rock. As the plates of rock grind against each other, everything on top shakes, making earthquakes. If they'd just keep still, buildings wouldn't fall over and roads wouldn't rip apart. But I'd have less to write about.

Earthquakes and Volcanoes (Quarto, 2005)

Pop-up volcanoes and sliding earthquakes — super paper-engineering shows just how earthquakes and volcanoes work.

Earthquakes (Franklin Watts, 2009)

Earthquake! (Franklin Watts, 2006)
Easy to read

Water - too much of it. A tsunami is a massive wave that floods the land from the sea, often caused by an earthquake or a misbehaving volcano. A flood is just water all over the place - from too much rain, a burst reservoir, or one of those pesky tsunami.

Tsunami! (Franklin Watts, 2006)

Tsunamis (Franklin Watts, 2009)

Easy to read

Floods (Franklin Watts, 2009)

Easy to read

​Some places there is too much water, and some places there isn't enough. It's rarely just right.

But water isn't the only problem as we try to cram ever more people onto a planet that's not getting any bigger. (It's not really about numbers - it's about greed. We can make enough food and have  enough water if we just share nicely.)

Is Our Climate Changing (Franklin Watts, 2008)

Feeding the World (Franklin Watts, 2009)

Sustainable Water Resources (Franklin Watts, 2009)

Reducing the Carbon Footprint (Franklin Watts, 2009)

Solar Power (Gareth Stevens, 2007)

Weather - there's always too much of it. Sometimes there's really, really too much of it (see Floods, above). As the climate changes, we have to get used to more hurricanes - that's more than just a blustery day - and more wildfires.

Hurricanes (Franklin Watts, 2009)

​Easy to read

Hurricane! (Gareth Stevens, 2006)

Wildfires (World Book, 2007)

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