Priča o planeti Zemlji

Evolution of a Continent

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Zelena planeta - Zemlja

billion - milijarda
inconceivably - neubedljiv
release - osloboditi, otpustiti
primeval - prastari,prvobitni
coalesce - sjediniti se, srasti
swirling - kovitlanje, kovitlac
condense - zgusnuti se,kondenzovati
depicte - opisati, oslikati
flatten - sravniti
spin - rotacija, obrtanje
spinning - kovitlanje, rotacija
contract - kontrakcija
tremendous - ogroman
heat - toplota
pressure - pritisak
interior - unutrašnjost
fuse - fuzionisati, spojiti
vast - ogroman, prostran
luminous - sjajan, svetlosni
newborn - novorođeni
clump - grumen
agglutinate - prilepiti, slepiti
consolidate - učvrstiti
sweep(swept) - brisati
debris - otpatci, krhotine
solid - čvrst
pit (pitted) - napraviti rupe
surface - površina
extensive - obiman, ekstenzivan
vent - odliti, ventilirati
mixture - mešavina
hydrogen - vodonik
water vapor - vodena para
poisonous - otrovan
present-day - današnji
fostering - podstaknuti, hraniti
shallow - plitak
achieve - dostići, postići


It seems that the universe began some 15 billion years ago with an inconceivably great explosion, the "Big Bang," which released all matter and energy from what cosmologists call the primeval atom. The matter quickly coalesced into swirling gas clouds, then into galaxies of stars.
Much later, perhaps five billion years ago, our own sun and its planets condensed from gassy dust clouds probably left over from the death of one of those early stars, as depicted in the series at left(nemamo ovu sliku). As the gas clouds flattened into a spinning disc, the sun contracted into a sphere. In the tremendous heat and pressure of the sun's interior, hydrogen atoms began to fuse to form helium, releasing vast quantities of energy, and the sun became luminous. At a distance from the newborn sun a clump of matter orbited, condensing and agglutinating into what we call the Earth.
As the Earth consolidated, it swept remaining debris from its orbit and the resultant bombardment of meteoroids gave the solid sphere a pitted, moonlike surface. A period of extensive volcanic activity followed. Gasses vented from the Earth's hot interior to combine with those left over from formation to create a primordial atmosphere. This early mixture, consisting mainly of hydrogen, methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and water vapor, would be poisonous to most present-day organisms. But it seems to have been just right for the fostering of the first living things, which probably appeared in the shallow seas produced by condensation of water vapor released by volcanoes. As the primitive organisms achieved the ability to photosynthesize, they began to release oxygen, and the atmosphere gradually changed into its present composition, chiefly oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor.

We have now skimmed over an immense amount of time and have reached about 600 million years ago, when a tremendous efflorescence of complex life forms took place, made possible, perhaps, by the maturation of the oxygen-rich atmosphere. While a parade of biological forms filled niches all over the Earth—with varying degrees of success— another great change in the face of the planet took place. About 650 million years ago, the ancient continents began to converge until about 250 million years ago when, in collision, they combined as a single master continent, today called Pangaea. Relatively short-lived, Pangaea broke up about 200 million years ago, and the continents, more or less in today's shapes, drifted to their present positions. The theory of continental drift, first advanced by German meteorologist Alfred Wegner in 1912, was scorned for many years. But in the last decade, nearly incontrovertible evidence gleaned by oceanographers, geologists, and geophysicists has

Zemljina kora sa vulkanima

Snaga vode

Awesome power of water erosion is revealed by Grand Canyon. As Colorado Plateau was uplifted about 10 million years ago, Colorado River, carrier in modern times of 400,000 tons of sand. mud. and rock per day, began to cut canyon. Rivers jeweler's saw-like action—together with side streams, erosion, and weathering—produced canyon up to one mile deep, 15 miles wide. To geologists, canyon exposes slice of Earth's history going back two billion years.

Eroziona sila vode isklesala je Veliki Kanjon (slika levo) Plato visoravni Kolorado uzdigao se pre 10 miliona godina. Reka Kolorado koja dnevno nosi do 400.000 tona blata, peska i stena usekla je kanjon Kolorado 1 milju dubok i do 15 milja širine

Above, glaciers—frozen water—plane and gouge the land. California's Yosemite Valley was carved into distinctive U-shape by three successive waves of glaciation during Pleistocene Epoch, lasting from about 5,000,000 years ago to 10 to 15 thousand years ago. Ice age glaciers ground down mountains, cobbled New England, filled Great Lakes, left moraines of sand and stone: Cape Cod is one. Top right, composite map of maximum extent of glaciations in mid-North America.

Gore desno: Glečeri - smrznuta voda, produbili su kotlinu u Josemitskom nacionalnom parku u karakterističnu glečersku dolinu u obliku slova U, u tri glacijalna talasa tokom Pleistocena.

Michigan, about 10,800 years ago, the site of Ann Arbor, 11 a.m. of an autumn morn. We have come but a short geologic step from our own time, yet the elephants are starting evidence that things are different. These two are Jefferson's mammoths, Mammuthus jeffersoni, named for an eminent paleontologist who among other accomplishments became President of the United States. They are grazers, inhabitants of open country. Their southerly relatives, the better-known Columbian mammoths, are very like the European animals depicted in cave paintings by the men who hunted them. We encounter no people, but this is a rather out-of-the-way place, not far south of the retreating continental ice sheet.
For several million years prior to the time we are visiting, various elephantine mammals have been conspicuous. They probably first crossed from Asia, like man himself, via the Bering land bridge. In addition to the grazing mammoths before us, there are at this time the mastodons, which being browsers tend to be confined to the forests. As we think these thoughts, we recover from our initial shock and fascination with the exotic, to become aware of much that is familiar, the gold of the autumnal foliage of the birches against the green-black of the spruce forest, the beaver, and moose. All are much as they would be in October 1979 in northern New England, southeastern Canada, or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

morn - svitanje, zora
elephant - slon
starting evidence - početni nagoveštaj
mammoth - mamut
eminent - izrazit, eminentan
among other - između ostalog
accomplishment - dostignuće, podvig, uspeh
grazer - preživar
inhabitant - stanovnik
southerly - južno, ka jugu
relative - srodnik
depicte - oslikati, nacrtati
hunt - loviti
encounter - sresti
retreat - odstupiti, povući se
ice sheet - ledene ploče
prior - pre
various - različiti
mammals - sisari
conspicous - izražen, upadljiv
Bering land bridge - Beringov prelaz
in addition - uz to, zatim
mastodon - mastodont
browser - tragač
tend - težiti ka
confine - ograničiti
foliage - lišće
birches - breze
spruce - smreka
beaver - dabar
moose - los
Peninsula - poluostrvo
Preistorijska mocvara