Throughout history there have been sudden, terrible events that have shaken the world. Sometimes they are natural disasters, such as the catastrophic eruption of the island of Krakatau or the devastating Tokyo earthquake of 1923, while others are man-made, ranging from the infamous sinking of the Titanic to the deadly Chernobyl meltdown of 1986. This fascinating book delves into the causes of both natural and man-made disasters, and studies people's attempts to learn from them. Dramatic, full-color illustrations and photographs depict the natural calamities that sometimes confront life on our planet, including tsunamis, tornadoes, pandemics, volcanic eruptions, asteroid impacts, and earthquakes, not to mention cataclysms of man's own making, such as airplane crashes, radioactive fallout, and fuel-spills from oil tankers. Informative text and captions explore the causes and consequences of these events, and make this a valuable reference for any budding environmentalist. The book concludes with a look at environmental dangers, such as global warming, and suggests some of the ways in which they might be avoided. Includes a glossary and comprehensive index.