"[An] absorbing survey of oceanography . . . [this] elegant study is an excellent resource."Publishers Weekly
A fascinating examination of the earth's oceans
This exhaustive overview of oceanography captures the excitement of discovery in the making. The Oceans opens up the world of ocean science to the general reader and raises significant questions about the future of the ancient, nurturing ocean itself.
The oceans cover more than 70 percent of the globe, yet less than 5 percent of that expanse has been explored. But, as Drs. Prager and Earle show in this vivid survey of ocean research, our knowledge is suddenly accelerating: various dives, soundings, computer analyses, and other probes are uncovering amazing facts about the 142 million square miles beneath the seas.
Ellen J. Prager, Ph.D., (Miami, FL) formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, is a fellow of the Explorers Club. Well published in both scientific journals and general-interest magazines, she recently edited the book Furious Earth. Sylvia A. Earle, Ph.D., (Oakland, CA) named a "Hero of the Planet" by Time, is currently chair of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research as well as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. She was the first woman to serve as chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Over two-thirds of the earth is covered by bodies of water that many believe hold the secrets to the beginnings of life. In this absorbing survey of oceanography, Prager (Furious Earth) and Earle (The Living Ocean: Understanding and Protecting Marine Biodiversity) chronicle the development of the science of oceans and the evolution of life within the briny deep and shallow estuaries. The authors narrate the "grand epic" of life's evolution from its earliest beginnings (between 4.5 and 1 billion years ago) to the flowering of sea life in the Cambrian period (about 550 million years ago). They examine the geological evidence of life's development, and the physical and chemical properties of the ocean-- the effects of oceans on climate, coastal upwellings, deep-sea circulation, rip currents and rogue waves--as well as the beauties and mysteries of sea life and, through accounts of various marine biomes, microbes and mammals, the tremendous diversity of marine life. Throughout, Prager and Earle debunk myths about the existence of Jaws-like sharks and other marine creatures. Finally, they contend that if the oceans continue to be exploited in the ways they have been over just the past 30 years, they may die. Therefore, the authors argue, governments must give high priority to the study of oceans simply because "to preserve the sea is to preserve life on Earth." This elegant study is an excellent resource for scientists, teachers and all lovers of the ocean. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|