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Description - The Restless Sea by Robert Kunzig

A vivid, up-to-date tour of the Earth's last frontier, a remote and mysterious realm that nonetheless lies close to the heart of even the most land-locked reader. The sea covers seven-tenths of the Earth, but we have mapped only a small percentage of it. The sea contains millions of species of animals and plants, but we have identified only a few thousand of them. The sea controls our planet's climate, but we do not really understand how. The sea is still the frontier, and yet it seems so familiar that we sometimes forget how little we know about it. Just as we are poised on the verge of exploiting the sea on an unprecedented scale-mining it, fertilizing it, fishing it out-this book reminds us of how much we have yet to learn. More than that, it chronicles the knowledge explosion that has transformed our view of the sea in just the past few decades, and made it a far more interesting and accessible place. From the Big Bang to that far-off future time, two billion years from now, when our planet will be a waterless rock; from the lush crowds of life at seafloor hot springs to the invisible, jewel-like plants that float at the sea surface; from the restless shifting of the tectonic plates to the majestic sweep of the ocean currents, Kunzig's clear and lyrical prose transports us to the ends of the Earth.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393045628
ISBN-10: 0393045625
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 150mm x 33mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 28-Apr-1999
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Restless Sea by Robert Kunzig

UK Kirkus Review » The ocean - particularly the deep ocean - is the last frontier on Earth. In the past decade, research has accelerated into the geological, biological, physical and chemical sides to oceanography, and there is much new work to report on. American science writer Kunzig presents a nicely detailed exploration of this research, writing from the scientists' point of view, with great insight into the nature of science as well as the implications of the discoveries that are being made. Every book on the deep ocean over the past few years and for the forseeable future will have a short shelf life as this new frontier is explored and explained. And the ocean itself is ever changing and challenging our understanding. Yet this sharply written journalistic account, with its insights into the workings of science and scientists, should be an enduring contribution. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » In this spirited and engaging book, science writer Kunzig, an editor at Discover magazine, voyages among oceanographers, alive and departed, from dockside to textbook, and reports back on our current understanding, and often dubious treatment, of the world's oceans. Seventy percent of our world is hidden by the oceans' surface. The often great depths precluded serious study until recently, when sonar and probes and submersibles started to take its measure. Far from the barren wastes it was thought to comprise, Kunzig makes clear, the ocean is an unfathomably rich place, even in the cold, lightless crushing deep, where the diversity of species rivals that of a tropical rainforest. Kunzig starts by bringing readers up to speed on oceanographic thinking. For instance: no, the oceans were not formed by volcanoes, but rather by a torrent of planetoids that pelted Earth and kicked up blankets of steam. He goes on to profile scientists and their seminal work, from Henry Cavendish, the egghead archetype who discovered the composition of water, to the toilers in the oceanic trenches at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He describes the wild denizens of the deep sea (porcelain-white crabs, the utterly bizarre sea cucumber), abyssal storms, the sea floor's endless quadrille. He delivers a Cook's tour of seawater in global circulation, forgives the lax morals of water molecules as they change partners billions of times a second. And Kunzig strikes a number of cautionary notes. Poised as humans are to exploit the ocean to its max, it would be wise to remember our boundless ignorance as to its workings. We have nearly fished cod to extinction, a fish once so plentiful that Vikings could practically use them as cobblestones from the Faroes to Newfoundland. A nimble, thorough introduction to the ocean in all its vast, untamable, and fearsome attraction. Kunzig's flair should stir readers' awe and allow them to share in his protective urge. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Robert Kunzig

Robert Kunzig is European editor of Discover magazine, based in Dijon, France. His writing about the ocean has won the AAAS-Westinghouse Science Journalism Award and the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism.

Books By Robert Kunzig

Fixing Climate by Robert Kunzig
Paperback / softback, March 2009
Mapping the Deep by Robert Kunzig
Paperback, November 2000