An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere
We spend our lives surrounded by air, hardly even noticing it. It’s the most miraculous substance on earth, yet responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In fact, we live at the bottom of an ocean of air. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets:
• A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds.
• A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads.
• An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door.
• A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer.
• A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before he’s proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.
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An ocean of air: why the wind blows and other mysteries of the atmosphereUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Beginning with a gripping prolog that recalls an air force captain's daring parachute jump from the edge of space, science writer Walker (Snowball Earth ) chronicles the lives and work of scientists ... Read full review
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Allen Appleton atmosphere atoms auroras began Birkeland Black Boyle Boyle's breathing Bride burning called candle carbon dioxide CFCs chemical clouds Columbus common air decided discovered Earth effect electricity energy equator exactly experiment famous father Ferrel fixed air flame friends Galileo glass global warming globe heat Heaviside Heaviside's Ibid idea infrared inside invention ionosphere James Van Allen jet streams Joseph Black Joseph Priestley Kittinger knew Kristian Birkeland later Lavoisier layer light living London Lovelock magnetic Marconi mercury messages Midgley Midgley's miles molecules mountain move needed never northern numbers ocean Oliver Heaviside oxygen ozone planet Poldhu Post Priestley Priestley's pump radio rays realized Robert Boyle satellite scientific scientists seemed ship signal space storms stratosphere surface temperature thing Thomas Midgley took Torricelli tube turn Tyndall wanted warm waves weather weight Wiley Post William Ferrel wind wireless wrote