Great Waters: An Atlantic Passage

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2002 - Nature - 442 pages
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A remarkable scientific meditation on and spiritual exploration of one of our least appreciated natural resources--the Atlantic Ocean. Not since Rachel Carson has a writer been able to give voice so compellingly to the ocean--its mythic history and its precarious future. In the course of an ocean voyage, Deborah Cramer weaves the details of the history and science of the Atlantic into a brilliant tapestry that documents our many-faceted reliance on the sea, our betrayal of that bond, the changing landscape of the ocean floor, and the threatened life of its inhabitants. Bringing together the scientific research of physical oceanographers, geologists, biologists, and chemists from both sides of the Atlantic, Cramer presents a devastating report of the environmental damage inflicted on these waters. From the decks of her sailing vessel she describes with vivid passion the intricate and fragile web of marine life, the visible disappearance of schools of fish plundered by the competitive fishing industry, and the changing rhythms of the Atlantic from the rough, chilly Gulf of Maine to the calm, weedy currents of the Sargasso Sea. 20 line b/w drawings, maps. "If you've ever walked the shores of this great ocean...wondering what lay beyond--this fine book will let you know."--Bill McKibben, author of Long Distance: A Year of Living Strenuously "Cramer...has written powerfully of the threats to its continuing productivity."--William K. Reilly, Chairman, World Wildlife Fund "[A] vital and eloquent narrative, biblical in scope...an eye-opener."--Peter Davison, author of Breathing Room "[H]ugely satisfying....Not since Rachel Carson has there been such an intimate portrait of a whole sea."--Jennifer Ackerman, author of Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity "A beautifully written portrait of an essential treasure."--Paul R. Epstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JamesMScott - LibraryThing

Bio of Atlantic through eons, but Earth as a whole too. Environmentally sensitive, talks of past extinctions, human threats such as chemical runoff, CO2. Good education on animal diversity and habitat ... Read full review

GREAT WATERS: An Atlantic Passage

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Sailing from Woods Hole to Barbados, a science writer waxes lyrical, analytical, and admonitory about the ocean she loves.In a wonderful account that reveals an eclectic, comprehensive intelligence ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
17
MOVING OFFSHORE
21
Waters of Life
23
A Diminished Thing
44
Along the Slope
79
THE OPEN SEA
85
The Rush of Water
87
Climate and Atlantic
108
The Moving Earth Beneath the Sea
207
Atlantics Primordial Ancestors
237
The Birth of Atlantic
271
Full Circle
305
Fraying Edges
307
Landfall
344
Notes
367
Acknowledgments
421

Longdistance Swimmers
134
Wide Wide Sargasso
175
THE EMPTY BASIN
205

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About the author (2002)

Deborah Cramer writes about science and the environment. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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