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Mapping the Deep: The extraordinary story of ocean science Paperback – 29 Jun 2000
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|Paperback, 29 Jun 2000||
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The title of Mapping the Deep suggests that it is primarily about oceanography. Although the extremely interesting history of this subject forms a major element in the book, its broader, richer subject is man's changing relationship with the oceans. Until recently these have been characterised by high-handed ignorance, the oceans seen at once as inexhaustible resource and bottomless dump. Robert Kunzig remarks that politicians and science writers seem to be most interested in space exploration, whereas the real story is closer at hand--in the oceans. The symbolic goals of space exploration are easier to understand than the endlessly complex ecology of the deep oceans or the mysteries of the great currents that circle the globe and control its weather. Yet, as Kunzig demonstrates, the oceans are where the future of mankind may be determined. It is now widely accepted, for example, that global warming may precipitate a sudden, massive realignment of the ocean currents, an event certain to have vast but unforeseeable consequences. The climatic catastrophes attendant on the relatively minor disturbance known as El Nino give an idea of what may be in store.
Mapping the Deep records the extraordinary (and chronically underfunded) work of the scientists who have painstakingly explored the huge chemical, biological and geographical mechanism of the oceans. Robert Kunzig provides expert and gripping accounts of the (literally) earth-shattering revelation of plate tectonics, the novel life-forms of the black smokers, the unexpected diversity of life at the greatest depths, the commanding ecological role played by the overlooked organisms of the oceanic plankton, the dreadful consequences of over-fishing; and much more. His ability to make complex science comprehensible to the non-scientist without over-simplification make him the best kind of populariser. A remarkable book, both a celebration and a warning. --Robin Davidson
Robert Kunzig has an epic saga to tell and he does it with flair and an infectious excitement. (Maggie Gee Daily Telegraph)
Part history, part science book, part other-wordly travelogue, this is a magical mystery tour filled with wonders. (Daily Mail)
An exhaustive and enthralling trawl of the ocean floor (Sunday Times)
Kunzig values a good metaphor and knows how to tell his story in human terms . . . a strange but rewarding poolside read for those unafraid of the deep end. (Simon Garfield Financial Times)
Every popular science writer tries to bring new worlds into view; Kunzig's is especially compelling because his new world is so strange, yet so firmly linked to our own. (Guardian)
Just when it seems Kunzig has told us everything interesting or significant, he dredges up more submerged gems. (Richard Strickland American Scientist)
A remarkable book, both a celebration and a warning. (Robin Davidson)
Robert Kunzig has an easy way with hard science . . . he writes illuminatingly of the people and events on a frontier every bit as challenging as space. (Glasgow Herald)
A really good read and makes what we do sound like fun! (Everett Read, Editor in Chief, Limnology and Oceanography)
Artfully combines elegant writing with a facility for explaining science in plain English (Oceanography)
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Not enough pictures/diagrams and some diagrams were too small/fuzzy to see clearly; needed metric measurements - is America the last place in the world to use feet in science books?