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Oceans: A Scientific American Reader (Scientific American Readers)


Oceans: A Scientific American Reader (Scientific American Readers) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Covering nearly three-quarters of our planet, the worlds oceans are a vast and unique ecosystem from which all life on Earth originated. But each year the marine realm is more susceptible to harm by careless exploitation, and as demands for food, waste disposal, transport, and travel increase, the fate of the worlds oceans hangs in the balance. This timely guide offers the nonscientist an opportunity to appreciate the importance of this expansive—and fragile—frontier.

With selections chosen for their value in identifying the multiple uses of oceans, their resources, and the hurdles they face as the worlds population continues to expand and consume their resources at a staggering rate, Oceans collects more than thirty thematically arranged articles from the past decade, including recent pieces written in the wake of the 2004 tsunami. The book features articles that investigate the origins of the worlds oceans, the diversity of life in the water, the state of global fisheries, the dangers of natural disasters, and the perils oceans face, whether induced by nature or by humans.

With breadth of topics as wide as the ocean is deep, this Scientific American reader will engage general readers interested in the evolution, ecology, and conservation of the oceanic ecosystem and can be used in courses on introductory oceanography, environmental science, and marine biology.

About the Author

Scientific American, the premier general-interest science magazine, reports the most important developments in modern science, medicine, and technology to more than three million readers worldwide. The oldest continuously published magazine in the United States, it has been at the forefront of science for more than 150 years. Evolution: A Scientific American Reader, is also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents


Sculpting the Earth from the Inside Out

            Michael Gurnis

Large Igneous Provinces

            Millard F. Coffin and Olav Eldholm

Lifes Rocky Start

            Robert M. Hazen

When Methane Made Climate

            James F. Kasting

Snowball Earth

            Paul F. Hoffman and Daniel P. Schrag

Looking for Life below the Bottom

            Sarah Simpson


Marine Life

Life in the Ocean

            James W. Nybakken and Steven K. Webster

The Oceans Invisible Forest

            Paul G. Falkowski

Light in the Oceans Midwaters

            Bruce H. Robison


            Thomas J. Oshea

Secrets of the Slime Hag

            Frederic H. Martini

Why Are Reef Fish So Colorful?

            Justin Marshall



Counting the Last Fish

            Daniel Pauly and Reg Watson

The Worlds Imperiled Fish

            Carl Safina

Shrimp Aquaculture and the Environment

            Claude E. Boyd and Jason W. Clay

The Evolution of Ocean Law

            Jon L. Jacobson and Alison Rieser

Fishy Business

            Sarah Simpson

Sharks Mean Business

            R. Charles Anderson

Fishing the “Zone” in Sri Lanka

            Anton Nonis


Dangerous Waters

Giant Earthquakes of the Pacific Northwest

            Roy D. Hyndman


            Frank I. González

The Threat of Silent Earthquakes

            Peter Cerville

The Coming Climate

            Thomas R. Karl, Neville Nicholls and Jonathan Gregory

Tsunami: Wave of Change

            Eric L. Geist, Vasily V. Titov and Costas E. Synolakis


The Oceans in Peril

Enriching the Sea to Death

            Scott W. Nixon

Red Tides

            Donald M. Anderson

Natural Oil Spills

            Ian R. MacDonald

Flammable Ice

            Erwin Suess, Gerhard Bohrmann, Jens Greinert and Erwin Lausch

Can We Bury Global Warming?

            Robert H. Socolow

Chaotic Climate

            Wallace S. Broecker

Defusing the Global Warming Time Bomb

            James Hansen

Meltdown in the North

            Matthew Sturm, Donald K. Perovich and Mark C. Serreze

Product Details

Scientific American
University of Chicago Press
Oceans & Seas
Life Sciences - Biology - Marine Biology
Earth Sciences - Oceanography
Ecosystems & Habitats - Oceans & Seas
Edition Description:
Scientific American Readers
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
64 halftones
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Ocean and Marine Biology
Science and Mathematics » Oceanography » General

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