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Seasick: Ocean Change and the Extinction of Life on Earth Hardcover – October 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; First Edition edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226532585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226532585
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mitchell takes readers on a maritime journey to learn about the effects of higher temperatures, salinity, acidity, and volume on marine animals and plants. The author travels to the Great Barrier Reef, the Gulf of Mexico, China, and Spain, among other places, interviews scientists, goes on marine research vessels and a diving expedition, describes the current destruction of coral reefs and declining fish populations, and explains why we should care....[Seasick] presents a strong case for urgency in solving the problem of global warming."—Library Journal
(Library Journal)

"Mitchell trawls the oxygen-depleted oceanic dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, counts the days after the full moon in Panama to figure out when to search for signs of coral spawn, questions what a souring ocean chemistry holds for the future of marine plankton communities, and recounts the actions that have depleted global fisheries, documenting the toll that one frightening assault after another has taken on our ocean....Faced with the myriad ways humans are changing the ocean, Mitchell admits that giving in to despair would be easy. Instead, she chooses a personal voyage of discovery in an effort to get to the bottom of things—in some instances literally....I found the argument for hope and change that she presents compelling."—Rick MacPherson, American Scientist
(Rick MacPherson American Scientist 2010-03-01)

"Mitchell is a writer at ease explaining scientific fact and research, and at the same time writing lush evocations of great beauty on her travels around the world, as well as describing fear, insecurity and tragedy."
(James Murray-White Green Prophet)

Seasick is a travelog of sorts in which Mitchell takes her readers around the world to investigate the signs and causes of an unhealthy ocean…For many of us, the stories told in this book will not be new. But those stories are well worth listening to agaig, if only to remind ourselves to ask and be able to answer the question, ‘So what?’”—Kiho Kim, Oceanography
(Oceanography Kiho Kim)

About the Author

Alanna Mitchell spent fourteen years as a writer covering science and the environment at the Globe and Mail. She is the author of Dancing at the Dead Sea: Tracking the World’s Environmental Hotspots, also published by the University of Chicago Press. In 2010, Mitchell received the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment for Seasick. She is the first book author to win the Grantham Prize, and the first Canadian.


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Customer Reviews

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It is a well-written and extremely important book.
Bob Thronson
This book scares me into reality, it tells me what affect we really are having on the worlds oceans.
Eric Wells
I would recommend this to high schools and university study.
ark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wells on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. Alanna Mitchell dedicated her time over perhaps a period of three years to researching the health of our oceans. The reader travels with her to exotic places throughout the world and from researcher to researcher. I get to meet real people with a passion for the oceans and see it through their eyes. This book scares me into reality, it tells me what affect we really are having on the worlds oceans. Mrs. Mitchell if you ever read this review, thank you for taking the time to write this book and setting me straight with what's going on out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carl10events on December 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Oceans account for 99% of the living space and the majority of biodiversity on Earth. Though the oceans are vast, human mediated changes such as increased greenhouse gasses, pollution, and overfishing are changing the chemistry of the oceans and wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems. Only recently have we begun to understand the causes and implications of these changes, and it has quickly become apparent that immediate action is required to prevent catastrophic losses. "Seasick" is a timely and alarming summary of the oceans' human induced perils, which are being accelerated by global population growth and industrialization. In fact, this book was published in 2009, before the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico directed the world's attention toward some of these problems. Author Alanna Mitchell is not a scientist, but after working with scientists all over the world, she has successfully channeled stories from seemingly disparate scientific fields into a coherent and powerful read. She explains how rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other anthropogenic inputs are causing rising temperatures, decreasing pH, changes in salinity, and harmful pollution in the seas. The extent of these problems is largely unknown, but the current effects and predictions are grim. Because the oceans serve as a conveyor belt for nutrient and temperature dispersion of the earth, many organisms, especially humans, interact with and depend upon the oceans in unnoticed, but intimate ways. Frighteningly, ocean temperatures change more slowly than land and air temperatures. It is predicted that even if carbon emissions and atmospheric temperatures leveled off today, ocean temperatures would continue to increase for the next thirty years. These unprecedented changes are abrupt and massive.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Global climate change is more than just warming, the seas are acidifying and the great coral reefs are dying. 99% of the life on Earth is in the oceans and they're in serious trouble. Alanna Mitchell is a journalist who has written up ten of her travels with ocean scientists studying the changes and their implications. The next couple of decades will be critical in determining what sort of environment we'll produce on Earth, and the consequences in the oceans are particularly telling. It's a good book for reminding us of just how important the oceans are in this changing climate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. on December 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alanna Mitchell is a journalist who writes of her 10 visits with ocean scientists studying the effects of global warming in 10 different areas of the world. She conveys important, alarming scientific findings in nontechnical language. Many of the scientists interviewed and praised are women, as if to demonstrate a feminist view that women are naturally concerned with the ocean, as the mother of all life.

This is a short, clear book that should be read by everyone concerned with the environment. If we keep damaging our mother, surely the damage we do will harm us in turn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Marks on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author of "Seasick" has managed to do a variety of things extremely well,
including being sure that her book was succinct (but not too much so), well-designed,
extremely well written, and extensively researched via input from a variety of oceanographers and other
scientists...

And did I mention how INTERESTING this book is? My gosh, I thought I knew a lot about the
ocean, but the number of individual facts and statistics that Mitchell presents, are just plain
awesome.

This book is enormously important, and so inviting to read (despite the negative implications of
much that the author presents). I just cannot recommend it highly enough, but I hope you get the
picture...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Forbes on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Covers a lot of ground... really ocean: Coral, carbon, calcium, pH, plankton, algae, fish, aquaculture, dead zones, and fertilizer. It's very readable for the layperson, and backed by extensive technical references. The authors historical vinettes add a human perspective to what could be a cold subject. After reading this book, you'll think differently about the likelihood and timing of a sixth extinction.
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