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The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic (Caravan Book) Hardcover – September 8, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0807832172 ISBN-10: 0807832170 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Caravan Book
  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (September 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807832170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807832172
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,818,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ulanski (The Science of Fly Fishing) takes readers on a dizzying trip within, afloat and around the Gulf Stream, the mighty oceanic river, powerful enough to be readily seen from space, containing mysterious, scary and tasty creatures: the reclusive, 2,000-pound giant squid; swarms of tentacled, stinging Portuguese man-of-wars and a complex food chain, with tiny drifting phytoplankton (the grasses of the sea) at the bottom and the almost mythic bluefin tuna at the top. The book also depicts human life along the Gulf Stream: Columbus following the trade winds and the North Atlantic gyre to reach the New World; buccaneers and pirates of the Caribbean; Benjamin Franklin, intrigued by the idea of a 'stream' flowing through... the Atlantic Ocean and hoping to speed up mail delivery, measuring and meticulously recording water temperatures on trips back and forth to Europe. Although the potentially urgent issue of the Gulf Stream in relation to climate change is given short shrift, this multifaceted treatment of the blue god offers something for almost every kind of ocean lover. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Most of us think the Gulf Stream is a current in the Atlantic that is responsible for Europe’s mild climate. Trouble is, that best-known Gulf Stream fact isn’t—a fact, that is. Ulanski begins to make us genuinely knowledgeable about the stream by first explaining grand oceanic movement, especially in the North Atlantic, in which the Gulf Stream is the western arm of a vast, four-segmented cycle of upper water, and then summarizing the stream’s “anatomy” and the history of human discovery of oceanic circulation, in which Ben Franklin is a key figure. Proceeding to marine biology in the book’s second section, Ulanski provides captivating chapters on plankton and larger floating organisms, the giant bluefin tuna, and the sport-fishable species in the stream. The third and last section rehearses how the stream enabled the Age of Discovery and the colonial cultures of North America and the Caribbean, including that of the latter’s storied pirates. Ulanski’s crystal-clear exposition keeps the science-and-history catch-up course he is teaching utterly fascinating throughout. --Ray Olson

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blue Ridge Runner on March 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A surprisingly easy to read book on the incredible discoveries & mysteries of our oceans!!
Though falling under the heading of the serious science of Physical Oceanography, even an intelligent highschooler
could handle this text. It is chock full of fascinating knowledge gained in recent times, as well as engrossing historical info.

Previously, I had little idea of the complexity of this watery world, & how it fits into the overall ecological picture. The Oceanography I studied long ago in college was very minimal compared to all the relatively new info now available.

Initially intrigued by popular books about rogue waves, etc., I was led to explore further into this realm. "Gulf Stream" is one of several texts which came my way. This is one of the best. The author does an excellent job of reducing technical, scientific data to a readable, understandable, exciting story.
I also Highly recommend: "The Power of the Sea" by Bruce Parker
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By oohme! on May 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author presents very interesting, scientific data in a readable way. I have really enjoyed reading and learning about this part of the ocean.
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading Stan Ulanski's interesting book, a blend of science, history and fishing lore (both sports and commercial). As a working scientist in both geology and environmental science he has participated in many projects relating to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream. In his well written book the author explores a region of the sea that many people have heard of but few have any idea of it's far ranging impact on the environment, human history and the geological story of Earth. The Gulf Stream is broken up into 3 parts. In part 1 we learn the anatomy of ocean currents, trace the Gulf Stream from its source and follow it around the mid-Atlantic Gyre, the mechanics and evolution of ocean circulation throughout its long history. Part 2 is the biological side of the story, including a chapter on the Bluefin Tuna and the problems of tagging these magnificent fish. Part 3 traces the discovery and exploration of the "New World" and what role the mid-Atlantic Gyre played in these events. The oceans have been around for some 3 to 4 billion years and all during that time were crisscrossed with currents and gyres that flowed around whatever land forms there were. Using our present day theories of Plate Tectonics to chart ancient coast lines Ulanski gives us some idea of where, and in what direction, the currents flowed. The Gulf Stream as we know it today runs north along the North American coast, joins up with the cold Labrador Current and turns east across the Atlantic. Turning south when it meets Europe to become the Canary Current it eventually turns west as the North Equatorial Current and reenters the Caribbean Sea to makes its way back north becoming, once again, the Gulf Stream.Read more ›
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By Laura Eschbaugh on February 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having actually sailed in the gulf, this informative book sheaf light on what we encountered and why. I am better prepared for planning our next crossing.
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