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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned an amazing amount from this book.
Although I have heard about the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean, I was never aware of all the details and the effort going on the predict and warn of future events. Just the shear number of earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. that occur without us knowing about them is amazing. All the cases described in this book about tides, waves, etc. show how important the sea has been...
Published on November 1, 2010 by firstrate

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't meet my expectations
Although the book is a good technical treatment of tsunamis and storm surges, it didn’t meet my expectations for insights as to understanding rogue waves. It is loaded with details of the human suffering due to historic disasters from storm surges and tsunamis from the 17th century to Fukushima (March 2011). The book is technically detailed and repetitious to the...
Published 10 months ago by crabman


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned an amazing amount from this book., November 1, 2010
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This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
Although I have heard about the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean, I was never aware of all the details and the effort going on the predict and warn of future events. Just the shear number of earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. that occur without us knowing about them is amazing. All the cases described in this book about tides, waves, etc. show how important the sea has been throughout history. If you have ever had any interest in history and/or the sea, read this book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book about waves!, December 1, 2010
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This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
Purchased this book after being sorely disappointed from reading "The Wave" by Susan Casey. And there I found what I really wanted: a whole up-to-date exposition of the knowledge as to how different types of waves in the ocean come to being and their impact on life on earth including their sometimes terrifying consequences on human societies. No breathless prose about extreme surfers, an extremely tiny group (although I would like to see a video of them doing it and talking about their experiences anyway), but, along the science, vivid description of the the aftermath on people...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literate Science Communication, December 18, 2010
By 
R. B. Cathcart (Glendale, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
This popular-style science book is praiseworthy and worth its low cost. As a practising geoscience engineer, I was especially pleased with the book's huge End-Notes section, where topics that fascinated me in the author's main text can be substantiated and further investigated by access to the references. (Too many popular books become unreliable technical resources because they lack Bibliographies or Citations sections.) The author has a nack for a writing style that popularizes science and its jargon in a manner that is entirely informative and I hope he writes more such books on his favorite topics. He's an authentic scientist, not some ordinary, money-grubbing "journalist" turned "authority" in search of public recognition and future book-penning contracts. The illustrations, maps are to the point and there was just one typographical error (a date) that I noticed. This book will interest many people!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Blend of Science and History, January 6, 2011
By 
G. Poirier (Orleans, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
It has often been said that the sea holds many mysteries, particularly in the way that it behaves. An insufficient knowledge of this occasionally-violent behaviour may lead to vast destruction and death to the unwary. The author, a "world-recognized physical oceanographer", takes the reader on a fascinating journey across time and (earthly) space as he explores the sea's many peculiarities and its awesome power. He discusses many of the disasters that have occurred throughout history that were caused by storm surges, rogue waves, tsunamis and other maritime phenomena - some of which have eluded explanation for millennia. He even discusses the many types of tides, their causes and their hazards. The book contains a few photographs, a couple of maps and several etchings. In my opinion, the book's only (minor) shortcoming is its lack of explanatory diagrams illustrating the mechanics of some of the phenomena discussed; in particular, such diagrams would have been quite useful in the chapters on tides.

The writing style is clear, authoritative, highly accessible and quite captivating. This book should be of interest to both science and history buffs as well as to anyone who is intrigued by the power of the sea and some of its effects on humanity over time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book, December 10, 2010
This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
As a landlocked landlubber fascinated with the Sea I found Dr. Parker's book to be incredibly interesting, informative, and engaging. He presents some very interesting but complicated data in an easy to read format and backs his narrative up with a well-documented set of notes that adds to the technical and historical content of the book. It is time well spent in both reading enjoyment as well as an excellent learning experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly What the Title States, January 10, 2013
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Like another reviewer before me I turned to this book after Susan Casey's "The Wave" disappointed me with it's lack of discussion on the scientific understanding of waves. While this book was informative and I did certainly enjoy it, know that it is really only focused on exactly what the title says "...Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters". If this is is the only information you want then this is the book to turn to. However, as a surfer I was actually hoping to get more of a discussion on the physics of waves and how they work. This book merely touches on it enough so that you can understand some basic principles of waves in order to understand tsunamis and rogue waves. It did go a little too far into the basics of tides for me, but if you are unfamiliar with the topic I'm sure that it would prove interesting...if not, skim the first few chapters or so. All in all, it's exactly what the title states.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well-written Account of Nature's Power, January 15, 2011
By 
David B Richman (Mesilla Park, NM USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
I have always loved the sea, even though I grew up far from it in the middle of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. My first trips to the Gulf of California and later to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, the Atlantic and the Pacific, were all wonderful. I was never bored by the sea. However the sea can be vicious (from our point of view) and tsunamis, storm surges caused by hurricanes and northeasters, and the once near mythical rogue waves, are among the most destructive natural phenomena known, sometimes causing hundreds of thousands of deaths in one event, as in the Bay of Bengal on a number of occasions.

Bruce Parker has researched and collected the harrowing stories of such rampant destruction in his recent book "The Power of the Sea" and this is a book that almost literally rivets you to the pages. He brings up little-known facts- like how the Queen Mary, along with 16,500 crew, U.S. soldiers and nurses, nearly was sunk by a rogue wave in 1942; how human error and arrogance prevented Galveston, Texas, from being warned by an eerily accurate prediction from Cuba just before 6000 people were killed when the hurricane storm surge destroyed the city in 1900; and how England rethought its lack of a warning system when the surge from a northeaster in 1953 caused the death of over 300 people in London, with almost unimaginable losses of livestock and crops in the nearby countryside. The most recent disaster in the U.S.- the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina, and two terrible disasters in the Bay of Bengal (the cyclone that hit Bengal in 1970, and that led to the war for independence for East Pakistan, and Cyclone Nargis in 2008 that devastated Burma), are shown to be at least in large part because of political error, as the science even in 1970 was more advanced than it was in 1953 and both storms' death tolls could have been much lower. All of these are explained and described in this not easily forgotten volume. Finally there is a two chapter account of the deadly tsunami in 2004 that devastated western Sumatra and also killed a number of people in the nearby islands, as well as Thailand and Sri Lanka, finally causing a number of deaths in Somalia and a few more along the African coast, eventually reaching the Atlantic and Brazil, thousands of miles away from the epicenter of the massive earth quake that caused it. This is by far the best account of that terrible day that I have read.

If you are at all interested in the sea and its mysteries you should read this book. I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power of the Sea - great account of the impact of ocean events historically & the importance of prediction today, January 6, 2011
By 
Frank Aikman (Takoma Park, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
This book emphasizes the critical importance of marine prediction in the context of a vivid and informed history of how we arrived at our present prediction capabilities. It includes both very dramatic stories of the devastation that the sea can cause and very fascinating stories of scientific discovery.

The book tells the story of our long struggle to understand the physics of the sea so we can use that knowledge to predict when the sea will unleash its power against us (so we can get out of its way and survive). It interweaves stories of unpredicted natural disasters with stories of scientific discoveries, beginning with ancient mankind's ideas about the sea and working up to our latest technological advances in predicting the sea's moments of destruction.

And it does so in an accessible way to general audiences.

Over the centuries, while scientists and mariners have been trying to learn how to predict the motions of the sea, the sea has killed millions, destroyed untold billions of dollars in property, and had an enormous impact on history. The 300,000 lives lost to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the millions lost to storms surges in Bangladesh and India over the centuries, and the thousands of ships lost at sea to rogue waves, are but a few tragic examples portrayed in this book. Besides the three phenomena in the book's subtitle (tsumanis, storm surges, and rogue waves) the book includes the history of how we learned to predict the tides, El Nino, and certain aspects of climate change.

Many people will find the book both fascinating and entertaining, mainly because of the colorful historical stories. It really shows the impact of marine science on people's
lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't meet my expectations, February 15, 2014
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Although the book is a good technical treatment of tsunamis and storm surges, it didn’t meet my expectations for insights as to understanding rogue waves. It is loaded with details of the human suffering due to historic disasters from storm surges and tsunamis from the 17th century to Fukushima (March 2011). The book is technically detailed and repetitious to the point of boredom.
Recommended to those with an interest in historical natural disasters or ocean surface hydrodynamics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative Information on Tides, Waves, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, Tsunamis, and Climate, February 1, 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (Dana Point, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci) (Hardcover)
The Power of the Sea by Bruce Parker identifies and thoroughly describes the physical phenomena that are of historical concern because of their human impact: tides, waves, storm surges, rogue waves, tsunamis, El Nino and climate change. The book describes in rich detail the historic impact these phenomena have had on human history.

It chronicles their impact on major historical events. Some examples are Atlantis, Noah's Great Flood, the parting of the Red Sea during the exodus from Egypt, Napoleon's escape from the Red Sea, the Boston Tea Party, D-Day, the near capsizing of the Queen Mary, and the Bermuda Triangle.

It describes the devastation caused by these phenomena. For example, the book vividly describes the disasters that occurred at Galveston, TX, Katrina and New Orleans, and the December 24, 2004 tsunami. The book explains many other disasters that have occurred throughout history.

The book scientifically explains these phenomena. It presents a thorough history of the science of oceanography and identifies its main contributors. For each it describes the sequence of theories up to the current scientific ones and explains how they evolved. It also very credibly describes the limitations of our current knowledge to measure and explain climate change. The author provides a very balanced view of climate change given our current state of knowledge. The book does not indulge in unsupported hyperbole.

The book describes how many of the disasters motivated changes in the technologies and organizations responsible for monitoring and warning the public.

The author has provided extensive, valuable end notes to support and amplify the information.

This book is essential reading (and a reference) for anyone who really wants to understand the physics of the sea. It provides a treasure-trove of authoritative information.
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The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (MacSci)
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