Many people realize that the ocean covers some two-thirds of the earth's surface (the actual figure is 71 percent). But as William J. Broad points out in his entrancing The Universe Below
, this hardly tells the story of the sea's dominance of our planet. The world's oceans are more than two miles deep on average and, contrary to long-held views, are richly populated with life all the way to the bottom. So, in fact, the sea probably makes up something like 97 percent of all inhabited space on Earth--we surface dwellers are almost an afterthought.
"This book is about the largest unexplored part of our planet, the deep sea," writes Broad in his prologue, "and how we are illuminating its dark recesses in a rush of discovery that is shattering old myths, rescuing lost treasures, and laying bare secrets of nature hidden since the beginning of geologic time." In seven chapters, each devoted to a different aspect of deep exploration and discovery, Broad weaves together scrupulous reporting and scientific explication (he has won two Pulitzers for his science writing for the New York Times) along with history and his own personal experiences, all told in vigorous, intelligent prose that often rises to a quiet poetry. The result is one of the most enthralling science books of the decade. --Nicholas H. Allison
From Library Journal
The deep sea is the last frontier whose secrets are just now being revealed. Broad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer for the New York Times, offers an excellent personal overview of current explorations. As in his earlier works, technology is the focus, along with the personalities involved; most of the chapters are related to articles Broad has published in the Times since 1993. After a brief history of deep-sea exploration before 1900, the book is set firmly in the 20th century, concentrating on the ships, subs, divers, underwater vehicles both manned and robotic, and satellites used in a variety of applications, from discovering the Titanic to observing unusual or new marine species. As a readable introduction to deep-water oceanographic research and recovery techniques, this is recommended for public libraries.?Jean E. Crampon, Hancock Biology & Oceanography Lib., Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.