How can tiny plankton in the sea just off Western Europe be affected by changes in the Gulf Stream four thousand miles away, on the other side of the North Atlantic Ocean? How can a slight rise in the temperature of the surface of the Pacific Ocean have a devastating impact on amphibian life in Costa Rica? How can the temperature of the equatorial Pacific Ocean help predict the yields of maize far away in Zimbabwe?
In The Dance of Air and Sea, oceanographer Arnold Taylor illuminates the extraordinarily vast and powerful forces driving the world's ecosphere, revealing the astonishing ways that the atmosphere and oceans interact, and revealing how ecosystems in water and on land respond to changes in weather. Ranging through the fields of oceanography, meteorology, and ecology, Taylor sheds light on the immense variations of the atmosphere which can span a whole ocean, the best known of which is the El Niño cycle of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, a colossal see-saw in which atmospheric pressure rising over Australia mirrors a fall thousands of miles away in Tahiti. And as he explores this remarkable dance of sea and air, Taylor conveys the enormous power of these forces--for instance, the Gulf Stream carries as heat the energy of about 20 million power stations--and he tells colorful stories of the many scientists working in this field, such as the two researchers who used the records of an annual gambling pool in Alaska (the Nenana Ice Classic) to track the local effects of global warming.
Packed with engaging anecdotes, this mind-boggling account of the enormous forces at work around the globe also highlights how understanding these forces will enhance our ability to tackle global warming.
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From Publishers Weekly:
Arnold H. Taylor has worked for thirty years in oceanographic research at Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
Veteran British oceanographer Taylor tackles the complex interrelationship between oceans and climate, and the potential effects of global warming. Taylor's description of how oceans work, the mechanics embodied in their modulating eddies and major currents, the Gulf Stream, the Kuroshio boundary current, and other phenomena will leave readers with a genuine sense of marvel. And there is no fall off when Taylor moves from the ocean to the air, weather and its interactions with the ocean, or to ecosystems and how they can warn us of the effects of global warming. One of the book's pleasures is his obvious delight in explaining not only how the ecosystem works but the creativity and doggedness that drives the scientists who study it. Aware of the undercurrents that threaten to distort the science of global warming, Taylor never simplifies or overstates. He meticulously provides the scientific background, sometimes in challenging detail, as he explores the planet's possible future. Although unequivocal that "global warming is coming," Taylor is no Cassandra. His counsel is to study, watch, and "attempt to point a positive path into the coming century." 30 line drawings. (Apr.)
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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press, 2011. Gebundene Ausgabe. Buchzustand: Neu. Neu Neuware, Importqualität, auf Lager, Sofortversand - How can the tiny plankton in the sea just off Western Europe be affected by changes 6000 km away on the other side of the North Atlantic Ocean How can a slight rise in the temperature of the surface of the Pacific Ocean have a devastating impact on amphibian life in Costa Rica Living populations across the globe are connected by great swayings of the world's atmosphere and oceans, the largest of which is El Nino. For almost half a century, the numbers of some of the smallest animals in the North Sea have gone up and down as the Gulf Stream has moved north and south 4000 miles away at the coast of the USA. This connection has happened because the weather patterns over the North Atlantic are intertwined by a phenomenon first described by a Danish missionary in the eighteenth century, the North Atlantic Oscillation. In The Dance of Air and Sea Arnold Taylor focuses on the large-scale dynamics of the world's climate, looking at how the atmosphere and oceans interact, and the ways in which ecosystems in water and on land respond to changes in weather. He tells stories of how discoveries were made, and the scientists who made them; and he considers the crucial issues of how the discoveries aid our response to global warming. 288 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. INF1000216180