Biology, Books for the News

Ocean Change and the Extinction of Life on Earth

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Good science doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear. So while the message at the core of Alana Mitchell’s Seasick: Ocean Change and the Extinction of Life on Earth, might be particularly hard to swallow, it is nevertheless a much needed medicine for our ailing oceans. As Rick MacPherson notes in a recent review of the book for the latest edition of the American Scientist:

In Seasick: Ocean Change and the Extinction of Life on Earth,… 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. Their cumulative effect has pushed us across a threshold. It appears that global systems may already be unable to return the ocean to its former state and are beginning instead to interact to create a new, far less hospitable state.

Find out more about the book on the University of Chicago Press website, or read the review at the American Scientist online.