An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere
The book is set up in chronological order, exploring the various issues surrounding air. It starts off with the presumptions about air that our ancestors had about the...more
I found this book, by Gabrielle Walker, to be quite a gem. I am not trained in the sciences so a book involving chemistry (I've never taken a chemistry course) is a bit intimidating. Yet Ms. Walker does not spend much time on the chemical reactions found in the atmosphere - she indeed goes over the concepts and presents them to the reader - but,...more
What, exactly, is ozone?
How did Marconi figure out that his signals would travel long distances, and what did he not know?
Who learned (and how) what carbon dioxide does?
I could add many more. If you want to feel a little smarter, this is the book to...more
My only gripes were that it was not near long enough to go into further detail about atmospheric chemistry and physics, and the occasional jumping around in time to focus on another part of a developing story took some mild effort to note or retain. I would have loved to read more about the development of understanding of global climate mechanisms, and the i...more
Although Gabrielle Walker, author of Snowball Earth (2003), holds a Cambridge doctorate in chemistry, her ear for storytelling is perfect for popular science. One critic praises her lyrical style; others praise her use of detail, anecdote, and science that wouldn't be out of place in Meteorology 101. Critics inevitably compare Walker to Dava Sobel (Longitude; Galileo's Daughter; The Planets, *** Jan/Feb 2006), one of the genre's most popular writers. Walker has honed her skills as a contributing...more
This book contains not only the famous individuals associated to air (Joseph Priestly, Antoine Lavoisier, Kristian Birkeland, etc) but also unknowns (to me) like William Ferrel, Wiley Post and James Van Allen. And people you'd think have nothing to do with the atmosphere like Christopher Columbus, Gugliemo Marconi and Thomas Midgley!
The book covers several major themes of atmospheric science, including the history of discoveries. She also talks about wind, ozone, environmental damage, etc. A great read for anyone interested in an introductory overview of the atmosphere, how it works, and what effect that has on humans.
A very quick read with lots of pol...more
I was assigned to read this book for my science class. It is very science and has elements of historical fiction. However, it is not a good book and is very difficult to read. I hated it and don't recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to have nightmares about the atmosphere for the rest of their lives. I appreciate her effort, but Walker makes the book very difficult to read.
Air! A whole book about it. Also, the characters who leant to the discovery of our atmosphere. Thought provoking; ranges in topics from the chemical makeup of air, hurricanes, ozone layer, trade winds, jet streams, the northern lights. If you can stomach history and science -together- an interesting read.
The author is a British science journalist.