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Sea Sick

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  177 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
All life — whether on land or in the sea — depends on the oceans for two things:

•Oxygen. Most of Earth’s oxygen is produced by phytoplankton in the sea. These humble, one-celled organisms, rather than the spectacular rain forests, are the true lungs of the planet.

•Climate control. Our climate is regulated by the ocean’s currents, winds, and water-cycle activity.

Sea Sick is
Paperback, 240 pages
Published 2008 by Murdoch Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 366)
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Mar 26, 2016 Dianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, non-fiction
Ms. Mitchell has spent years gathering information about how climate change is affecting the oceans. She has gone on undersea expeditions with the world's leading scientists in the field of oceanography. Abrupt climate change is happening and if we don't pass laws to turn things around the lives of future generations of human beings are in peril. A few of the things I learned from this book: 1) The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the result of a living system being pushed past its limits to t ...more
At this point the science in "Sea Sick" is almost a decade old; that means there is a significant risk in the conclusions being off from what up to date info says. While "sea Sick" contains some of that, in most cases Mitchell errs in that things are mostly worse now than when she wrote the book. One of hte strongest features of the book is Mitchell's ability to make the science accessible to ordinary people. i'm not going to try to tell you what the book says. I will tell you that if you are in ...more
Doriana Bisegna
Jan 16, 2014 Doriana Bisegna rated it it was amazing
An absolute eye opener of a book on the state of our oceans and their effect on our planet. Alanna Mitchell travelled all over the world to talk to leading scientists about how the ocean in that part of the world is faring with global warming and the results are dire and worrisome. I can honestly say that the book allowed me to grasp and understand more about our environment and how the ecosystem from ocean to land works, than all of the movies and literature I've read in the past. I thought An ...more
Alanna Mitchell is an environmental reporter. For this book, she travelled worldwide to ask questions of and be along for the ride with some scientists as they do their research. The focus is on the ocean, and how the health of the ocean can indicate the trouble our world is in from everything humans have done to tax it.

Mitchell travels to the Great Barrier Reef; explains plankton and what it means for the ocean; sees “the blob” in the Gulf of Mexico, where there should be life, but because of
Eric Wells
Oct 07, 2015 Eric Wells rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been six years since I read this book and it's had a lasting effect on my life. It had such a striking effect on me when that I stopped eating seafood after putting down the book. It was like a switch was flipped off. I loved sushi, salmon and many other bounties found within our oceans (including the Orange Roughy we used to eat when we were kids, but I just couldn't do it anymore. Before you say it, I know that the livestock industry has similar ethical and environmental issues which also ...more
Barbara Martin
“Sea Sick is the first book to examine the current state of the world’s oceans — the great unexamined ecological crisis of the planet — and the fact that we are altering everything about them; temperature, salinity, acidity, ice cover, volume, circulation, and, of course, the life within them.”

Alanna Mitchell joins the crews of leading scientists in nine of the global ocean’s hotspots to see firsthand what is really happening around the world. Whether it’s the impact of coral reef bleaching, the
Sep 09, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it
I firmly believe that climate is changing. There are many moral, religious, and political debates about whether global climate change is actually occurring, what the cause of that change is, and at what rate the changes are happening, but scientists overwhelmingly agree that change is occurring. What few people realize is that the oceans are taking a bit hit.

Mitchell does a great job of explaining many of the challenges facing our oceans in an easy to understand and accessible manner. She follow
Amy Bailey
Sep 01, 2011 Amy Bailey rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible read. It amazed me, taught me so much, and scared the crap out of me. Mitchell outlines her expedition across the world's oceans in order to find out what is really going on. She paints the portrait of the ocean as one single entity that is ill, and she takes a brief but thorough and engaging look at each vital sign of the ocean: Oxygen levels, pH, metabolism and fecundity, as well as the Life Force of the ocean and how overfishing has affected the body as a whole. The less ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Ana rated it it was amazing
An amazing, terrifying read. Ignorance is bliss, and has inevitably allowed us to come close to the "point of no return". Perhaps with further blunt realities being spelled out for us we will, sooner than later, begin to change our destructive ways.
Gretta Vosper
Jan 16, 2015 Gretta Vosper rated it it was amazing
A troubling read. Alanna came to speak about the book at our church and shared this wisdom with the congregation. A lasting impact.
Aug 23, 2010 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book! Mitchell does a great job explaining the science behind global climate change.

For this book, Mitchell travelled to nine different marine environments around the world and spent time with researchers. She clearly describes how humans are accelerating the degradation of the oceans through these examples.

She convincingly makes the case that the oceans are an integral part of the climate change dilemma and need to be addressed along with changes in the atmosphere before a climate ti
"Sea Sick: the Global Ocean in Crisis"
As it says on the dust jacket, "All life on Earth depends on the oceans. Most of the planet's oxygen is produced by phytoplankton in the sea - it is these humble, one-celled organisms, rather than te spectacular rain forests, that are the true lungs of the planet. And our climate, even on land, is controlled by the oceans, regulated by their currents, winds, and water-cycle activity." Good index, great bibliography; tons of references to current scientific r
Aug 11, 2009 Alistair rated it really liked it
The iconography of climate change is big: drifting smog clouds, melting glaciers, lumbering polar bears. But, for Alanna Mitchell, it is the little things that matter most: algae, shrimp, coral, plankton. These are the small heroes of the world's largest ecosystem, the ocean, and will be its first climate change victims. [Review continues at The Pequod]

Oct 16, 2015 Richard marked it as to-read-3rd  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Environmentalists and other humans
The CBC radio science program Quirks & Quarks broadcast an excellent interview with the author and the scientists she worked with while writing this book. It is available in MP3 format here, along with links and background information.
Nov 11, 2009 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You come away from this book with the realization of why taking action on carbon emissions, overfishing, pollution, etc., is absolutely vital. In each chapter the author travels to a different place to interview scientists working on different aspects of oceanic research, and cumulatively makes her case. Well done.
Sep 06, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Very informative--I do wish it was a bit more geared toward people with a biology background but either way, it was a good refresher on certain concepts and it also really opened my eyes to the importance of ocean science.
Nov 28, 2011 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: enviro, non-fic
I enjoyed some of what was in here, but was bored with some of it (as my education and other docs/readings already knew more than what was said here). I think if you don't know much about the ocean, this is a good place to start
Nov 03, 2010 Marce rated it it was amazing
Clear and easy read of the current state of our Oceans. While I expected something a bit more wonky from what is almost required reading for me workwise, it is something anybody can pick up and get clued in.
A wonderful documentary book from which I learned a lot about corals for my research proyect on ocean acidifcation. A must read for biology majors, and science teachers to inform their students!

Nov 04, 2010 Christine is currently reading it
Great insight into the ocean crisis. And I was thrilled to win a copy at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference, right after I talked to
Alanna. It's a Sign.
Feb 15, 2014 Carrie rated it really liked it
This book is well worth the read and exposes a side if climate change that us not immediately obvious to land dwellers like us. I highly recommend this book.
Aug 14, 2012 Foggygirl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A facinating, alarming, and at times a sad read it nonetheless clearly illustrates how everything we humans do has extreme reactions on the land and in the sea.
Katrina Dreamer
Apr 08, 2010 Katrina Dreamer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chock full of information. Depressing. Important. Well written to boot. And ends with hope. Will become an integral part of the research informing my final project.
Oct 25, 2010 Dragana rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very informative and much-needed, but it does get a bit fact-heavy in parts.
Nov 21, 2012 Deborah rated it it was amazing
A wakeup call. Wished I had written. Would recommend to all of my friends.
Aug 14, 2012 Andre rated it liked it
A very interesting take on the state of the seas. Should be more widely known.
Ashley Jackson
Jun 19, 2013 Ashley Jackson rated it it was amazing
Amazing read that will make you appreciate the ocean more.
Grace Pokela
Sep 22, 2015 Grace Pokela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is terrifying.
Matthew Stolte
Jan 23, 2013 Matthew Stolte rated it really liked it
Michelle marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2016
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Alanna Mitchell is an award-winning journalist and author who writes about science and social trends. She is a global thinker who specializes in investigative reporting. Her most recent full-length book, Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, is an international bestseller that won the prestigious Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment. Her one-woman play based on that book w ...more
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