Sea Sick
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Sea Sick

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  22 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...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published 2008 by Murdoch Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Doriana Bisegna
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
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...more
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...more
Amy Bailey
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
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...more
"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...more
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 18, 2009 Richard marked it as to-read  ·  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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Very informative and much-needed, but it does get a bit fact-heavy in parts.
A wakeup call. Wished I had written. Would recommend to all of my friends.
A very interesting take on the state of the seas. Should be more widely known.
Ashley Jackson
Amazing read that will make you appreciate the ocean more.
Grace Pokela
This book is terrifying.
Samantha marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2014
Izzy P.
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Jul 24, 2014
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Jul 07, 2014
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