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The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The Power of the Sea describes our struggle to understand the physics of the sea, so we can use that knowledge to predict when the sea will unleash its fury against us. In a wide-sweeping narrative spanning much of human history, Bruce Parker, former chief scientist of the National Ocean Service, interweaves thrilling and often moving stories of unpredicted natural ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published October 26th 2010)
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B Schrodinger
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is a more scholarly look at wave production and dynamics. While it is light on the physics, it is heavy on the general details. Every example of the types of waves and storms is illustrated to minute detail with references given. Some people may not be able to deal with this level of detail, but I did not mind it. It makes a great change from some general science books that make broad innacurate statements.

Parker's extensive experience with the subject shows, and it is no surprise to
Will Ristow
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Will Ristow
Citation: Parker, Bruce B. The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict the Sea's Moments of Destruction. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

The Power of the Sea by Bruce Parker utilizes several arguments to illuminates how powerful the ocean continues to be in influences life on Earth. This includes the illustrating how human history of struggle to understand the mechanics behind the ocean and how disasters became comprehensible through scientific
Some interesting stories, especially about rogue waves and tsunamis. But perhaps a little more than I really wanted to know about the science.
Out of the many scientific books I've read that are meant for general consumption, this one has so far been on of the best. It hit the balance of scientific data and good writing well, and didn't fall into the trap of dense scientific language that so many books like it do. Overall an extremely enjoyable and interesting read.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hang in there through the first chapter, which is really dense--understandably so, as the tide is a very complicated thing to understand and predict. The remainder of the book was a much easier go, and I spent a lot of time reading particularly fascinating paragraphs out loud to my family or handing off the book to my husband to read sections pertinent to his interests.
Sophy H
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outdoor-nature
Despite being hugely interested in the the subject matter, I found this book terribly tedious and its writing style far too dry.

The only chapters that really engaged me were the two concerning the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Otherwise I found myself looking to see how many pages I had left to read far too many times.

Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
237 pages

The sea is very complicated. A very
compelling and informative book.

Kim Zinkowski
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A. I enjoyed the book and the discussions of the physical manifestations of the sea: tided, wind waves and currents, rogue waves and tsunamis.
Text Addict
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a really good book, and I don’t say that lightly about nonfiction. The subtitle is “Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters.”

The good news is, modern technology makes it possible to predict or identify a variety of threats from the sea.

The bad news is, it isn’t always enough, and may never be. Witness the recent earthquake-and-tsunami in Japan. The book talks at length about the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean – which you may
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating book by a scientist who worked several years with the NOAA. Subjects included in this book are the 12/24/04 earthquake and tsunami(s) which occurred (epicenter two large tectonic plates) in the Indonesian area, but which affected thousands of miles of coastline in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and other areas. The descriptions of the events of this particular disaster are particularly tragic; in my opinion, much worse than the media made them out to be.

There are also
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A well written explanation of tides, tsunamis, rogue waves and storm surges.

Showed how tidal bores, such as the one on the Qiantang River in China, are caused by the tide waters being forced into a constricted space. The tides are basically a huge wave, with massive power, and the shape of a coast will dramatically affect their characteristics. Napoleon was almost drowned by the tide on the Red Sea, near where Moses probably crossed, because he and his party crossed the shallows too close to
Feb 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Begins great, ends with a disappointment. The mechanisms of tides, storm surges, and tsunamis are so systematically explained (in a very impressive block-by-block manner) that you think the climate-change stuff in the last section is gonna be brilliant. Instead, it's cursory, rushed, and bloodless. Oh, well. But the first 75% of the book is well worth the time.
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle
It would be nice to have more figures.
Jason Walne
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the science aspect, fascinating and enjoyable reading.
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Compelling description of the power of the sea and its role in history. I thought that the last chapters on the 2004 tsunami were too long compared to the rest, but enjoyed reading it nonetheless.
Coral Potter
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Very interesting especially the bits about tsunami, and how humans first figured out how tides work.
Michael Holley
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a man of the sea I so enjoyed this book.
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