Books  Environmental Science  Oceanography 

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

Popular Science

By: Bruce Parker

306 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations


Paperback | Mar 2012 | #197066 | ISBN-13: 9780230120747
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx
Hardback | Nov 2010 | #186078 | ISBN-13: 9780230616370
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $24/€22 approx

About this book

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 disaster with an accessible account of scientific discovery. The result is a compelling scientific journey, from ancient man’s first crude tide predictions to today’s advanced early warning ability based on the Global Ocean Observing System. It is a journey still underway, as we search for ways to predict tsunamis and rogue waves and critical aspects of El Niño and climate change caused by global warming.

"A lucid, original contribution to popular-science writing."
- Kirkus

"Riveting readers with analyses of catastrophes such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Parker delivers science in dramatic and digestible form."
- Booklist


- When the Sea Turns Against Us: Escaping its Fury through Prediction
- The Earliest Predictions for the Sea: The Tide
- The Moon, the Sun, and the Sea: The Tide Predictions for D-Day
- The Sea's Greatest Killer: Predicting Storm Surges
- Defending our Coasts: Flooded Cities
- Stormy Seas: Predicting Sea, Swell, and Surf
- 'Holes' in the Surface of the Sea: Rogue Waves
- The Sea's Response to an Unpredictable Earth: Trying to Predict Tsunamis
- December 26, 2004 (Part 1): Tragic Surprise in the Indian Ocean
- December 26, 2004 (Part 2): Learning from a Tragedy
- Predicting the Future - and Saving Lives: El Nino, Climate Change, and a Global Ocean Observing System
- Endnotes
- Acknowledgments

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Bruce Parker is a world recognized expert in the oceans. He is former Chief Scientist of the National Ocean Service and occupied various posts in international organizations that study ocean behavior. He is presently Visiting Professor at the Centre for Maritime Systems at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, USA. Among his awards are the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal and the Commodore Cooper Medal from the International Hydrographic Organization. He lives in Virginia.

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