414 pages, 24 plates with 58 colour & b/w photos
In this revelatory book, Callum Roberts uses his lifetime's experience working with the oceans to show why they are the most mysterious places on earth, their depths still largely unexplored. In Ocean of Life: How Our Seas Are Changing we get a panoramic tour beneath the seas: Why do currents circulate the way do? Where exactly do they go? How has the chemistry of the oceans changed? And, how polluted are we making them? Above all, Roberts reveals the richness of their life, and how it has altered over the centuries.
The oceans are now under unprecedented threat. Not only does Roberts show how we are fishing our oceans to extinction, crucially, he explains how this directly affects our lives on land. Ninety-five percent of habitable space on earth lies in the oceans, and marine plants produce half the world's oxygen; and, the oceans themselves absorb vast quantities of carbon dioxide. The life they support is now in the balance.
Ocean of Life: How Our Seas Are Changing should galvanise debate worldwide. Roberts shows how we can arrest and reverse the damage we are doing. Tantalisingly, it is within our grasp to restore the life of the oceans. There is still time.
"Those of us who worry about the future of our oceans could do a lot worse than take up this single refrain, 'Listen to Callum Roberts!'. Shouted in the ears of the world's leaders, it might just make a difference. Meanwhile we should all read Ocean of Life, a thrilling narrative of oceanic natural history and a vital call to action"
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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Callum Roberts is professor of marine conservation at the University of York. For the last 10 years he has campaigned for stronger protection for the sea at national and international levels, including advising the United Nations, European Commission and the European Parliament. He was on the WWF-US National Council for six years and currently serves as a Council Member of Fauna and Flora International, a Board Member of Seaweb and a WWF-UK Ambassador. Callum's first book The Unnatural History of the Sea won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Prize, and was named by The Washington Post as one of the Best 10 Books of the Year.