Books  Environmental Science  Oceanography 

Ebb and Flow: Tides and Life on Our Once and Future Planet

Popular Science

By: Tom Koppel (Author)

296 pages, 60 illustrations

Dundurn Press

Paperback | Sep 2007 | #209519 | ISBN-13: 9781550027266
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $18/€17 approx

About this book

Ebb and Flow was named one of 2007's "best science books" by Peter Calamai, science editor of the Toronto Star (Dec. 30, 2007). He calls it a "wonderful resource book. Tom Koppel seems to have visited or read about every place with unusual tides and water currents, yet he wears this scholarship lightly."

Tides have shaped our world. They have carved out shorelines, transformed early life on Earth, and altered the course of human civilization. Tides frustrated Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, and aided General MacArthur. They govern the way our planet moves, provide us with an alternative source of energy, and may be aggravating global climate change.

Drawing on science, history, and personal memories, Koppel's fascinating book engages and enlightens, demonstrating that a subject we take for granted affects all our lives. He weaves together three grand narratives, exploring how tides impact coasts and marine life, how they have altered human history and development, and how science has striven to understand the surprisingly complex way in which tides actually work.


- Prologue
- High Water and History: India, China and How the Ancient World Learned About the Moon and Tides
- Living by the Tides: Author's Daily Activities Run in Sync with the Local Tide Tables
- Heaven and Earth: Renaissance and lsaac Newton's Great Breakthrough in Tidal Theory
- Into the Maelstrom: Powerful Tidal Currents Generate Killer Whirlpools
- The Shape of Tides: The Great Variety of Shorelines Created by Different Tidal Regimes
- Age of Discovery: European Explorers Learn How Complex the Tides Can Be
- Tidal Tempest: Fast-Flowing Waters Doom Many a Ship
- Theory Meets Practice: Tides as Great Rotating Wave Systems
- The Great Wheel of Life: High Water and Coastal Biology
- Sea and Sky in Harmony: Oscillating Waters and Modern Tidal Forecasting
- Holding Back the Tide: How Civilisations Have Coped with High Water and Low
- The Big Picture: Climate Change and World-wide Tidal Patterns
- Turning the Tide: Tapping the Energy of the Oceans
- Once and Future Tides: A Receding Moon and Drifting Continents
- Epilogue: A Trip to the Beach

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Tom Koppel has written popular science articles for newspapers, and for journals such as Canadian Geographic, Equinox, Canadian Living, and Reader's Digest. He is the author of the books Lost World: Rewriting Prehistory How New Science is Tracing America's Ice Age Mariners; Powering the Future: The Ballard Fuel Cell and the Race to Change the World; and Kanaka: The Untold Story of Hawaiian Pioneers in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. He lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

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