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Oceans: How We Use the Seas
     

Oceans: How We Use the Seas

by Dana Desonie
 
Earth's seas play a tremendous role in the planet's systems: Ocean currents transfer water and heat around the globe, and ocean ecosystems are among the most biologically productive anywhere. But the oceans are being abused. Wild fisheries are harvested to the point of collapse, and some aquaculture damages both sea life and the environment. People intentionally or

Overview

Earth's seas play a tremendous role in the planet's systems: Ocean currents transfer water and heat around the globe, and ocean ecosystems are among the most biologically productive anywhere. But the oceans are being abused. Wild fisheries are harvested to the point of collapse, and some aquaculture damages both sea life and the environment. People intentionally or inadvertently dump wastes-sewage, oil, toxic chemicals, detergents, and fertilizers-as well as invasive species into the seas; and all have an impact on ocean ecosystems. Offering full-color photographs and illustrations and captivating text. Oceans introduces young science students to these urgent issues. This important new book shows how protecting the oceans requires protecting the entire planet and describes the necessity of establishing marine reserves to save vital ecosystems.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Ashcliffe and Thad Ashcliffe
We were able to review only three volumes of an eight-volume set titled "Our Fragile Planet." For this reason, we can only speak specifically to the volumes we saw. If the other volumes in this series are at least equal to the three volumes we reviewed, this is a stellar series more than worthy of purchase in its entirety. The three volumes we read, Oceans, Atmosphere and Biosphere, are uniformly well done from the text to the charts, graphs and sidebars to the drawings and photographs. Information is current and well written. We especially liked the use of bolding new words/concepts for easy identification for the student reader. All the bolded terms appear in a glossary even though the content words are nicely defined in the text. The general organization of each volume, too, is student-friendly. The author starts with the big picture/overview of the topic and the problems we as a species have caused and therefore must deal with — even discussing seldom-mentioned topics, like the introduction of invasive species into an environment. Another stellar example is chapter two of Oceans where at the beginning the text waltzes into basic chemistry without fanfare or implication of difficulty. The student reader painlessly follows the chemistry as necessary background material for the subject at hand. The student first learns about the background and theory, which provides the cause for the student to understand the effects. The subject matter, while thorough, explains first rather than being alarmist or forcibly overwhelming. It is necessarily harsh when appropriate. A significant part of each book is a section about what we humans can and must do on a global, in additionto local, level to rectify the problems that we as a species have caused. These discussions are crucial because students need to feel they are empowered to deal with these problems. The list of references and websites was top notch and the index was thorough. The publisher cites these volumes as being appropriate for the sixth to twelfth grader, we feel, however, that the 9- to 11-year-old contingent would find much to absorb in this set. The information is not "dumbed down" so a younger audience would find itself using these books on a topic basis rather than in their entirety. Although a textbook, this is the kind of set of nature books that many students, even the not-very-interested variety, would find fascinating to look through—pausing where interested—which is a wonderful way to pique interest in a subject. We gladly give each of these books and the entire set a cookie. Reviewer: Mary Ashcliffe and Thad Ashcliffe
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- Focusing in great detail on overexploitation of natural resources, these utilitarian books will be valuable resources for science reports. In Biosphere , "The Sixth Extinction" section is its most useful. A table lists five previous mass events, after which the factors contributing to today's conditions (loss of habitat, pollution, climate change, overharvesting, and invasive species) are methodically outlined with accompanying statistics. The color diagrams, maps, and photographs (some of which are upsetting) are few but effective. The second book opens with an overview of the world's oceans, then discusses marine resources, the effects of pollution and other human activities (overfishing, habitat destruction), and the future of these natural resources. The introductory material is available elsewhere, and overall the work is more textbooklike than photograph-rich volumes such as the Smithsonian Institution and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hidden Depths (Collins, 2007). Still, libraries that need detail on the toll that increased human activity takes on the oceans will find the discussions and statistics useful. Both books include quotes from reliable sources such as the academic journals Nature and Science , and the further-reading lists (Biosphere 's is more thorough) also include citations from these resources, as well as from popular publications.-Henrietta Thornton , School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816062164
Publisher:
Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/28/2007
Series:
Our Fragile Planet Series
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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