Oceansby Trevor Day, Richard Garratt (Illustrator)
The Ecosystems series is the only source that offers a complete understanding of global ecology. Illustrated with beautiful full-colour photographs, each volume combines the "hard sciences," such as biology and chemistry, with history, economics, and environmental studies. Each ecosystem is presented in its entirety with details on its history, biology, wildlife, beauty, problems, and influence on culture. This interdisciplinary approach emphasizes the complex, interrelated nature of each biome - giving readers the most integrated portrayal of the natural world available. Each volume spans Europe, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, and the Americas to present a particular ecosystem. Coverage offers a basic introduction to ecological concepts and demonstrates how these concepts influence the complex relationship between humans and the environment.
Gr 9 Up -Informative, up-to-date and wide-ranging, these detailed overviews cover all aspects of their terrains, with chapters focusing on geography (providing overviews of individual hot and cold deserts, and oceans), atmosphere, geology, biology, history, exploration, and economic resources. These revisions (Deserts , 2000; Oceans , 1999) add recent ecological discoveries and coverage of phenomena such as the December 2004 tsunami (even, to a lesser extent, in Deserts ) and global warming. Though inclusion of these topics is now standard, these books warrant purchasing as they go further. For example, Oceans explores little-known aspects of the tsunami such as its underwater effects, and, after providing an unusually specific and frightening list of the threats from climate change, outlines an equally pointed to-do list to combat the problem. Generally, the books' plain language neatly explains both complex phenomena (the Coriolis effect) and easier concepts (the Atlantic Ocean is expanding at the same rate as fingernail growth), but some of the scientific explanations in Deserts are challenging. Both books' color maps and diagrams are helpful and plentiful, but the few color photographs (though there are more in Oceans than in the previous edition) are of average quality at best. Pair Oceans with the Smithsonian Institution and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hidden Depths (Collins, 2007), which has stunning photographs and more on coastal habitats; Deserts will complement basic earth science textbooks, which will have alternative explanations of the related scientific concepts, but lack the detailon deserts found here.-Henrietta Thornton-Verma , School Library JournalCopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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