Deep Blue Home
An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean
By Julia Whitty
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618119813, 256pp.)
Publication Date: July 1, 2010
List Price: $24.00*
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At the center of "Deep Blue Home"--a penetrating exploration of the ocean as single vast current and of the creatures dependent on it--is Whitty's description of the three-dimensional ocean river, far more powerful than the Nile or the Amazon, encircling the globe. It's a watery force connected to the earth's climate control and so to the eventual fate of the human race.
Whitty's thirty-year career as a documentary filmmaker and diver has given her sustained access to the scientists dedicated to the study of an astonishing range of ocean life, from the physiology of "extremophile" life forms to the strategies of nesting seabirds to the ecology of "whale falls" (what happens upon the death of a behemoth).
No stranger to extreme adventure, Whitty travels the oceanside and underwater world from the Sea of Cortez to Newfoundland to Antarctica. In the Galapagos, in one of the book's most haunting encounters, she realizes: "I am about to learn the answer to my long-standing question about what would happen to a person in the water if a whale sounded directly alongside--would she, like a person afloat beside a sinking ship, be dragged under too?"
This book provides extraordinary armchair entree to gripping adventure, cutting-edge science, and an intimate understanding of our deep blue home.
JULIA WHITTY's first book on oceans, The Fragile Edge, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal Award, the PEN USA Award, and the Kiriyama Prize. Her cover articles have appeared in Harper's Magazine and Mother Jones, where she is an environmental correspondent. She blogs at the Blue Marble and Deep Blue Home.