Reviewing “ocean drifters – a secret world beneath the waves”

Do you remember how you loved watching the movie in Richard Kirby’s guest post on my blog a while ago? All that amazingly beautiful plankton? Well, here’s good news for you: He just published a book to go with the movie!

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Spider crab larva. Photo from http://www.oceandrifters.org/ with permission

Ocean drifters – a secret world beneath the waves” by Richard Kirby is a great introduction to plankton for people like me, who know embarrassingly little about that aspect of our oceans. And I am pretty sure that it might be even more exciting to people who know more about plankton and can appreciate the beautiful pictures not mainly for their artistic value and pleasing esthetics, but who actually know about the impact of each of those tiny bugs.

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Phytoplankton. Photo from http://www.oceandrifters.org/ with permission

But even for ignorant people like me, there is hope yet: Just by browsing the contents we come across “jet propulsion” or “changing sea temperatures” as examples of titles that catch a physical-oceanography trained eye and lure you in. And then on the next page, a beautiful picture of a coast showing surface foam in the waves as evidence a phytoplankton bloom. A picture that I might use to talk about currents at the coast, or wave breaking – only visible because of phytoplankton!

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Starfish larva. Photo from http://www.oceandrifters.org/ with permission

The book “Ocean drifters – a secret world beneath the waves” gives a great introduction to plankton and its role in the marine food chain, the carbon cycle and therefore on climate. After a short introduction each double page features magnificent photographs of plankton together with short explanations. This is a book that I would love to see on coffee tables wherever I visit, and that I pull up frequently on my phone when I have a couple of minutes, to learn about the secrets of our oceans and to enjoy the – and I can’t stress this enough – beautiful photography.

I’ve been given the iPad version of the book – thank you, Richard! – but the opinions expressed here are my own and I don’t receive further compensation for writing this blog post.

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