An Ocean of Air

An Ocean of Air

Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere

Book - 2007
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Houghton
We spend our lives surrounded by air, hardly even noticing it. It’s the most miraculous substance on earth, yet responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In fact, we live at the bottom of an ocean of air. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets:

A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds.

A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads.

An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door.

A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer.

A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before he’s proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.



Baker & Taylor
A study of Earth's atmosphere traces a journey of scientific discovery, from the Italian Renaissance scientist Torricelli, disciple of Galileo, who realized that we live at the bottom of a dense ocean of air, through a self-educated West Virginia farmhand, William Ferrel, who unlocked the secrets of the trade winds, to a well-meaning inventor who nearly destroys the ozone layer.

Harcourt Publishing
We spend our lives surrounded by air, hardly even noticing it. It’s the most miraculous substance on earth, yet responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In fact, we live at the bottom of an ocean of air. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets:

• A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds.

• A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads.

• An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door.

• A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer.

• A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before he’s proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.



Book News
London-based Walker holds a doctorate in chemistry from Cambridge U., and is an award-winning science writer who has presented many programs for BBC Radio. In her second popular science work after Snowball Earth (2003), she examines the Earth's atmosphere and some of the people who have explored and used their knowledge of it over the centuries. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

A study of Earth's atmosphere traces a journey of scientific discovery, from the Renaissance scientist who realized that we live at the bottom of a dense ocean of air, to a well-meaning inventor who nearly destroys the ozone layer.

Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, c2007
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780151011247
0151011249
Characteristics: xv, 272 p. : ill ; 24 cm

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