It is hard to convey how this book makes you feel, tiny and huge at the same time. It is a gods eye view, think Apollo 11's Earthrise photo. Water is primal to life and Helen reveals the intricate workings of the planets oceans or 'Blue Machine' in a way that leaves you marveling. The earths spin, the battery of salinity and the heat of the star and density combine to create this single dynamic liquid pump at the heart of the intricacies of life on our planet. You will learn vast ocean related facts from physics, history, sea-bio tech, deep sea energy tech, industry, commerce, curious creatures and seafaring peoples to mention but a fraction. No wonder the Fin Times calls its a 2023 notable it is vividly written, and top of the ladder of favorites this year for me as well.
Some of you may remember Helen from her appearances with Brian Cox on the BBC wonders series. She is a fellow graduate of Physics at Manchester University. The Blue Machine charts her journey into the physics of oceanography and her skill as a science narrator leaves me hoping she will embark on another physics journey soon.
FINANCIAL TIMES 2023 HIGHLIGHT
'Helen Czerski weaves together physics and biology, history and science, in a beautifully poetic way.'
Professor Alice Roberts
'In Helen Czerski's hands, the mechanical becomes magical. An instant classic.'
Tristan Gooley, author of How to Read Water
'Blue Machine is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read.'
Dr George McGavin, zoologist, entomologist and broadcaster
'A fascinating dive into the essential engine that drives our world. Czerski brings the oceans alive with compelling stories that masterfully navigate this most complex system.'
Gaia Vince, science journalist, broadcaster and author of Nomad Century
All of the Earth's ocean, from the equator to the poles, is a single engine powered by sunlight - a blue machine.
Earth is home to a huge story that is rarely told - that of our ocean. Not the fish or the dolphins, but the massive ocean engine itself- what it does, why it works, and the many ways it has influenced animals, weather and human history & culture.
In a book that will recalibrate our view of this defining feature of our planet, physicist Helen Czerski dives deep to illuminate the murky depths of the ocean engine, examining the messengers, passengers and voyagers that live in it, travel over it, and survive because of it. From the ancient Polynesians who navigated the Pacific by reading the waves to permanent residents of the deep such as the Greenland shark that can live for hundreds of years, she explains the vast currents, invisible ocean walls and underwater waterfalls that all have their place in the ocean's complex, interlinked system.
Timely, elegant and passionately argued, Blue Machine presents a fresh perspective on what it means to be a citizen of an ocean planet. The understanding it offers is crucial to our future. Drawing on years of experience at the forefront of marine science, Helen Czerski captures the magnitude and subtlety of Earth's defining feature, showing us the thrilling extent to which we are at the mercy of this great engine.