By Curtis Ebbesmeyer, Eric Scigliano
Pioneering oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer unravels the secret of marine currents, uncovers the impressive tale of flotsam, and alterations the world's view of trash, the sea, and our worldwide surroundings. Curtis Ebbesmeyer is not any traditional scientist. he is been a consulting oceanographer for multinational organisations and a lead scientist on overseas learn expeditions, yet he is by no means held a traditional educational appointment. He seized the world's mind's eye as no different scientist might whilst he and his around the world community of beachcomber volunteers traced the ocean's currents utilizing millions of shoes and plastic bathtub toys spilled from storm-tossed freighters. Now, for the 1st time, Ebbesmeyer tells the tale of his lifelong fight to resolve the sea's mysteries whereas sharing his such a lot superb discoveries. He recounts how flotsam has replaced the process history—leading Viking mariners to secure harbors, Columbus to the hot global, and Japan to confide in the West—and the way it will even have made the starting place of existence attainable. He chases icebergs and floating islands; investigates ocean mysteries from ghost ships to a spate of washed-up severed toes on Canadian shorelines; and explores the big floating "garbage patches" and waste-heaped "junk shorelines" that gather the flotsam and jetsam of commercial society. eventually, Ebbesmeyer finds the rhythmic and harmonic order within the significant oceanic currents known as gyres—"the heartbeat of the realm "—and the threats that worldwide warming and disintegrating plastic waste pose to the seas . . . and to us.
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Additional resources for Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How One Man's Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science
I did not get to know Jim well at UW; we were both too busy at our studies, research, and jobs. But I knew him well enough to call him up after the shoes dropped. I left the University of Washington in 1969 to work full-time in New York City as Mobil/Standard Oil’s first oceanographer. It could have been a lonely, frustrating post, but Clare J. Colman, the chief of Mobil’s offshore operations, was a kind and tolerant manager who knew enough to give wide latitude to a solitary oceanographer in a crew of engineers—though sometimes I pushed even the bounds of his tolerance.
When we arrived, we found an apartment across the street from the single room we’d rented in 1966. But we’d set aside most of my Mobil retirement money for a down payment and, once we’d worked up the courage, set out house shopping. After just a day we found the 1917 bungalow we still live in today, a mile north of the university. We applied for a loan from a local bank, and the banker called my office (our apartment) to verify my employment. “Evans-Hamilton,” Susie answered. ” the banker asked.
I explained that it was to protect against storm surges: When I added a hundred-year surge to a hundredyear tide, I reached a maximum wave height well beyond what were then the benchmarks in marine construction. He sent me to Sable Island for a firsthand look. In 1970, I flew in a Grumman Widgeon from Halifax to Sable Island, a boomerang-shaped, twenty-three-mile-long sandbar near the junction of the North Atlantic’s two great circulating gyres. This location makes it a marine graveyard; shipwrecks and other debris from both gyres wash up there, and we landed amid a gaudy litter, the sand nearly burying the wheels.