Coral Reefs

Majestic Realms under the Sea

Peter F. Sale

View Inside Format: Hardcover
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An eye-opening introduction to the complexity, wonder, and vital roles of coral reefs 

“Part memoir, part popular science, part call to action on climate change, the book makes a compelling case for why coral reefs deserve more attention. Sale’s argument is as simple as it is powerful: as coral reefs go, so goes the rest of the planet.”  —Bryan P. Galligan, Commonweal

When mass coral bleaching and die‑offs were first identified in the 1980s, and eventually linked to warming events, the scientific community was sure that such a dramatic and unambiguous signal would serve as a warning sign about the devastating effects of global warming. Instead, most people ignored that warning. Subsequent decades have witnessed yet more degradation. Reefs around the world have lost more than 50 percent of their living coral since the 1970s.  
 
In this book, distinguished marine ecologist Peter F. Sale imparts his passion for the unexpected beauty, complexity, and necessity of coral reefs. By placing reefs in the wider context of global climate change, Sale demonstrates how their decline is more than simply a one‑off environmental tragedy, but rather an existential warning to humanity. He offers a reframing of the enormous challenge humanity faces as a noble venture to steer the planet into safe waters that might even retain some coral reefs.

Peter F. Sale, a marine ecologist, is distinguished university professor emeritus at University of Windsor, Canada. He most recently served as senior advisor and assistant director for coastal projects for the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health. He blogs at www.petersalebooks.com, and tweets as @PeterSale3.

“Part memoir, part popular science, part call to action on climate change, the book makes a compelling case for why coral reefs deserve more attention. Sale’s argument is as simple as it is powerful: as coral reefs go, so goes the rest of the planet.”  —Bryan P. Galligan, Commonweal

“An eye-opening book. . . . Sale’s rich experience and obvious passion for marine environments alone make Coral Reefs worth reading, but what makes it enjoyable is the way he intertwines captivating reef stories with important science.” —Mihai Andrei, ZME Science
 

"Peter Sale takes readers on a dazzling tour of coral reefs, explaining the science, humanizing the scientists, and persuasively arguing why preservation of what remains is vital."—Margaret Lowman, author of The Arbornaut
 

“An inspiring and readable explanation of what reefs are, where they came from, how they’re put together, what goes on inside them, why they’re important and how to save them.”—Joan Roughgarden, author of Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality in Nature and People
 

“This is Peter Sale’s love song to the coral reef – that beautiful but imperiled ecosystem. Sale writes with passion and grace about reefs, reef creatures, and the scientists who study them.”—Stephen Heard, author of Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider
 

“Peter Sale, an insightful scientist drawing on a lifetime of experience, offers original points of view that are compelling, persuasive, and occasionally paradoxical and a major contribution to our understanding of why coral reefs are so special.”—J. E. N. Veron, author of A Reef in Time: The Great Barrier Reef From Beginning to End
 
ISBN: 9780300253832
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
25 b/w illus.