Saturday, December 25, 2010

Surf's Up

A recent book review in the New York Times on "The Wave, In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean":

"What’s as tall as a small office building, snaps large vessels in half and inspires a small tribe of brethren to strap on fiberglass and launch themselves into an unholy maelstrom for a glimpse of transcendence? Giant waves. The bigger the better — or way worse — depending on who’s talking.

The author pushes the scientists on the big question: Will global warming lead to stormier oceans and bigger waves? With varying degrees of hesitation — because the data is not in to confirm a long-term trend, not because they are global-­warming deniers — the answer is a resounding yes.

Scientists do know, however, that average wave heights rose by more than 25 percent between the 1960s and the 1990s, and insurance records document a 10 percent surge in maritime disasters in recent years. From 1990 to 1998 alone 126 vessels were lost, along with more than 600 lives."

No comments: