Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of by Christopher Kemp

By Christopher Kemp

Journalist and biologist Christopher Kemp discovers, after analyzing a wierd information file, a hidden global of cash, intrigue and extraordinary wealth. A lump of whatever turns up on a seashore in NZ, the lump so unusual it will probably have come from out of area. yet it's now not a lifeless alien, it's ambergris.

Ambergris is a derivative of sperm whales, used for hundreds of years as a body spray, medication and aphrodisiac. it sounds as if on shorelines world wide and looking on what nation it's in, could be improper for all demeanour of items. For these within the be aware of, it's an grand resource of wealth — ambergris trades for US$20 a gram, that is approximately up to gold yet it's tougher to discover and it can't be mined.

Christopher Kemp travels from the seashores of NZ, to the Smithsonian and New Nedford Whaling museum; he meets amateurs, specialist hunters, scientists, elusive owners who site visitors ambergris, those that won't confess to have chanced on any, and strangers denying what they're trying to find. As he discovers extra approximately ambergris' origins, its makes use of state-of-the-art and old, the outrageous lengths humans have long past to discover it and the interesting efforts humans visit in an effort to preserve what they find out about ambergris a mystery, the extra his infectious obsession grows.

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Additional resources for Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris

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Second, several dramatic peaks of one or two years duration show the episodic nature of bleaching. The trend of increasing bleaching occurrence is driven largely by mild bleaching records and, to a lesser extent, by moderate bleaching records (Fig. 1a). If only severe bleaching records are considered then this trend nearly disappears. This is Fig. K. Oliver et al. Fig. 1 (continued) especially apparent when viewed as the proportion of bleaching events classified as severe (Fig. 2). While the increase in mild bleaching could be due to an increase in chronic low-level stress to corals it is also possible that the increased awareness of coral bleaching (particularly after 1998) has led to increased reporting of small amounts of bleaching that largely went unreported before then.

Fig. 7 Global bleaching events and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). The shaded bars at the top indicate years when global bleaching events occurred. K. Oliver et al. Fig. 8 Australian bleaching events and the SOI. 5 Discussion The results presented here represent the most comprehensive record of coral bleaching available on a global level. They provide a clear quantitative record of bleaching frequency and periodicity for the past three decades. We have identified four periods (1983, 1987, 1998, 2005) that can be called global bleaching events in terms of bleaching frequency and intensity and the number of countries affected.

Despite increasing interest and commentary on global patterns of coral bleaching, this comprehensive dataset has not previously been analysed in any detail. The majority of available bleaching records consist of descriptive accounts of the location of bleaching and, with varying degrees of detail, an assessment of the extent and severity of bleaching. Water depth and coral species affected are often not recorded. In a small number of cases, formal surveys using quantitative or semiquantitative measurements provide estimates of the percentage of coral that bleached.

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