WINNER, American Meteorological Society’s Louis J. Battan Authors’ Award
WINNER, 2019 Science Writers & Communicators of Canada Book Award
WINNER, 2018 Lane Anderson Award
“With wit and a humbling sense of wonder, this is a book that can be shared and appreciated by a wide audience who now religiously check their phones for daily forecasts.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This terrific, accessible, and exciting read helps us to better understand the aspects of weather and the atmosphere all around us.” —Library Journal, starred review
We live at the bottom of an ocean of air — 5,200 million million tons, to be exact. It sounds like a lot, but Earth’s atmosphere is smeared onto its surface in an alarmingly thin layer — 99 percent contained within 18 miles. Yet, within this fragile margin lies a magnificent realm — at once gorgeous, terrifying, capricious, and elusive. With his keen eye for identifying and uniting seemingly unrelated events, Chris Dewdney reveals to us the invisible rivers in the sky that affect how our weather works and the structure of clouds and storms and seasons, the rollercoaster of climate. Dewdney details the history of weather forecasting and introduces us to the eccentric and determined pioneers of science and observation whose efforts gave us the understanding of weather we have today.
18 Miles is a kaleidoscopic and fact-filled journey that uncovers our obsession with the atmosphere and weather — as both evocative metaphor and physical reality. From the roaring winds of Katrina to the frozen oceans of Snowball Earth, Dewdney entertains as he gives readers a long overdue look at the very air we breathe.
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Christopher Dewdney is the award-winning, bestselling author of four books of nonfiction and eleven books of poetry. A four-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award, he won the CBC Literary Competition for poetry and has been awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize. Christopher lives in Toronto, where he teaches writing at York University.
Published: October 2018
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“With wit and a humbling sense of wonder, this is a book that can be shared and appreciated by a wide audience who now religiously check their phones for daily forecasts.” — Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“As the author of 11 volumes of poetry, Dewdney brings a distinctive lyrical quality and playful wit to his prose that's missing from most mainstream science books.” — Booklist online
“Dewdney has written a complex, entertaining and highly informative book that rivals the information one might find in a college classroom. For anyone interested in the air we breathe, 18 Miles is a great addition to any library.” — Shelf Awareness Newsletter
“Engaging, fascinatingly researched, and wonderfully informative, this is a book for science buffs and more casual learners alike.” — Peabody Institute Library blog
“The author, Christopher Dewdney, knows how to write with a great balance of fact, anecdote, and speculation mixed with a bit of dry (sometimes wry) humor . . . His joy and delight are evident in his writing, evidences and stories. I recommend this book to curious readers who want to know than simply, “cloudy today with a slight chance of showers” — Seattle Book Review
“For 18 Miles: The Epic Drama of Our Atmosphere and its Weather, a story for broad audiences that weaves the evolution of the atmosphere with the history of civilization from its beginning to today.” — American Meteorological Society
“This terrific, accessible, and exciting read helps us to better understand the aspects of weather and the atmosphere all around us.” — Library Journal Starred Review
“A brilliant and witty journey into our national obsession.” — The Globe and Mail
“Poet and naturalist Christopher Dewdney's grand tour mingles meteorology, planetary science and literature.” — Nature (journal)
“Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, 18 Miles is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary Science collections.” — Midwest Book Review
“Many books on meteorological phenomena have come through this column over the past two decades, but none as eloquent and enchanting as 18 Miles . . . 18 Miles transforms the way you see the world.” — The Sydney Morning Herald