[UCP Books]: Waters of the World: The Story of the Scientists Who Unraveled the Mysteries of Our Oceans, Atmosphere, and Ice Sheets and Made the Planet Whole by Sarah Dry


“Smart, compelling, and timely. . . . Dry shows how an artful blending of the personal and professional can result in unusually affecting scientific profiles. A true success on every literary level.”
—Booklist, Starred Review


“Compelling evidence for the need to change our approach to the waters that made us. . . . Laudable.”
—Financial Times


“In her remarkable Waters of the World, historian Dry brings to life this chain of researchers who helped to reveal the dynamics of Earth’s planetary systems and humanity’s growing impact on them.”


“Characterized by strong storytelling within a scholarly framework, this book will appeal to readers interested in how science is performed and accomplished, and anyone curious about Earth’s changing climate.”
—Library Journal




Waters of the World

The Story of the Scientists Who Unraveled the Mysteries of Our Oceans, Atmosphere, and Ice Sheets and Made the Planet Whole


Sarah Dry


US Publication Date: November 15, 2019

368 pages | 50 halftones | 6 x 9 | ISBN-13: 978-0-226-50770-5 | Cloth $30.00



As protesters of all ages take to streets around the world to decry environmental policies that have ignored climate change science and the urgent need for action, it is clear that our contemporary understanding of global climate provokes passions, anxieties, and warnings. But as historian Sarah Dry shows us in this timely, beautifully written book, the study of climate has always been a source of both great innovation and controversy. Linking the history of the planet with the lives of those who studied it, Waters of the World follows the daring scientists who summited volcanic peaks to peer through an atmosphere’s worth of water vapor, cored mile-thick ice sheets to uncover the Earth’s ancient climate history, and flew inside storm clouds to understand how small changes in energy can produce both massive storms and the general circulation of the Earth’s atmosphere. Each toiled on his or her own corner of the planetary puzzle. Gradually, their cumulative discoveries coalesced into a unified working theory of our planet’s climate—what we now call climate science, the source of our current awareness of climate change. By revealing the complexity of this history, Waters of the World delivers a better understanding of our planet’s climate at a time when we need it the most.



Sarah Dry is a writer and historian of science who has immersed herself in the history of meteorology and climate for more than ten years. She is the author of Curie and The Newton Papers. Born and raised in Philadelphia and based in Princeton, NJ, for the 2019–20 academic year, she lives in Oxford, UK, with her family, and is on the board of the Science Museum Group.

Please contact Nicholas Lilly at 773.702.7490 or nlilly@uchicago.edu for more information.



Looking for a book published by a scholarly press?
Search our repository of 42,000 academic and university press titles to see if we can point you to the book you need. Read More