Tara Oceans, Chronicles of a Scientific Expedition
Written by ERIC KARSENTI and DINO DI MEO
Published by TARA EXPEDITIONS and ACTES SUD (in French only)Click here to buy it
From September 2009 to March 2012, researchers, oceanographers and sailors voyaged aboard the research schooner Tara as part of the Tara Oceans expedition. Their ambitious goal was to conduct the first global study of coral reefs and marine plankton – the group of living organisms that includes microscopic viruses and bacteria, but also larger creatures such as jellyfish.
These marine organisms absorb 50% of the CO2 produced on land, and are considered to be "the lungs of our planet." The plankton population can be quickly affected by climate change. Then in turn it can influence the climate by modifying carbon uptake. Studying plankton is therefore like taking the pulse of the Earth.
To this end, Tara collected 27,000 samples not with the aim of studying a biological family or a particular species, but in order to understand the whole ecological system of our oceans.
This book is part of an educational process that the international scientific community and Tara Expeditions established during the Tara Oceans expedition. Rejecting an anxiety-provoking approach that consists of alarming communities and individuals about the environment, this adventure shows how we must adapt, make wise decisions, develop solidarity and mobilize our resources to channel future changes.
To do this, we must better understand the world around us: Tara Oceans is revealing an unknown panorama of plankton.
In the tradition of the first major oceanographic expeditions in the 19th century, Tara explored marine biodiversity using a large number of methods developed since that pioneering global adventure, the Challenger, in 1872. Following Tara's voyage around the world to explore ocean life, the book shows how the determination of a few individuals managed to overcome barriers created by traditional functioning of scientific expeditions, resulting in a highly innovative approach. During this unique world tour, 200 people of different cultures, languages and specialities took turns aboard the schooner Tara. They made stopovers at well-known ports in 30 different countries, met local people and learned about their cultures. They lived incredible moments, sometimes in difficult weather conditions. They recount their experiences as they happened, in the logbook of the expedition.
The expedition team discovered a world both mysterious yet essential to life on Earth. They took a real dive into the unknown, capturing in images the beauty and diversity of the planktonic world.Eric Karsenti received a doctorate in immunology and cell biology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1979. Senior scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, he is the initiator of the expedition. As co-director of Tara Oceans with Etienne Bourgois, he coordinates the scientific consortium that establishes protocols and does analyses of samples and data from this expedition.Dino Di Meo was born in Italy in 1952. He has been writing for the newspaper Liberation since 1987, and following the expeditions of Tara for nearly ten years.
Book format: 19.6 x 25.5 cm / 256 pages / 200 illustrations / € 29