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For decades, scientists knew that the Arctic's summer ice had been slowly shrinking, but they did not anticipate that "an enormous area" would suddenly melt away in 2007: "Explanations kept changing as the Arctic sprang new surprises." Global warming in itself was not a sufficient explanation, nor was "Arctic Oscillation," fluctuating wind patterns that create changes in atmospheric pressure. Searching for answers, Anderson, former editor-in-chief of New Scientist magazine, travelled extensively in the region-"Svalbard, Alaska, Norway, the Canadian Islands and both Coasts of Greenland"-checking out a hypothesis that the Oscillation had formed thinner surface layers, which melt more quickly. Satellite pictures, combined with underwater submarine probes, tracked the motion of the ice over several summers, allowing scientists to "follow areas of ice as they moved... and track which ice survived," chart the effects of salinity variations, and more. Anderson also meets members of the Inuit community, traditional hunter- trappers who share "troubled stories" of forced relocations, efforts to preserve self-rule, and adapting to the realities of climate change. In this fascinating, insightful overview, Anderson asserts that the days of the "iconic big beasts of the Arctic" are numbered, but remains hopeful about the Arctic's uncertain future.
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Anderson, a biologist and former editor in chief for New Scientist, was thrilled to see his first polar bear on his first trip to the High Arctic, until a colleague pointed out that the bear was starving to death. Endangered polar bears are emblematic of the drastic changes under way in the Arctic, but there are many more stories to tell about this land in flux. Anderson traveled far and wide, speaking with reindeer herders, hunters, and dozens of experts in diverse fields, piecing together the most panoramic picture yet of this crucial region. Delving into Arctic history, he offers fresh insights into the traditions of indigenous people and the consequences of Arctic exploration, colonization, exploitation, and pollution; and he is equally adept at parsing the growing international scramble for the Arctic’s oil, gas, and minerals. With measurements from satellites and submarines quantifying the rapid shrinking of Arctic ice, Anderson joins the call to reduce carbon emissions to slow global warming. Inquisitive, cogent, and compelling, Anderson shares his findings, concerns, and fascination with this vulnerable “place of profound and diverse beauty.” --Donna SeamanSee all Editorial Reviews
This book is slightly dated but global warming continues to be a factor in the polar areas. This is a science journalist approach rather than a scientific report, so it is quite... Read morePublished 5 months ago by lyndonbrecht
This very well-written book is a calm, factual and compelling account of the realities of climate change. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Richard Middleton
This book is clearly written by someone who cares about the Arctic and what is happening and will happen in the future, but there is no preaching, no moralizing against oil... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Christopher Higgins
This amazing book gives the most comprehensive picture of the Arctic I've ever seen.
You'll learn all about ice, types, age, thickness and vulnerability. Read more
Shanell writes: Alun Anderson documents how the melting sea ice will change the Arctic in regards to biospheres, Inuit lifestyles, and geopolitics. Read morePublished on November 19, 2010 by NJK
"Forget the familiar view of the world with the great land masses of Asia, American, Europe , and Africa dominating the map. Read morePublished on November 17, 2010 by Brian
Much of the information surrounding climate change is fragmented and mangled before it even reaches us. Newscasters look for "good stories," and siphon off much information. Read morePublished on November 17, 2010 by Nicole
Anderson has the intention of convincing the reader that the Arctic is currently being mismanaged, politically and environmentally, especially by the nearby countries, and that... Read morePublished on November 17, 2010 by Roger