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After the Ice: Life, Death, and Geopolitics in the New Arctic Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
He tells us in well-documented form that while the rest of the world might get exercised about the occasional polar bear, there are serious developments involving control, industrialization, oil drilling, ethnic issues and much more, related to the changes occurring in the frozen North. What we don't see because it is so far out of our view is the international struggle to control its future because so much of the rapidly fading past is lost for good. Anderson has spent much time watching developments, interviewing experts on site, and witnessing the loss of habitat and displacement of people. For those who are worried about the seas rising because of melting ice or the loss of ice-packed beautiful scenery, Anderson acknowledges those concerns but notes that events are rapidly moving ahead of those obvious issues. As the ice thins and then disappears, new sea routes are opening, setting off struggles among Greenland, Canada, the United States, Russia Norway and others, all of whom want to control the area and have access to its natural resources.
For those most concerned about the damage to native seal, walrus and polar bear populations, this well-written book offers plenty of heartbreaking material as he quotes people who witnessed starving bears, walrus stampedes and the changes in human culture. But everything he writes is buttressed by charts, documented by scientists, in many cases, for decades.
Deniers of the human factor in global climate change won't be swayed by these facts either but everyone else will rightly be concerned by what is going on and who is determining the future of such a vast and important part of the globe.
I bought a second copy of the book immediately after I finished reading it. This one will be on loan to my friends, and I doubt I will get it back for a long time!
You'll learn all about ice, types, age, thickness and vulnerability. Aronson describes the models, their strengths and weaknesses, the technical difficulties of improving them.
There is a section on border disputes and the major treaties affecting them.
A possible resource boom is impending. Aronson discusses the riches available and the technical problems involved in developing them without risking an ecological disaster.
Unlike most books, this one looks at all of Arctic, Norway, Greenland and Svalbard as well as the more familiar Alaska, Russia and Canada.
Last but not least, the book is well written. For anyone interested in this wild and beautiful region of the world, Aronson's book is a must read.
The resources at immediate issue will be those of the continental shelves, subject to competing claims. There is also Nunavut, 800,000 square miles in Canada populated by 30,000 Inuit, so those resources will likely upstage this self-ruled government. The Inuit have huge problems with alcohol; and drug use, and suicide., which could well get worse as climate changes. The same applies to native peoples in Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia.
Most worrisome is the huge--really, really huge--amount of methane now locked in permafrost. If it starts seeping into the atmosphere it will also be a huge problem.
Overall this is a good survey of the polar region and what is likely to come to pass if the ice goes. The maps could be better. Some fascinating detail on the regime in Spitsbergen, and an important note, that non-polar species are expanding their range north, killer whales for example.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 on October 17, 2013 by Christopher Higgins
I give most books away after I read them. This is one of those few books I kept for future reference. Read morePublished on February 3, 2011 by Lenny
Alun Anderson's After the Ice is a thought-provoking book that discusses effects of climatic change in the Arctic, a topic that is becoming ever-increasingly important in today's... Read morePublished on November 21, 2010 by Scott
Alun Anderson's book After the Ice gives many different perspectives on climate change that are often overlooked. Read morePublished on November 21, 2010 by S. Savant
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