From Publishers Weekly
Cold weather systems the earth needs to thrive is the subject of Streever's well-documented book, using all of the author's expertise from his field trips to the world's most frigid environments. Streever, who chairs the North Slope Science Initiative's Science Technical Advisory Panel, writes of the frostiest experience: We fail to see cold for what it is: the absence of heat, the slowing of molecular motion, a sensation, a perception, a driving force. Rather than giving the reader a dry, academic lecture on snow, glaciers, wind-chill factors and icebergs, he delivers a poetic, anecdotal narrative complete with polar expeditions, Ice Age mysteries, igloos, permafrost and hailstorms. Two of the most fascinating segments are the arduous task of scientific reconstruction of past climates and the magical navigation of migratory birds to warmer lands. This is a wonderful collection of one man's first-rate observations and commentary about the history and importance of cold to the earth and its occupants. (July)
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, filled with obscure facts and fascinating anecdotes, is both entertaining and enlightening, and Streever's crisp, articulate writing style and easy-to-understand scientific explanations yield a compulsively readable book. However, Streever's loosely organized chapters and stream-of-consciousness, bloglike narrative keep him from dwelling for long on any single topic, and the Dallas Morning News
took issue with his single-minded focus on the northern hemisphere. Some critics also objected to his views on climate change, but these complaints stemmed from differences of opinion. Streever's breezy, captivating romp through the frozen North reminds readers "that cold shapes continents, wins and loses wars, fuels madmen, inspires Nobel Prize–winning work, challenges us, curses us and blesses us" (Cleveland Plain Dealer