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Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continentby Gabrielle Walker
Synopses & Reviews
A fresh take on climate change by a renowned journalist driven to protect his daughter, your kids, and the next generation wholl inherit the problem For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard has investigated global warming for outlets including the New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Nation. But the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change had already arrived―a century earlier than forecast―with impacts bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard's daughter Chiara, now five yea rs old, is part of what he has dubbed "Generation Hot"--the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption.
HOT is a father's cry against climate change, but most of the book focuses on s olutions, offering a deeply reported blueprint for how all of us―as parents, communities, companies and countries―can navigate this unavoidable new era. Combining reporting from across the nation and around the world with personal reflections on his daugh ters future, Hertsgaard provides "pictures" of what is expected over the next fifty years: Chicagos climate transformed to resemble Houstons; dwindling water supplies and crop yields at home and abroad; the redesign of New York and other cities against mega-storms and sea-level rise. Above all, he shows who is taking wise, creative precautions. For in the end, HOT is a book about how well survive.
"Science writer Walker (Snowball Earth) offers a cross-disciplinary tour of Antarctica — its geology, biology, climate, and history — along with an illuminating picture of the lives of the scientists who temporarily live on the forbidding continent. Writing in a fluid style, Walker surveys the fascinating sea life in the frigid waters, such as spiders one thousand times bigger than their land-bound cousins, and fish that literally have antifreeze in their veins. In addition to the biologists, Antarctica's scientific community includes meteor-hunting geologists, climatologists studying the ancient ice to trace the oscillations in Earth's climate, and astronomers who brave the winter to benefit from the clarity of the Antarctic skies. A highlight is Walker's chronicle of the rhythms of an Antarctic winter and the coping strategies the winter crews employ to survive the harsh otherworldly environment. For example, the tone for the new winter is set when the crew sits down to watch the science-fiction classic The Thing, set at the South Pole, and in the dead of winter the brave attempt to join the 300 Club, which requires that they sit in a sauna until the temperature is 200F and then run, naked no less, into the -100F air, however briefly. This all-in-one survey successfully captures the frozen continent. 2 maps. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Journeying to the most alien place on the planet, science writer Gabrielle Walkerand#160;presents aand#160;biography of Antarctica, weaving its history of explorationand#160;with the science currently being conducted there. Walker gives usand#160;glimpses at the marvelous creatures clinging to life above and below the ice, the international community drawn to an existence of extremes, the desolate stretches of surface that yield surprising information about life beyond our planet, and the crumbling ice shelves acting as global climate bellwethers.
On a quest to protect the next generation from mounting climate change, renowned journalist Mark Hertsgaard offers a deeply reported blueprint on how to navigate this unavoidable new era.
We spend our lives surrounded by air, hardly even noticing it. Itand#8217;s the most miraculous substance on earth, yet responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In fact, we live at the bottom of an ocean of air. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets:and#149; A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds.and#149; A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads.and#149; An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door.and#149; A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer.and#149; A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before heand#8217;s proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.
Last year, awareness about global warming reached a tipping point. Now one of the most dynamic writers and one of the most respected scientists in the field of climate change offer the first concise guide to both the problems and the solutions. Guiding us past a blizzard of information and misinformation, Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King explain the science of warming, the most cutting-edge technological solutions from small to large, and the national and international politics that will affect our efforts.
While there have been many other books about the problem of global warming, none has addressed what we can and should do about it so clearly and persuasively, with no spin, no agenda, and no exaggeration. Neither Walker nor King is an activist or politician, and theirs is not a generic green call to arms. Instead they propose specific ideas to fix a very specific problem. Most important, they offer hope: This is a serious issue, perhaps the most serious that humanity has ever faced. But we can still do something about it. And theyandrsquo;ll show us how.
About the Author
GABRIELLE WALKERandnbsp;has a PhD in chemistry fromandnbsp;Cambridge Universityandnbsp;and has taught at both Cambridge and Princeton universities. She is a consultant to Newandnbsp;Scientist, contributes frequently to BBC Radio, and writes for many newspapers and magazines. She is also the author ofandnbsp;four books, including An Ocean of Air and Antarctica. She lives inandnbsp;London.
Table of Contents
Map of Antarctica x
PART 1: EAST ANTARCTIC COAST - ALIEN WORLD
1. Welcome to Mactown 3
2. The March of the Penguins 33
3. Mars on Earth 89
PART 2: THE HIGH PLATEAU - TURNING POINT
4. The South Pole 141
5. Concordia 213
PART 3: WEST ANTARCTICA - HOME TRUTHS
6. A Human Touch 259
7. Into the West 309
Suggestions for Further Reading 363
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