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Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Landby James Mcclintock
Synopses & Reviews
Few of us will ever get to Antarctica. The bitter cold and three months a year without sunlight makes the sixth continent virtually uninhabitable for humans. Yet marine biologist James B. McClintock has spent three decades studying the frozen land in order to understand better the world that lies beneath it. In this luminous and closely observed account, one of the worlds leading experts on Antarctica introduces the reader to this fascinating world—the extraordinary wildlife that persists despite the harsh conditions and the way each of the pieces fit into the puzzle of the intricate environment: from single-celled organisms to baleen whales, with leopard seals, penguins, 50-foot algae, sea spiders, coral, and multicolored sea stars, in between. Now, as temperatures rise, the fragile ecosystem is under attack. Adélie penguins that have successfully nested on Antarctic islands for several hundred years have been nearly wiped out. King crabs that used to populate the deep seafloor are moving into shallower waters, disturbing the set order of life there. Lost Antarctica is an appeal to understand and appreciate the wondrous place at the bottom of the world that we are on the brink of losing.
"The Endowed Professor of polar and marine biology at the University of Alabama — Birmingham, McClintock distills 28 years of research and 13 field expeditions to the seventh continent in his first book of popular science: an eminently readable, reasonable call to arms regarding the dangers of climate change to both the fragile Antarctic ecosystem and the planet as a whole. Each chapter covers a different angle of the problem, from the deleterious effects of increasing ocean acidification to invasions of the Antarctic Shelf by king crabs spurred by warming waters, as McClintock steadily and carefully builds his case for Antarctica as 'the earth's most well-suited natural laboratory' in which to study the impacts of climate change. Though the lab results can be scary, his kinetic, awestruck descriptions of 'the Ice' paint breathtaking pictures, such as when he is 'flying by helicopter down the gut-dropping length of the Taylor Dry Valley and erupting out of its mouth over the deep-blue waters set against the sparkling white expanse of McMurdo Sound's ice edge.' Charming and anecdote-filled, the book's only failing is that McClintock occasionally gets lost in thickets of scientific jargon, but like your favorite undergraduate science professor, he finds a way to make the most difficult, esoteric concepts accessible to the layperson. Photos. Agent: Katherine Flynn, the Kneerim and Williams Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The bitter cold and three months a year without sunlight make Antarctica virtually uninhabitable for humans. Yet a world of extraordinary wildlife persists in these harsh conditions, including leopard seals, giant squid, 50-foot algae, sea spiders, coral, multicolored sea stars, and giant predatory worms. Now, as temperatures rise, this fragile ecosystem is under attack. In this closely observed account, one of the worlds foremost experts on Antarctica gives us a highly original and distinctive look at a world that we're losing.
Hidden between the ice and snow of Antarctica is a world unlike any other. Bitter cold, scarce resources, and six months a year without sunlight make this frozen landscape virtually uninhabitable for humans. Yet these harsh conditions have created a unique and fascinating world of unusual plants and curious animals, mostly amphibians. A keen observer will find forests filled with 50-foot algae, sea spiders, coral, multicolored sea stars, and giant predatory worms, providing nourishment for fearless predators, from leopard seals to giant squid. Now, as temperatures rise, hardy species from warmer climates are making Antarctica their home and destroying this fragile terrain. In a closely observed account, leading marine ecologist James McClintock gives us an unprecedented look at the ravages of the polar environment. From the demise of ice-dependent species to ocean acidification, this is a highly original and distinctive look at a world that we're losing.
About the Author
James B. McClintock is one of the worlds foremost experts on Antarctica, and currently the Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. McClintock has appeared on local, national, and international public radio, CNN news, and the Weather Channel. He has been quoted in National Geographic, Discover Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and others. Each year he leads a philanthropic cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, sponsored by Abercrombie and Kent. McClintock Point , a body of land on the north side of the entrance of Explorers Cove on the Scott Coast of the Ross Sea, Antarctica, was named in honor of his research.
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