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The Resource Ice at the end of the world : an epic journey into Greenland's buried past and our perilous future, by Jon Gertner

Ice at the end of the world : an epic journey into Greenland's buried past and our perilous future, by Jon Gertner

Label
Ice at the end of the world : an epic journey into Greenland's buried past and our perilous future
Title
Ice at the end of the world
Title remainder
an epic journey into Greenland's buried past and our perilous future
Statement of responsibility
by Jon Gertner
Title variation
Ice at the end of the world
Title variation remainder
Greenlands secret past and Earths perilous future
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
"Greenland: remote, mysterious, ice-covered rock, population 56,000, in the middle of the North Atlantic. Why do we care so much about it? Because locked within the vast and frozen "white desert"--the nickname early explorers gave it--that covers eighty percent of the land are some of the most profound secrets of our planet--clues about where we've been, and where we might be headed. And now, with the ice sheet melting at an unprecedented rate, we are able, for the first time, to understand the story that lies within it, and what it can tell us about our future. In The Ice at the End of the World, Jon Gertner reconstructs in vivid, thrilling detail the heroic efforts of the scientists and explorers who have visited Greenland over the past 150 years--first on skis, then on sleds, and now, with planes and satellites, utilizing every technological tool available to uncover the secrets in the ice before it's too late. Much as he did with his depiction of solid-state engineers and laser scientists in his bestselling book The Idea Factory, Gertner chronicles the amazing advances, almost unfathomable hardships, technological leaps, and scientific achievements of Arctic researchers with a rich, transporting, deeply intelligent style that melds the compelling stories of a small cast of brilliant and eccentric individuals, with a keen, analytical eye toward what this work means for the rest of us"--
Tone
Writing style
Award
Library Journal Best Books, 2019.
Review
  • In this remarkably thorough account, Gertner (The Idea Factory), a New York Times Magazine contributor, narrates Greenland’s history as a destination of rugged explorers and the birth site of glaciology. Gertner builds a fascinating chronology of scientific endeavor and discovery, beginning with “lunatic” Norwegian zoologist Fridtjof Nansen’s 1888 trek across Greenland’s frozen tundra. Scientists began flocking there in 1930 to study glaciers, eventually turning to “deep core drilling” to extract ice samples from as far as a mile down. By the 1990s, equipment sophisticated enough for “meticulous, year-by-year reading of the layers of ice” found evidence of “abrupt climate change” 17,500 years ago, in a potential omen of environmental catastrophe to come. More recently, a NASA satellite able to weigh Greenland’s ice sheet discovered, alarmingly, that it is “losing well over one hundred billion tons of ice per year.” Gertner demonstrates how each of these discoveries built upon previous work, cumulatively enriching the scientific understanding of climate in general and Greenland in particular. This is vital reading for anyone interested in how climate change has already affected the Earth, and how it might do so in future. Agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company. (Jun.) --Staff (Reviewed 03/04/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 9, p)
  • In this wide-ranging book, Gertner (The Idea Factory) demonstrates the same excitement for scientific exploration as for the adventures of early polar explorers. The author shares the stories of Fridtjof Nansen, Knud Rasmussen, Alfred Wegener, Robert Peary, and others who ventured to learn what lay at the center of the great ice sheet, what the northern coast was like, and what was happening far above and below the ice. Gertner explains that ice cores were identified as a way to examine annual climate data going back 10,000 years and that melting of the polar ice caps is influenced by ocean temperatures, currents, algae blooms, glacial rivers, calving, and more, all of which contribute to an ever-increasing downward spiral of ice melt. The author also discusses the American base built during the Cold War that left behind radioactive waste and other hazardous materials that will be released as melting occurs, though the base also made possible influential scientific discoveries. A brief paragraph of climate change pseudoscience quick fixes somewhat diminishes the overall tenor. VERDICT There's something for everyone here: adventure, the Cold War, science, and analysis of how melting ice sheets will influence future climates. --Zebulin Evelhoch (Reviewed 05/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 4, p119)
  • /* Starred Review */ The past, present, and future of the ice clock on the world's largest island. Journalist Gertner (The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, 2013) made six trips to Greenland to research this penetrating and engrossing book. The Greenland ice sheet, two miles deep in some places, is "composed of nearly three quadrillion...tons of ice." The author recounts the key 19th-century expeditions to explore the daunting, often harrowing, inner ice shelf. He is especially strong in his descriptions of the brutal cold, winds, ice floes, crevices, frostbite, lost toes, starvation, and loneliness that explorers have experienced over the decades. In 1888, Fridtjof Nansen and a small team dragged heavy sledges over ice peaks as high as houses to become the first to "cross Greenland's ice sheet." He was quickly followed by Robert Peary, the first to explore Greenland's mysterious northern border, a 1,200-mile trek. Knud Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen's explorations, which gathered valuable "ethnographic research on the Inuit," marked the transition from merely exploration to scientific investigation. Alfred Wegener's 1912 expedition "pushed the cause of Arctic science forward" and featured research on seasonal temperatures. One scientist presciently pondered that if all the ice melted, the oceans across the globe "would rise more than 25 feet." Gertner next traces the many expeditions and scientific bases that were established and the use of deep drilling techniques to take sample ice cores all the way to bedrock. Scientists began to record temperatures gradually rising all over the island. Then, in 2012, using NASA's satellites, a polar scientist made a frightening discovery: "We realized the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet had melted." Water was running to the sea, increasing the calving of glaciers in Greenland and the Arctic. Something "immense and catastrophic" had been set in motion and "could not be easily stopped." A captivating, essential book to add to the necessarily burgeoning literature on global warming. (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2019)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10781931
Cataloging source
LBSOR/DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gertner, Jon
Dewey number
559.8/2
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
index present
LC call number
G743
LC item number
.G453 2019
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Greenland
  • Greenland
  • Arctic regions
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
Greenland's secret past and Earth's perilous future
Label
Ice at the end of the world : an epic journey into Greenland's buried past and our perilous future, by Jon Gertner
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: the view from above -- The scheme of a lunatic -- Hauling -- Simple and easy -- North by Northeast -- A pure primitive realm -- Thule -- Dynamite -- Digging -- Machine age -- The Americans -- Drilling -- Jesus ice -- Deeper -- Sensing -- A key -- Meltwater season -- Epilogue: the ice clock
Control code
2018039395
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxiii, 418 pages
Isbn
9780812996623
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2018039395
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
(OCoLC)1052427946
Label
Ice at the end of the world : an epic journey into Greenland's buried past and our perilous future, by Jon Gertner
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction: the view from above -- The scheme of a lunatic -- Hauling -- Simple and easy -- North by Northeast -- A pure primitive realm -- Thule -- Dynamite -- Digging -- Machine age -- The Americans -- Drilling -- Jesus ice -- Deeper -- Sensing -- A key -- Meltwater season -- Epilogue: the ice clock
Control code
2018039395
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xxiii, 418 pages
Isbn
9780812996623
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2018039395
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
(OCoLC)1052427946

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