A world without ice

Henry Pollack

Book - 2009

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

551.312/Pollack
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 551.312/Pollack Checked In
Subjects
Published
New York, N.Y. : Avery c2009.
Language
English
Item Description
Maps on endpapers.
Physical Description
xv, 287 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781583333570
1583333576
Main Author
Henry Pollack (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* "Some say the world will end in fire, / Some say in ice," Robert Frost famously observed. But what if the world's ice itself ends? Ice, especially in the form of the great Arctic and Antarctic glaciers and snow masses, is distant from most everyday lives. Yet the world's weather is predominantly reliant upon the reflective and cooling actions of the great polar snows, which are yearly shrinking and putting the planetary climate at dire risk. Pollack, a geophysicist with the admirable ability to communicate in a language other than math, presents the stark facts of today's situation and offers careful descriptions of the likelihood of a frightening future, should earth's climate continue to change. No climate-change denier, Pollack is nevertheless a scientist unwilling to speculate beyond where the facts lead, nor does he imagine that humans haven't been altering the environment ever since our forebears first descended from the trees. So resolutely scientific a temperament makes his depiction of the possible future truly scary, with rising seas causing human displacement and migration, the loss of vulnerable species (polar bear, seal, many fish on which humans depend), and weather-related famines. But he also offers some realistic hope that catastrophes may be mitigated, if not avoided. A sober and sobering book. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In this outstanding book, Pollack, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with his colleagues on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former vice president Al Gore, explains the role that ice, especially polar ice, plays in the world's climate systems and describes the effects of a warming climate on the polar and high-altitude ice storehouses. Then he discusses how the environment is dramatically impacted as the rate of melting accelerates. Pollack also highlights how three centuries of human activity and industrialization have upset this delicate balance between ice and climate. He includes possible methods by which we can slow global warming or mitigate its effects on humanity and other animals. VERDICT Seldom has a scientist written so well and so clearly for the lay reader. Pollack's explanations of how researchers can tell that the climate is warming faster than normal are free of the usual scientific jargon and understandable. All readers concerned about global warming and students writing papers on the topic will want this excellent and important volume.—Betty Galbraith, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman [Page 96]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

A member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, Univ. of Mich. geophysicist Pollack (Uncertain Science) shares the warning call of Al Gore (his co-recipient), that "humanity has arrived at an historic moment of decision." According to science, Pollack explains, humanity may soon lose the polar ice caps altogether, with dire consequences. Pollack explains how glacial ice is "a major player" in the climate: snow and ice "account for much of the sunshine reflected from the surface" and their disappearance will only accelerate the rate of global warming. Using geological evidence (800 bore-holes drilled on the earth's continental crust), Pollack and his colleagues have established that the past 500 years have seen a 2-degree increase in the Earth's average temperature, and that "fully half of the warming occurred in the 20th century." While taking account of countervailing forces (like periodic variations in the earth's orbit, explosive volcanism, and changes in solar radiation) Pollack shows that no single natural force can reverse the present trend, which if unchecked will render the Earth uninhabitable. This important wake up call joins a rapidly growing selection; this volume distinguishes itself with a Nobel pedigree and a sound, straightforward approach. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A cowinner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize shares a comprehensive survey of ice as a force of nature while describing potential catastrophic consequences of ice shortages, in a reference that outlines recommended steps for avoiding environmental threats.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Presents a comprehensive survey of ice as a force of nature while describing potential catastrophic consequences of ice shortages, in a reference that outlines recommended steps for avoiding environmental threats.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

This book examines the effects of global warming by looking carefully at the potential consequences of a world without ice. The author traces the effect of mountain glaciers on supplies of drinking water and agricultural irrigation, as well as the current results of melting permafrost and shrinking Arctic sea ice--a situation that has degraded the habitat of numerous animals and sparked an international race for seabed oil and minerals. Catastrophic possibilities loom, including rising sea levels and subsequent flooding of low-lying regions worldwide, and the ultimate displacement of millions of coastal residents. This book answers the most urgent questions about this pending crisis, laying out the necessary steps for managing the unavoidable and avoiding the unmanageable.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize offers a clear-eyed explanation of the planet’s imperiled ice. Much has been written about global warming, but the crucial relationship between people and ice has received little focus—until now. As one of the world’s leading experts on climate change, Henry Pollack provides an accessible, comprehensive survey of ice as a force of nature, and the potential consequences as we face the possibility of a world without ice.A World Without Ice traces the effect of mountain glaciers on supplies of drinking water and agricultural irrigation, as well as the current results of melting permafrost and shrinking Arctic sea ice—a situation that has degraded the habitat of numerous animals and sparked an international race for seabed oil and minerals. Catastrophic possibilities loom, including rising sea levels and subsequent flooding of lowlying regions worldwide, and the ultimate displacement of millions of coastal residents. A World Without Ice answers our most urgent questions about this pending crisis, laying out the necessary steps for managing the unavoidable and avoiding the unmanageable.