The white planet The evolution and future of our frozen world

Jean Jouzel, 1947-

Book - 2013

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Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press c2013.
Item Description
"First published in France under the title Planète blanche, les glaces, le climat et l'environnement, Odile Jacob, 2008."
Physical Description
xv, 306 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Jean Jouzel, 1947- (-)
Other Authors
Claude Lorius (-), Dominique Raynaud
Review by Choice Reviews

This book is a factual, chronological narrative of Earth's cryosphere, covering the critical role that the ice-covered parts of our planet play in recording climate and how ice records reveal changes in Earth's climate over the last 800,000 years. French authors Jouzel, Lorius, and Raynaud are world leaders in ice-core climate research and have been instrumental in collecting and interpreting these important records. Descriptions in the book are meticulous, but dry, until the last few brief chapters where the authors address the political aspects of climate change, revealing their frustration with the unwillingness of politicians to act when the science shows the need for urgency. Although coverage of the collection and interpretation of polar ice-core records, along with the problems encountered in obtaining them, is complete, the book is a bit of a slog and would have benefited from a more problem-based focus rather than a recitation of the litany of events; this can be confusing due to the nature of how science and field problems move two steps forward and then one step back. The book primarily highlights the contributions of French and other European scientists, giving it a Eurocentric feel, which is somewhat refreshing. Summing Up: Recommended. All general and academic audiences. General Readers; Lower-division Undergraduates; Upper-division Undergraduates; Graduate Students; Researchers/Faculty. B. Ransom formerly, University of California, San Diego Copyright 2013 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The earth's ice—glaciers, ice sheets, ice caps, ice platforms—chronicles the history of its climate. That history is read through the strata of the ice, and the captured bubbles of ancient atmosphere each stratum contains. Glaciologists and climatologists Jouzel, Claude Lorius, and Dominique Raynaud here describe how this evidence was discovered and is being understood by scientists. This book was originally published in 2008 in France (Planète blanche) and has been adapted and revised in Fagan's translation, keeping it up to date. The authors relate their studies of the ice sheets and glaciers, and provide explanations of how the science works, discussing the climate history discovered in the ice, and the warming trends that have been observed therein. More than a third of the book is dedicated to the relationship between ice and global warming. VERDICT Highly recommended for all serious collections on glaciology and climate change and for anyone who wants to know more about the science of discovering ancient climates.—Betty Galbraith, Owen Science & Engineering Lib., Washington State Univ., Pullman [Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Produced through the research of glaciologists and climatologists, this work examines the history of climate change by studying ice from sources such as ice sheets and glaciers. By contrasting the history documented in the ice with the melting that is occurring around the world, the scientists are able to provide an enlightening view of climate change as it happens. (LJ 5/1/13) [Page 56]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Chronicles the exciting scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic areas that shed light on global warming and climate change.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Highly regarded scientists Jouzel, Lorius, and Raynaud provide a detailed account of the world's frozen regions, such as the Arctic Ocean, the Andes, the Himalayas, and the Greenland ice sheets. Essentially, the authors describe how those regions affect global climate and how global warming is shrinking them. It is in a way a history of exploration and discovery as scientists came to learn more and more about those regions. It also presents the most current research on climate research and what is being learned from it. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A gripping journey through the icy regions of our changing planetFrom the Arctic Ocean and ice sheets of Greenland, to the glaciers of the Andes and Himalayas, to the great frozen desert of Antarctica, The White Planet takes readers on a spellbinding scientific journey through the shrinking world of ice and snow to tell the story of the expeditions and discoveries that have transformed our understanding of global climate. Written by three internationally renowned scientists at the center of many breakthroughs in ice core and climate science, this book provides an unparalleled firsthand account of how the "white planet" affects global climate—and how, in turn, global warming is changing the frozen world.Jean Jouzel, Claude Lorius, and Dominique Raynaud chronicle the daunting scientific, technical, and human hurdles that they and other scientists have had to overcome in order to unravel the mysteries of past and present climate change, as revealed by the cryosphere--the dynamic frozen regions of our planet. Scientifically impeccable, up-to-date, and accessible, The White Planet brings cutting-edge climate research to general readers through a vivid narrative. This is an essential book for anyone who wants to understand the inextricable link between climate and our planet's icy regions.