225 pages, 158 colour & 5 b/w photos, 3 colour maps
Antarctica is the only continent without permanent human habitation, yet it may hold the key to our survival. More than just a frontier for exploration, Antarctica is now understood to be a crucial part of a global climate and environment. Each year hundreds of scientists travel to the bottom of the world to investigate the climate, examine the continent's hardy life forms, and seek answers to far-reaching questions about the universe. Veronika Meduna has accompanied some of them on their expeditions, and in Secrets of the Ice she tells their stories and explains their dramatic discoveries.
In remote field camps and icy laboratories on the frozen continent, geologists and glaciologists learn about past temperatures and levels of greenhouse gases, and about the implications of today's climate change for the future. Some scientists study migration patterns of emperor penguins as others focus on the antifreeze inside endemic fish species. Still others investigate the microbial "masters of survival" that may help to reveal how life evolved on Earth and what it may look like on other planets. In compelling, everyday language, Meduna provides a firsthand view of the wide range of scientific activity in Antarctica today along with fascinating portraits of the intrepid men and women conducting it. More than 150 stunning color photographs complete this arresting book.
"The scientists we meet in this intriguing book are the explorers of a new heroic era of discovery. Their compelling research shows that Antarctica remains a frontier – one crucial to understanding our planet as a whole."
- Ranulph Fiennes
"With its up-to-the-moment reporting and vivid, personal profiles, this beautiful book gives a face to Antarctic science, highlighting some of the most important research of our time."
- Edmund Stump, author of The Roof at the Bottom of the World: Discovering the Transantarctic Mountains
"In this captivating and accurate treatment, Meduna brings to life the scientific research ongoing in one of the planet's harshest environments."
- Craig Cary, Director, The International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research
"Meduna unravels the many current discoveries of the Antarctic continent [...] an extraordinary book that captures the passion and excitement for research on the ice."
- Diana Wall, Colorado State University
"Meduna's book fills a great void in the Antarctic literature [...] She may have created a new genre: scientific armchair adventure!"
- Rob Dunbar, Stanford University
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Veronika Meduna, one of New Zealand's best-known science journalists, is a producer and presenter for Radio New Zealand's weekly science and environment program. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.