This book can best be described as a compact, portable guide to all of the Arctic's natural history, from a distinguished ecologist and author of After the Ice Age. Here is a field guide to the plants, birds, mammals, fish and some insects, and an explanation of many phenomena of sky, sea and terrain that enthrall all travellers in this area. It is packed with answers to naturalists' questions, and many questions naturalists' may not even have thought of. An invaluable guide to anyone planning an arctic journey, or simply interested in this remarkable environment.
Contents 1 Sky The Land of the Midnight Sun What about the Midday Moon? A Compass near the Magnetic Pole The Geomagnetic Pole The Aurora Borealis, or "Northern Lights" 2 Climate and Atmosphere The Arctic Climate The Seasons The Climate near the Ground Arctic Mirages The Air Made Visible 3 Terrain Ice Caps and Glaciers Permafrost Traces of the Ice Age Tundra Polygons Pingos Peat: Peat Mounds, Palsas, and Peat Plateaus Tundra Hummocks Patterned Ground of Other Kinds Underground ice Thawing landscapes Arctic Rivers 4 Seas Icebergs Sea Ice: The Pack Ice Islands Open Water: Polynyas and Leads Ice and Beaches 5 Plant Life Why Trees Can't Grow in the Far North The Northernmost Tree Species The Wavering, Shifting Treeline Trees and Permafrost Tundra and Polar Desert Carbon in the Tundra Ecosystem Plant Adaptations to Arctic Conditions Arctic Flowers Seeds and Fruits: The Way Plants Spread When Seeds Fail Some Plant Communities Where Have They Come From? A Field Guide to Arctic Ferns and Their Relatives Arctic Mosses, Lichens, and Nostoc 6 Birds Residents and Migrants: The Quest for Food More on Migration: Populations and Destinations Protection from the Cold Breeding in the Arctic More on Breeding: Nests and Eggs A Field Guide to Arctic Birds 7 Mammals The Arctic as a Home for Mammals The Bear Family The Cattle, Sheep, and Goat Family The Deer Family The Dog, Fox, and Wolf Family The Weasel Family The Hare and Rabbit Family The Squirrel Family The Beaver Family The Mouse, Lemming, and Vole Family The Shrew Family Walruses and Seals Two Whale Families 8 Fish Fish and Naturalists The Salmon Family: Pacific Salmon Other Fish of the Salmon Family Some Other Arctic Fishes 9 Insects Insect Life in the Arctic Insect Pollinators: Bumblebees and Flies Insects and Food for Birds: Flies Mosquitoes and Blackflies The Warble Flies and Nose Bots of Caribou Butterflies