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Greenland: a remote, mysterious, ice-covered rock with a population of just 56,000, has evolved from one of earth's last physical frontiers to its largest scientific laboratory.
Locked within that vast 'white desert' are some of our planet's most profound secrets. As the Arctic climate warms, and Greenland's ice melts at an accelerating rate, the island is evolving into an economic and climatological hub, on which the future of the world turns. Journalist and historian Jon Gertner reconstructs in vivid, thrilling detail the heroic efforts of the scientists and explorers who have visited Greenland over the past 150 years – on skis, sleds, and now with planes and satellites, utilising every tool available to uncover the pressing secrets revealed by the ice before, thanks to climate change, it's too late.
This is a story of epic adventures, populated by a colourful cast of scientists racing to get a handle on what will become of Greenland's ice and, ultimately, the world.
Jon Gertner is a journalist, historian and feature writer for The New York Times Magazine. His first book, The Idea Factory (Penguin, 2012) was a New York Times bestseller and described as 'riveting' by the New York Times, 'fascinating' by Slate, and 'compelling' by the Wall Street Journal.
"Penetrating and engrossing [...] a captivating, essential book to add to the necessarily burgeoning literature on global warming."
– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Deeply engrossing and enlightening"
– Booklist (starred review)
"The Ice at the End of the World is a masterpiece of reportage and storytelling. What Gertner has found on Greenland's remote glaciers is a harrowing tale of extremity and survival, as well as a harbinger of our own precarious future here on earth. Equal parts science, adventure, and history, this important book is a revelation, one that lingered for me long after turning the last page."
– Michael Paterniti, author of The Telling Room
"Jon Gertner guides us on a perilous and fascinating journey to the remote island that lies at the epicenter of our understanding of climate change. With compelling prose and lucid scientific explanation, he tracks the explorers and scientists who, over two centuries, have tried to fathom the immensity and mysteries of Greenland's inland ice. Both enlightening and disturbing, The Ice at the End of the World takes us on a gripping adventure into the thawing heart of global warming."
– Peter Stark, author of Astoria
"Isolated, vast and capped by some three quadrillion tonnes of ice, Greenland has long been a magnet for exploration. It is now one of Earth's biggest laboratories for climate-change research. Historian Jon Gertner's assured chronicle traces that dual narrative. [...]"
– Barbara Kiser, Nature 571(7766), July 2019