This is a book about ice and people—the impact of ice on Earth, its climate, and its human residents, as well as the reciprocal impact that people are now having on ice and the climate. With clarity and insight, geophysicist Henry Pollack paints a compelling portrait of the delicate geological balance between Earth and its ice, and shows why the current rapid loss of ice portends serious consequences in our not-so-distant future.
Whether sculpting mountains, regulating temperatures, influencing ocean currents, or defining the limits of human settlement, ice has shaped—and continues to shape—the world we live in. Over the centuries, it has posed a beautiful yet stark challenge to mariners, explorers, scientists, and others seeking to traverse and understand the far reaches of Earth, and even other planets in our solar system. In accessible and engaging prose, A World Without Ice explains why ice matters, and how we humans are dramatically changing this critical, sustaining component of our global environment.
During the past three centuries, rapid population growth and the rise of industrial economies have pushed the relationship between ice and people to a tipping point. Soon, for the first time in human history, we may live on a planet without ice. A World Without Ice answers the most urgent questions about this pending crisis, and lays out the actions we must take to avoid grave repercussions on the planet we call home.