After the Ice

Life, Death, and Geopolitics in the New Arctic

By Alun Anderson
(Smithsonian, Hardcover, 9780061579073, 304pp.)

Publication Date: December 2009

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Description

An eye-opening look at the winners and losers in the high-stakes story of Arctic transformation, from nations to natives to animals to the very landscape itself

The Arctic—like the canary in the coal mine—has reacted more quickly and dramatically to global warming than many had anticipated. Hundreds of scientists are urgently trying to predict just how the Arctic will change and how those changes will in turn affect the rest of the planet. But plenty of other people, driven by profit rather than data, are interested as well. The riches of the world’s last virgin territory have spurred the reawakening of old geopolitical rivalries. The United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, and the Danish territory of Greenland all control areas around the Arctic Ocean. We face a new era of oil rigs and drill ships, of tankers taking shortcuts from Yokohama to Rotterdam, as well as a potential fight over the Arctic’s treasures.

Alongside the winners from an open Arctic sea are the many losers, from the nomadic reindeer herders of Siberia and Scandinavia to the Inuit hunters of Alaska, Greenland, and Canada. Other creatures that rely on the vast expanses of sea ice, including seals, birds, and whales—and the ecosystems within which they live—may disappear to be replaced by different creatures.

Combining science, business, politics, and adven-ture, Alun Anderson takes the reader to the ends of the earth for what may be the last narrative portrait of this rapidly changing land of unparalleled global significance.




About the Author

Alun Anderson began his career as a research biologist and has been the editor, editor-in-chief, and publishing director of New Scientist from 1992 to 2005, during which time he successfully launched the magazine in the United States. Previously he was the Washington DC bureau chief for the science journal Nature. Anderson lives in London but spends considerable time in the United States, where he is on the board of Xconomy in Boston.




NPR
Saturday, Jan 16, 2010

Former editor-in-chief of New Scientist magazine predicts that the killer whale will usurp the polar bear as the king of the Arctic by the year 2050. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

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