Antarctica is the most alien place on the planet, the only part of the earth where humans could never survive unaided. Out of our fascination with it have come many books, most of which focus on only one aspect of its unique strangeness. None has managed to capture the whole story—until now. Drawing on her broad travels across the continent, in Antarctica Gabrielle Walker weaves all the significant threads of life on the vast ice sheet into an intricate tapestry, illuminating what it really feels like to be there and why it draws so many different kinds of people. With her we witness cutting-edge science experiments, visit the South Pole, lodge with American, Italian, and French researchers, drive snowdozers, drill ice cores, and listen for the message Antarctica is sending us about our future in an age of global warming. This is a thrilling trip to the farthest reaches of earth by one of the best science writers working today.
Gavin Francis fulfilled a lifetime's ambition when he spent fourteen months as the basecamp doctor at Halley, a profoundly isolated British research station on the Caird Coast of Antarctica. So remote, it is said to be easier to evacuate a casualty from the International Space Station than it is to bring someone out of Halley in winter. Antarctica offered a year of unparalleled silence and solitude, with few distractions and a very little human history, but also a rare opportunity to live among emperor penguins, the only species truly at home in he Antarctic. Following Penguins throughout the year -- from a summer of perpetual sunshine to months of winter darkness -- Gavin Francis explores the world of great beauty conjured from the simplest of elements, the hardship of living at 50 c below zero and the unexpected comfort that the penguin community bring. Empire Antarctica is the story of one man and his fascination with the world's loneliest continent, as well as the emperor penguins who weather the winter with him. Combining an evocative narrative with a sublime sensitivity to the natural world, this is travel writing at its very best
Author: Nicholas Johnson
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Welcome to Big Dead Place, a grunt's eye view of America's Antarctic Program that shatters the well-worn cliches of polar literature. Here the heroic camaraderie and romantic desolation give way to sterile buildings populated by characters like a ...
Author: Sara Wheeler
Publisher: Modern Library
Release Date: 2014-10-01
It is the coldest, windiest, driest place on earth, an icy desert of unearthly beauty and stubborn impenetrability. For centuries, Antarctica has captured the imagination of our greatest scientists and explorers, lingering in the spirit long after their return. Shackleton called it "the last great journey"; for Apsley Cherry-Garrard it was the worst journey in the world. This is a book about the call of the wild and the response of the spirit to a country that exists perhaps most vividly in the mind. Sara Wheeler spent seven months in Antarctica, living with its scientists and dreamers. No book is more true to the spirit of that continent--beguiling, enchanted and vast beyond the furthest reaches of our imagination. Chosen by Beryl Bainbridge and John Major as one of the best books of the year, recommended by the editors of Entertainment Weekly and the Chicago Tribune, one of the Seattle Times's top ten travel books of the year, Terra Incognita is a classic of polar literature.
Author: James McClintock
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2012-09-18
The bitter cold and three months a year without sunlight make Antarctica virtually uninhabitable for humans. Yet a world of extraordinary wildlife persists in these harsh conditions, including leopard seals, giant squid, 50-foot algae, sea spiders, coral, multicolored sea stars, and giant predatory worms. Now, as temperatures rise, this fragile ecosystem is under attack. In this closely observed account, one of the world's foremost experts on Antarctica gives us a highly original and distinctive look at a world that we're losing.
Author: David Day
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2013-01-24
For centuries it was suspected that there must be an undiscovered continent in the southern hemisphere. But explorers failed to find one. On his second voyage to the Pacific, Captain Cook sailed further south than any of his rivals but still failed to sight land. It was not until 1820 that the continent's frozen coast was finally sighted. Territorial rivalry intensified in the 1840s when British, American, and French expeditions sailed south to chart further portions of the continent that had come to be called Antarctica. For the nearly two centuries since, the race to claim exclusive possession of Antarctica has gripped the imagination of the world. Antarctica: A Biography is the first ever major international history of this forbidding continent - from the eighteenth century voyages of discovery to the fierce rivalries of today, as governments, scientists, environmentalists, and oil companies compete for control. On one level it is the story of explorers battling the elements in the most hostile place on earth as they strive for personal triumph, commercial gain, and national glory. On a deeper level, it is the story of nations seeking to incorporate the Antarctic into their own national stories - and to claim its frozen wastes as their own.
A photographic call-to-action on the environmental dangers being posed to Antarctica features lavish images showcasing the stark natural beauty of its icebergs, glaciers, and wildlife, in a volume that shares provocative concerns about global warming and includes an accompanying DVD of interviews with environmental scientists and activists.
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Release Date: 2010-07-21
The award-winning author of the Mars trilogy takes readers to the last pure wilderness on Earth in this powerful and majestic novel. “Antarctica may well be the best novel of the best ecological novelist around.”—Locus It is a stark and inhospitable place, where the landscape itself poses a challenge to survival, yet its strange, silent beauty has long fascinated scientists and adventurers. Now Antarctica faces an uncertain future. The international treaty which protects the continent is about to dissolve, clearing the way for Antarctica’s resources to be plundered, its eerie beauty to be savaged. As politicians wrangle over its fate, major corporations begin probing for its hidden riches. Adventurers come, as they have for more than a century, seeking the wild, untamed land even as they endanger it with their ever-growing numbers. And radical environmentalists carry out a covert campaign of sabotage to reclaim the land from those who would destroy it for profit. All who come here have their own agenda, and all will fight to ensure their vision of the future for the remote and awe-inspiring world at the South Pole. Praise for Antarctica “Forbidding yet fascinating, like the continent it describes . . . echoes Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air.”—People “[Antarctica] should be included in any short-list of books about the frozen continent.... Compelling characters...a rich and dense story...Robinson has succeeded not only in drawing human characters but also in bringing Antarctica to life. Whatever happens in the outer world, Antarctica—both the book and the continent—will become part of the reader's interior landscape.”—The Washington Post Book World “The epic of Antarctica. This is the James A. Michener novel of the South Pole. If the meaty one-word title didn’t give it away, the writing would. The whole human history of the continent is here.”—Interzone “Antarctica will take your breath away.”—Associated Press “A gripping tale of adventure on the ice.”—Publishers Weekly “Passionate, informed...vastly entertaining.”—Kirkus Reviews “Robinson writes about geography and geology with the intensity and unhurried attention to detail of a John McPhee.”—The New York Times Book Review
We don’t just live in the air; we live because of it. It’s the most miraculous substance on earth, responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets: • A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds. • A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads. • An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door. • A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer. • A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before he’s proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Antarctica is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Get up close and personal with the local penguin populations, cruise the picture-perfect Lemaire Channel, or pay a visit to Ernest Shackleton's eerily preserved hut, all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Antarctica and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Antarctica Travel Guide: Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, landscapes, wildlife, environment Covers the South Pole, the Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Ice Shelf, Lemaire Channel, Deception Island, Cuverville Island, Cape Royds, Cape Denison, Cape Evans, Port Lockroy, Paradise Harbor, and more eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones) Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews Add notes to personalise your guidebook experience Seamlessly flip between pages Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash Embedded links to recommendations' websites Zoom-in maps and images Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing About Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world's number one travel guidebook brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, we've printed over 145 million guidebooks and phrasebooks for 120 languages, and grown a dedicated, passionate global community of travellers. You'll also find our content online, and in mobile apps, video, 14 languages, 12 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks, and more, enabling you to explore every day. Lonely Planet enables the curious to experience the world fully and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves, near or far from home. TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)
In 2016, scientist Rosaly Lopes and artist Michael Carroll teamed up as fellows of the National Science Foundation to travel to Mount Erebus, the world’s southernmost active volcano in Antarctica. The logistics of getting there and complex operations of Antarctica's McMurdo Station echo the kinds of strategies that future explorers will undertake as they set up settlements on Mars and beyond. This exciting popular-level book explores the arduous environment of Antarctica and how it is similar to other icy worlds in the Solar System. The bulk of this story delves into Antarctica’s infrastructure, exploration, and remote camps, culminating on the summit of Erebus. There, the authors explored the caves and ice towers on the volcano’s flanks, taking photographs and generating original art depicting scenes in Antarctica and terrestrial analogs on other planets and moons. Readers will see an intimate side of Mount Erebus and Antarctica while surveying the region’s history, exploration, geology, and volcanology, which includes research funded by the National Science Foundation’s United States Antarctic Programs. Richly illustrated with photographs and stunning paintings showcasing the beauty of the harsh continent, the book captures the spirit and splendor of the authors’ journey to Erebus.
Author: Larson, Edward John Larson
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Published to coincide with the centenary of the first expeditions to reach the South Pole, "An Empire of Ice" presents a fascinating new take on Antarctic exploration. Retold with added information, it's the first book to place the famed voyages of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, his British rivals Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton, and others in a larger scientific, social, and geopolitical context. Efficient, well prepared, and focused solely on the goal of getting to his destination and back, Amundsen has earned his place in history as the first to reach the South Pole. Scott, meanwhile, has been reduced in the public mind to a dashing incompetent who stands for little more than relentless perseverance in the face of inevitable defeat. "An Empire of Ice" offers a new perspective on the Antarctic expeditions of the early twentieth century by looking at the British efforts for what they actually were: massive scientific enterprises in which reaching the South Pole was but a spectacular sideshow. By focusing on the larger purpose, Edward Larson deepens our appreciation of the explorers' achievements, shares little-known stories, and shows what the Heroic Age of Antarctic discovery was really about.
Did the Earth once undergo a super ice age, one that froze the entire planet? A global adventure story and a fascinating account of scientist Paul Hoffman's quest to prove his maverick 'Snowball Earth' theory, this is science writing at its most gripping. In SNOWBALL EARTH, Gabrielle Walker takes us on a thrilling natural history expedition in search of supporting evidence for the audacious theory which argues that the Earth experienced a climatic cataclysm 600 million years ago that froze the entire planet from the poles to the equator. Because the global snowball happened so long ago the ice has now long gone - but it left its traces in rocks around the world and in order to see the evidence, Walker visited such places as Australia, Namibia, South Africa and Death Valley, USA. Part adventure story and part travel book, it's a tale of the ultimate human endeavour to understand our origins.
A luminous and revelatory journey into the science of life and the depths of the human experience By turns epic and intimate, Telling Our Way to the Sea is both a staggering revelation of unraveling ecosystems and a profound meditation on our changing relationships with nature—and with one another. When the biologists Aaron Hirsh and Veronica Volny, along with their friend Graham Burnett, a historian of science, lead twelve college students to a remote fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, they come upon a bay of dazzling beauty and richness. But as the group pursues various threads of investigation—ecological and evolutionary studies of the sea, the desert, and their various species of animals and plants; the stories of local villagers; the journals of conquistadors and explorers—they recognize that the bay, spectacular and pristine though it seems, is but a ghost of what it once was. Life in the Sea of Cortez, they realize, has been reshaped by complex human ideas and decisions—the laws and economics of fishing, property, and water; the dreams of developers and the fantasies of tourists seeking the wild; even efforts to retrieve species from the brink of extinction—all of which have caused dramatic upheavals in the ecosystem. It is a painful realization, but the students discover a way forward. After weathering a hurricane and encountering a rare whale in its wake, they come to see that the bay's best chance of recovery may in fact reside in our own human stories, which can weave a compelling memory of the place. Glimpsing the intricate and ever-shifting web of human connections with the Sea of Cortez, the students comprehend anew their own place in the natural world—suspended between past and future, teetering between abundance and loss. The redemption in their difficult realization is that as they find their places in a profoundly altered environment, they also recognize their roles in the path ahead, and ultimately come to see one another, and themselves, in a new light. In Telling Our Way to the Sea, Hirsh's voice resounds with compassionate humanity, capturing the complex beauty of both the marine world he explores and the people he explores it with. Vibrantly alive with sensitivity and nuance, Telling Our Way to the Sea transcends its genre to become literature.