Henry N Pollack, the author of A World Without Ice was the contributing author to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, was a professor of geophysics at the University of Michigan for more than forty years and now serves as a science adviser to Al Gore’s Climate Project training programs.
The book attempts to show that it’s not difficult to envisage a world without ice, and how the relationship between humankind and ice is at a dangerous turning point. Ice is the direct source of drinking and agricultural ware for more that 25% of the earth’s population, and the possibility of “climate refugees” in places like New York, London and Japan is a distinctly real one.
It feels, perhaps deliberately, old-fashioned. I love a book with maps, black and white drawings in, and quotes at the start of each chapter. It makes the reading seem more enjoyable and “real” for some reason. The author explains why ice is such a great indicator (or barometer) of climate change and why changes have such a big impact in the world of ice, and beyond.
The historical context into which facts and arguments were presented was most interesting to me, particularly the early chapter on Arctic tourism. Each chapter has numerous sub-headings throughout that nicely break up the text for easier reading.
I actually found the background, history and factual information around ice more interesting than the later parts about the impact humans are having. Again, perhaps this was deliberate, it made ice seem much more important, and even wondrous, before telling us of what will happen if it keeps declining. A very interesting read overall though, worth a look.