The Atlas of Disappearing Places: Our Coasts and Oceans in the Climate Crisis

New Pr. Jul. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781620974568. $29.99. NAT HIST
Writer and textile artist Conklin and climate scientist Psaros (co-creator of the King Tides Project to document sea level rise) collaborate in this book illustrating the impact of global climate change. They provide 20 case studies of imperiled locations around the world, from the United States to China to Peru to Bangladesh. The book is divided into four sections that introduce readers to four principal impacts of climate change: changing oceanic chemistry, devastating weather events, warming waters, and rising seas. Within each case study, the authors provide definitions for the particular climate change concepts being demonstrated. Each case study is complemented by maps that Conklin created, using sea lettuce and water-soluble inks as her media. Conklin’s extremely fragile maps are superimposed with Google Earth images for a truly distinctive flourish in each chapter. The chapters each end with a look toward the future; these are mostly optimistic outlooks for how we might mitigate climate change by the year 2050, with short and long-term solutions that we start employing today.
VERDICT While the case studies themselves are fairly discouraging, the beautiful maps and hopeful vignettes about the future temper this important book about climate change in our world.
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