The Hidden Life of Ice: Dispatches from a Disappearing World

Experiment. Aug. 2020. 160p. ISBN 9781615196999. $19.95. NAT HIST
Tedesco (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia Univ.) shares a day in his life as he and colleagues investigate climate change in Greenland. Along with coauthor and journalist d’Arcais, Tedesco shares his experiences working in the endless summer sun on the harsh, but beautiful Greenland ice sheets and the difficulties inherent in polar expeditions, even in the summer. Tedesco describes his team’s fieldwork experiences, from gathering ground data to validating satellite data to seeing a collapsing lake to uncovering the microscopic life found in cryoconite holes. Woven among these events are the author’s musing about everything from Greenland history to polar expeditions. He also explores how the increased melting of polar ice can spell disaster for numerous coastal cities and ocean life. A foreword by Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction) is a bonus.
VERDICT A beautifully descriptive, lyrical love letter to Greenland that brings to life what it is like to work as a field scientist, from the daily hardships to the excitement of discovery. Readers who enjoy memoirs of field scientists, especially those set in polar areas like My Penguin Year by Lindsay McCrae, will relish this book.

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