Secrets of the Ice Antarctica's Clues to Climate, the Universe, and the Limits of Life Veronika Meduna

Publication date:
09 Oct 2012
Yale University Press
232 pages: 248 x 200 x 25mm
158 color + 5 b-w illus; 3 maps
Sales territories:
World excluding Australia and New Zealand

Sweeping research on the frozen continent of Antarctica is yielding insights of global importance.

Antarctica is the only continent without permanent human habitation, yet it may hold the key to our survival. More than just a frontier for exploration, Antarctica is now understood to be a crucial part of a global climate and environment. Each year hundreds of scientists travel to the bottom of the world to investigate the climate, examine the continent's hardy life forms, and seek answers to far-reaching questions about the universe. Veronika Meduna has accompanied some of them on their expeditions, and in this engaging book she tells their stories and explains their dramatic discoveries.

In remote field camps and icy laboratories on the frozen continent, geologists and glaciologists learn about past temperatures and levels of greenhouse gases, and about the implications of today's climate change for the future. Some scientists study migration patterns of emperor penguins as others focus on the antifreeze inside endemic fish species. Still others investigate the microbial "masters of survival" that may help to reveal how life evolved on Earth and what it may look like on other planets. In compelling, everyday language, Meduna provides a firsthand view of the wide range of scientific activity in Antarctica today along with fascinating portraits of the intrepid men and women conducting it. More than 150 stunning color photographs complete this arresting book.

Veronika Meduna, one of New Zealand's best-known science journalists, is a producer and presenter for Radio New Zealand's weekly science and environment program. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

'Beautifully put together, with pictures that are both familiar and original… About her coverage of the science, Meduna is a science broadcaster and it shows. She discusses a wide range of disciplines, from ice physics and marine biology through to macrobiology… This book is lyrical and comprehensive and includes excellent descriptions of the environment, animals, science and people working there… If you’re looking for a book to inspire someone to visit and carry out research in Antarctica, you’ve found it.' Mark Brandon, Geographical