A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic (Peter Wadhams)


Peter Wadhams is one of the world’s leading experts on sea ice. He has studied sea ice since the 1970s and has undertaken more than 50 expeditions to both polar regions. This allows him to bring a wealth of scientific and personal experience to his latest book. “A Farewell to Ice” starts with explaining basics such as the formation of sea ice, climate cycles and the greenhouse effect. Based on ice cores a regular climatic pattern of ice ages and warm periods can be reconstructed throughout the last millions of years. However, humanity is disrupting this stable pattern by its uncontrolled emission of greenhouse gases. In the course of the book Wadhams explains how climate feedback causes Arctic ice to disappear in a so-called death spiral. He describes the global climate effects triggered by disappearing ice and the consequences of a catastrophic methane release due to melting marine permafrost. Moreover, Wadhams addresses the question of how global warming will affect our everyday lives from rising food prices and fuel shortages to social unrests. The last part of the book is dedicated to what we can do as individuals, but also what needs to happen on national and international scale to mitigate the consequences of or even find technical solutions for manmade climate change. “A Farewell to Ice” is a scientifically sound book about the history as well as the current (and future) situation of sea ice on our planet. It leaves the reader upset, but well informed about the state of our planet’s climate and provides useful ammunition for those arguing for more urgent action on climate change.

Further reading:
Global impacts of rapidly disappearing Arctic sea ice (https://e360.yale.edu/features/as_arctic_ocean_ice_disappears_global_climate_impacts_intensify_wadhams)

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