The New York Times
Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Placesby Bill Streever
From avalanches to glaciers, from seals to snowflakes, and from Shackleton's expedition to "The Year Without Summer," Bill Streever journeys through history, myth, geography, and ecology in a year-long search for cold--real, icy, 40-below cold. In July he finds it while taking a dip in a 35-degree Arctic swimming hole; in September while excavating our planet's… See more details below
From avalanches to glaciers, from seals to snowflakes, and from Shackleton's expedition to "The Year Without Summer," Bill Streever journeys through history, myth, geography, and ecology in a year-long search for cold--real, icy, 40-below cold. In July he finds it while taking a dip in a 35-degree Arctic swimming hole; in September while excavating our planet's ancient and not so ancient ice ages; and in October while exploring hibernation habits in animals, from humans to wood frogs to bears.
A scientist whose passion for cold runs red hot, Streever is a wondrous guide: he conjures woolly mammoth carcasses and the ice-age Clovis tribe from melting glaciers, and he evokes blizzards so wild readers may freeze--limb by vicarious limb.
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The New York Times Book Review
Cold weather systems the earth needs to thrive is the subject of Streever's well-documented book, using all of the author's expertise from his field trips to the world's most frigid environments. Streever, who chairs the North Slope Science Initiative's Science Technical Advisory Panel, writes of the frostiest experience: "We fail to see cold for what it is: the absence of heat, the slowing of molecular motion, a sensation, a perception, a driving force." Rather than giving the reader a dry, academic lecture on snow, glaciers, wind-chill factors and icebergs, he delivers a poetic, anecdotal narrative complete with polar expeditions, Ice Age mysteries, igloos, permafrost and hailstorms. Two of the most fascinating segments are the arduous task of scientific reconstruction of past climates and the magical navigation of migratory birds to warmer lands. This is a wonderful collection of one man's first-rate observations and commentary about the history and importance of cold to the earth and its occupants. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Open this book to any page and be treated to a tidbit about the cold, its effects on animals, on history, on the world. Do frogs and caterpillars actually freeze solid and then revive in spring? Have you ever heard of the School Children's Blizzard that froze cattle standing in place? What is the difference between hypothermia and frostbite? Biologist Streever explores benign cold, threatening cold, and monstrous/scary cold not only through history and science books but also in person, in Alaska and other frozen spots around the world. The author knows what he is talking about. He has worked in Arctic Alaska and chairs the Science Technical Advisory Panel of the North Slope Science Initiative. This reviewer found Streever's book more consistently enticing than Mariana Gosnell's Ice: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance. Written in a popular, accessible style, Streever's book also includes 34 pages of notes. Recommended for public libraries.
New York Times Book Review (cover review)
- Little, Brown and Company
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Meet the Author
Bill Streever chairs the North Slope Science Initiative's Science Technical Advisory Panel in Alaska and serves on many related committees, including a climate change advisory panel. A biologist, he lives with his son in Anchorage, where he hikes, bikes, camps, scuba dives, and cross country skies, as often as the weather allows.
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