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The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science, and a Race to Save the World

The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science, and a Race to Save the World


Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on October 1, 2019


Permafrost--dark, ice-flaked, permanently frozen ground that lies under tundra and boreal forests across our northern regions--covers more than 12 percent of the earth’s land mass. It exists in places that seem otherworldly and unimaginably remote to most of us, but the changes taking place in the permafrost layer may ultimately affect the lives of every person on Earth.

In The Big Thaw, readers meet a diverse team of scientists and students who have been studying the permafrost and what lies beneath: a vast store of ancient carbon, more than four times the quantity found in all of today’s forests, which is releasing carbon dioxide and methane as the permafrost thaws. The release of all this carbon would alter Earth’s climate forever. Braving endless hordes of mosquitoes, quicksand, and extreme temperatures, the researchers are racing against the clock to educate us all about the changes we must make in order to preserve Earth’s carbon balance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680512472
Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 10.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

Eric Scigliano has written for National Geographic, New Scientist, Discover, Harper’s, Technology Review, The New York Times, and many other national publications. He lives in Seattle.

Dr. Robert Max Holmes is deputy director and senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts. He lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Dr. Susan Natali is an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. She lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

John Schade is a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and the Education Coordinator for the Polaris Project. He currently lives in East Falmouth, Massachusetts. Learn more at

Chris Linder is a professional photographer, filmmaker, and lecturer, with a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Chris lives in Potomac, Maryland. Visit him on Facebook and Instagram @chrislinderphoto