Tag Archive for: glaciers

Ice River Book Cover

 

The story of one woman’s passion for glaciers. High up in the Alps, Andes and Himalaya, the glaciers are retreating. In Antarctica, thinning ice sheets are releasing meltwater into sensitive food webs, perhaps unlocking huge quantities of methane stored beneath them. The potential consequences for humanity are catastrophic.

Professor Jemma Wadham, one of the world’s leading glaciologists, guides us around the globe and the importance of ice to ecosystems and human life becomes clear. This is a memoir like no other: an eyewitness account from the frontline of the climate crisis and a love letter to glaciers.

Ice Rivers is a remarkable book. For those of us who have had the privilege of scrambling across glaciers around the world, this work will bring back sharp memories of their otherworldly beauty. For those who haven’t, this is the perfect introduction into a crucial and vanishing part of our planet. Jemma Wadham works to understand, to bear witness, and to protect – it’s hard to imagine a more fully human undertaking.’ – Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature.



It’s tomorrow and the Arctic summer sea ice has completely melted. The long-sought sea route between Asia and Europe is finally open – and while nations strategise for control, private corporate powers are already taking it. The new Arctic has no protection – and business has no scruples.

This is the story of Sean Cawson, an ambitious and wounded man, who reunites with his oldest friend, conservationist Tom Harding, to fuse their goals. One wants to own the Arctic, the other, to save it. Bonded in the past through their love of this unique place, and their fascination with polar heroes, they are going to embody a new way to profit from doing good. When Tom is killed in the accident that Sean survives, although their venture goes on to thrive, Sean’s inner world starts to crumble like the glacier that killed his friend. Three years later when Tom’s body is found and a date for the inquest is set, he knows this is not closure. A story of friendship and betrayal, greed and love, The Ice weaves archival material from centuries past, with the latest research on developments in the Arctic Ocean.

 

Read more of our Climate Classics: timeless works exploring themes of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Zeno Hintermeier is a scientist working as a travel guide on an Antarctic cruise ship, encouraging the wealthy to marvel at the least explored continent and to open their eyes to its rapid degradation. It is a troubling turn in the life of an idealistic glaciologist.

Now in his early sixties, Zeno bewails the loss of his beloved glaciers, the disintegration of his marriage, and the foundering of his increasingly irrelevant career.

Troubled in conscience and goaded by the smug complacency of the passengers in his charge, he starts to plan a desperate gesture that will send a wake-up call to an overheating world. The Lamentations of Zeno is an extraordinary evocation of the fragile and majestic wonders to be found at a far corner of the globe, written by a novelist who is a renowned travel writer.

Poignant and playful, the novel recalls the experimentation of high-modernist fiction without compromising a limpid sense of place or the pace of its narrative.

It is a portrait of a man in extremis, a haunting and at times irreverent tale that approaches the greatest challenge of our age – perhaps of our entire history as a species – from an impassioned human angle.

 

Read our Librarian’s top climate change fiction picks by heading to our Fiction section