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The Earth Without Glaciers

Jorge Daniel Taillant



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Oxford University Press
18 May 2022
We hear about pieces of ice the size of continents breaking off of Antarctica, rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas, and ice sheets in the Arctic crumbling to the sea, but does it really matter? Will melting glaciers change our lives? Absolutely.

Glaciers are built and destroyed during ice ages and interglacial periods. These massive ice bodies hold three quarters of our freshwater, yet we don't have laws to protect them from climate change. When they melt, they increase sea levels, alter the Earth's reflectivity, wreak havoc for ocean and air currents, destabilize global ecosystems, warm our climate, and bring on floods that swamp millions of acres of coastal land. The critical ecological role they play to keep our global climate stable, and the environmental functions they provide, wither. And, as climate change warms glacier cores, collapsing glacier ice triggers tsunamis that send deadly massive ice blocks, rocks, earth, and billions of liters of water rushing down mountain valleys. It has happened before in the Himalayas, the Central Andes, the Rockies and Western Cascades, and the European Alps, and it will happen again.

In his new book Meltdown, Jorge Daniel Taillant takes readers deeper into the cryosphere, connecting the dots between climate change, glacier melt, and the impacts that receding glacier ice brings to livability on Earth, to our environments, and to our communities. Taillant walks us through the little-known realm of the periglacial environment, a world of invisible subsurface rock glaciers that will outlive exposed glaciers as climate change destroys surface ice. He also looks at actions that can help stop climate change and save glaciers, exploring how society, politics, and our leaders have responded to address the global COVID-19 pandemic and yet largely continue to fail to address the even largerDLlooming and escalatingDLcrisis of climate change.

Our climate is deteriorating at a drastic rate, and it's happening right in front of us. Meltdown is about glaciers and their unfolding demise during one of the most critical moments of our planet's geological history. If we can reconsider glaciers in a whole new light and understand the critical role they play in our own sustainability, we may be able to save the cryosphere.
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 243mm,  Width: 164mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   580g
ISBN:   9780190080327
ISBN 10:   0190080329
Pages:   296
Publication Date:  
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction Chapter 1: And Then There Was Ice Chapter 2: The Rising Seas Chapter 3: Do You Drink Glacier Water? Probably Chapter 4: Glaciers are White, the Ocean is Blue, the Earth is Warming, and So are You! Chapter 5: A Thawing Earth Chapter 6: Run! The Mountain is Coming! Chapter 7: Ocean Currents, Jet Streams, and Polar Bears Chapter 8: Invisible Glaciers... Will They Save Us? Chapter 9: A Race to Save Everything Chapter 10: Why for COVID but Not for Climate? Bibliography About the Author Index

Jorge Daniel Taillant is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights and Environment. Born in Argentina, raised in California, and now living in Florida, he has lived and worked around the world to promote sustainability and social justice. Taillant was key to getting the first glacier protection law passed in 2010, and he has developed educational materials about glaciers for children and adults. He is the author of numerous publications on the impacts of mining on glaciers, including his most recent book Glaciers: The Politics of Ice (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Reviews for Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers

This book is well written, enjoyable, and creative. Jorge Daniel Taillant brings a more light-hearted view to glaciers while recognizing and discussing the key issues in an understandable way. * Eugenie S. Euskirchen, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks * Melting glaciers are the primary cause of the rising sea level. Few people are as familiar with this topic as Jorge Daniel Taillant. In Meltdown, he brings glaciers to life. Taillant takes us on a very personal discovery of the disappearing world of glaciers, warning the world of the risks and encouraging their protection. He brings an important perspective that should be read and heeded. * John Englander, oceanographer and author of Moving to Higher Ground: Rising Sea Level and the Path Forward *

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