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Polar Environments and Global Change
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Book description

The polar regions are the 'canary in the coal mine' of climate change: they are likely to be hit the hardest and fastest. This comprehensive textbook provides an accessible introduction to the scientific study of polar environments against a backdrop of climate change and the wider global environment. The book assembles diverse information on polar environmental characteristics in terrestrial and oceanic domains, and describes the ongoing changes in climate, the oceans, and components of the cryosphere. Recent significant changes in the polar region caused by global warming are explored: shrinking Arctic sea ice, thawing permafrost, accelerating loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets, and rising ocean temperatures. These rapidly changing conditions are discussed in the context of the paleoclimatic history of the polar regions from the Eocene to the Anthropocene. Future projections for these regions during the twenty-first century are discussed. The text is illustrated with many color figures and tables, and includes further reading lists, review questions for each chapter, and a glossary.

Reviews

'The volume effectively covers where we have been, where we are today, and where might we be in the future in terms of the environmental histories on these complex and varied landscapes and oceans that constitute our current day polar environments. It will serve as a significant contribution to Roger Barry’s legacy of his many contributions to polar climatology and paleoclimatology. This book can serve as the textbook for a senior-level course on polar environments, and it will be an invaluable source of information for a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses.'

John T. Andrews Source: Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research

'Illustrations and figures are frequent and are generally in colour and of high quality as befits a good student text. Chapters follow a user-friendly format geared towards student learning with short, two- to three page summaries at the end of each chapter along with study questions that could be used as springboards for discussion or research topics or even essay questions …Polar Environments and Global Change is a highly readable, up-to-date and useful text. It will no doubt become the mainstay of undergraduate and master’s courses on the topic as well as a valuable go-to source for myriad basic information on polar systems and their responses to changing climate. I see this well-written book being a permanent and frequently referred-to fixture on my desk for some time to come.'

Mark F. A. Furze Source: The Holocene

‘… a comprehensive overview … the text is well supported by figures (mostly in color) and tables. The references emphasize the recent work, keeping the text up-to-date, but also draw attention to seminal early work that established the basis for many of the areas of science that have become major areas of research activity today … The book is well written and it presents a coherent view of the environments of the Earth’s Polar regions, of the ways in which they are changing today’

Martin Sharp Source: Environmental Earth Sciences

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Contents

  • 7 - Oceanic Environments
    pp 269-338

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