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  • 10 b/w illus. 185 colour illus. 10 maps 10 tables
  • Page extent: 352 pages
  • Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Weight: 0.93 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 559.89
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: G860 .A5575 2013
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Antarctica--Discovery and exploration

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9781107003927)

Cambridge University Press
9781107003927 - Antarctica - Global Science from a Frozen Continent - Edited by David W. H. Walton

Antarctica: Global Science from a Frozen Continent

Antarctica is the coldest and driest continent on Earth – a place for adventure and a key area for global science. Research conducted in this extreme environment has received increasing international attention in recent years due to concerns over destruction of the ozone layer above it and the problems of global warming and rising sea levels. Data collected in the Antarctic now informs a wide range of scientific fields. A record of the globe’s climate is locked up in its deep snow and ice while, as part of the early supercontinent Gondwana, its rocks have much to teach us about the geological history of the Earth. A diversity of unique plants and animals abound in Antarctic waters and the clear skies overhead allow astronomers to probe the outer reaches of the Universe.

Governed internationally since 1959, the Antarctic is also an object lesson in collaboration between nations. This dramatically illustrated new book brings together an international group of leading Antarctic scientists to explain why the Antarctic is so central to understanding the history and potential fate of our planet. It introduces the beauty of the world’s greatest wilderness, its remarkable attributes, and the global importance of the international science done there.

Spanning topics from marine biology to space science, this book is an accessible overview for anyone interested in the Antarctic and its science and governance. It provides a valuable summary for those involved in polar management and development of new research programmes, and is an inspiration for the next generation of Antarctic researchers.

‘I am privileged to have visited Antarctica twice, as Chief Executive of the UK Natural Environment Research Council. It was wonderful to have the work being done at the British Antarctic Survey’s base at Rothera explained to me personally by some of the world’s leading Antarctic scientists. When I retired I hugely missed these “personal tutorials”, but here is the answer! A book packed with the most up-to-date information about the history, geology, biology, the changing climate, human physiology, oceanography, and the space-science and politics of Antarctica, edited and written by world experts but accessible to anybody interested in this wonderful frozen continent. And above all, it explains why Antarctica is so fundamental to the scientific understanding of the future of Planet Earth.’

- Professor Sir John Lawton CBE FRS, last chair of the Royal Commission on Environment Pollution

‘This is an excellent review of key multidisciplinary collaborative research and geopolitics in Antarctica involving more than 30 countries, addressing global issues in climate, oceans, biodiversity, solar system, tourism and more. Of importance to contemporary society, it is a valued compendium.’

- Dr Alan K. Cooper, Consulting Professor, Stanford University and recipient of the second SCAR medal for International Scientific Coordination

‘Antarctica is a conundrum. It is distant, yet it will shape our children's future; it is mysterious, yet a treasure trove for science; it is the focus of calculated geopolitical interest, yet the exemplar of “world governance”. In this well-presented and readable book, the world's leading experts on Antarctic science showcase why the uninhabited seventh continent is central to the present and future of human interests and wellbeing.’

- Professor Chris Rapley CBE, University College London; former Director of British Antarctic Survey and former President of SCAR

Image not available in HTML versionProfessor David Walton began work in 1967 with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). He is now an Emeritus Fellow at BAS, publishing papers and books on many aspects of Antarctica. Professor Walton represented the international Antarctic scientific community at Antarctic Treaty Meetings for 14 years and was awarded the first SCAR medal for International Scientific Coordination. He was also awarded a Polar Medal by the Queen. The author of more than 100 scientific papers, and more than 250 reviews, popular articles and reports, he has also written and edited several books and has been the editor in chief of the international journal Antarctic Science for the last 25 years.


Global Science from a Frozen Continent

Edited by

David W. H. Walton

British Antarctic Survey

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Mexico City

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Cambridge University Press 2013

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2013

Printed and bound by Grafos SA, Arte sobre papel, Barcelona, Spain

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data

Antarctica : global science from a frozen continent / edited by David W. H. Walton.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 978-1-107-00392-7 (Hardback)
1. Antarctica–Discovery and exploration. I. Walton, D. W. H.
G860.A5575 2013

ISBN 978-1-107-00392-7 Hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


List of contributors
David W. H. Walton
1             Discovering the unknown continent
David W. H. Walton
2             A keystone in a changing world
Bryan Storey
3             Ice with everything
Valérie Masson-Delmotte
4             Climate of extremes
John J. Cassano
5             Stormy and icy seas
Eberhard Fahrbach
6             Life in a cold environment
Peter Convey, Angelika Brandt and Steve Nicol
7             Space science research from Antarctica
Louis J. Lanzerotti and Allan T. Weatherwax
8             Living and working in the cold
Lou Sanson
9             Scientists together in the cold
Colin P. Summerhayes
10            Managing the frozen commons
Olav Orheim
11            Antarctica: a global change perspective
Alan Rodger
Appendix A    Visiting Antarctica
Appendix B    Further reading


Professor Angelika Brandt is Professor of Zoology at the University of Hamburg and Director of the Zoological Museum. Her research focuses on systematics, evolution, ecology, biogeography and biodiversity of peracarid crustaceans in the deep sea, especially in the polar regions. Named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2007, Angelika has been a driving force in the international Census of Marine Life and is the author of over 100 papers.

Associate Professor John Cassano teaches and researches in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, and is a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado. He uses observations from autonomous observing systems and computer models of the atmosphere to study the weather and climate of the polar regions. He has spent ten field seasons in Antarctica since 1994 and is the author of three books and 60 scientific papers.

Professor Peter Convey a terrestrial ecologist with British Antarctic Survey for 24 years, has authored over 200 publications on polar biology. Active in the development of international Antarctic science through the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, he is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and a Visiting Professor at the University of Malaya. He is an advisory editor for the journals Global Change Biology and BMC Ecology.

Dr Eberhard Fahrbach studied physics in Heidelberg and physical oceanography at Kiel University, initially working on wave structure off Sierra Leone. His PhD in 1984 was on the heat budget of the equatorial Atlantic. In 1986 he moved to the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research where he has studied the role of the Antarctic and Arctic Oceans in the climate system, leading many cruises to the polar oceans. He was awarded the Georg Wüst Prize in 2007 for his outstanding contribution to oceanography.

Professor Louis J. Lanzerotti now retired from the Bell Laboratories Lucent Technologies, is currently Distinguished Research Professor of Physics, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark. He has extensive research experience in the Antarctic and with spacecraft instruments, all concerned with studies of the Earth’s space environment. He is a Fellow of several professional societies and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics.

Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte is a senior scientist and head of a research group at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l’Environnement (LSCE), France, using natural archives to investigate past climate dynamics. She analyses ice cores and tree rings to quantify past changes in both climate and the water cycle on various time scales (centuries, glacial–interglacial cycles and abrupt events), together with climate models to understand these changes. She has published over 120 papers and books on climate change.

Dr Stephen Nicol worked at the Australian Antarctic Division for 24 years, first heading the krill research, then as a Program Leader for Southern Ocean Ecosystem Studies. A member of the Australian delegation to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) from 1987–2010, much of his research has been directed towards marine conservation. Now an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, he has published widely and has visited Antarctica several times. He was awarded the Australian Antarctic Medal in 2011.

Dr Olav Orheim is a glaciologist with over 80 research publications. Head of Antarctic Research at the Norwegian Polar Institute 1972–93 he served as Director 1993–2005. A member of Norwegian delegations to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings for three decades, he was elected as the first Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, 1998–2002, and Chair of the Legal and Institutional Working Group, 2005–09. He is presently Chair of the Board of several Norwegian institutions, including the polar ship Fram Museum in Oslo.

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After a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Manchester, Professor Alan Rodger wintered in the Antarctic in the early 1970s as an electronics technician with the British Antarctic Survey. His career evolved into a research scientist focussing on upper atmospheric physics. He now leads the interdisciplinary research programmes at BAS and provides advice to the government on climate change in the polar regions. He is Visiting Professor at Manchester.
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Lou Sanson is Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand and responsible for the New Zealand Antarctic Programme. He has served on the executive of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs. His career has been in environmental management with oversight of significant environmental projects such as the establishment of New Zealand’s Subantarctic World Heritage Area, Stewart Island National Park, the ANDRILL sedimentary drilling project in Antarctica and New Zealand’s role in the International Polar Year.

Bryan Storey became Professor of Antarctic Studies and the first Director of Gateway Antarctica, the Centre for Antarctic Studies and Research at the University of Canterbury, in 2000. Prior to this he spent 24 years with the British Antarctic Survey leading and developing research programmes on the geological evolution of Gondwana. He was awarded a Polar Medal in 1987 for his outstanding achievements in Antarctic research. He has authored over 120 scientific papers.

Dr Colin Summerhayes a marine geochemist, is an Emeritus Associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) of Cambridge University. He has worked in academia, government and industry (BP and EXXON), while living in the UK, New Zealand, the USA, South Africa and France. He has published 8 books and 230 research papers and other articles. He is the immediate Past President of the Society for Underwater Technology, and a Vice President of the Geological Society of London.

Allan Weatherwax is Professor of Physics and Dean of the School of Science at Siena College, in Loudonville, New York. He directs ground-based experiments in Antarctica, Canada and Greenland that explore the Earth’s upper atmosphere and co-directs the satellite mission Firefly that will explore gamma rays produced by lightning discharges. He serves on numerous national and international committees and is a member of the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

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