Bright, sharp nature photos and a special focus on ice-based ecosystems set this survey apart from the usual run of assignment titles on glaciers and the polar regions.
Returning continually to the dangerous effects of global warming, the authors describe changes in climate conditions at both poles and explain how those changes affect glaciers and icebergs. Wilson and León go on to introduce threatened or officially endangered life forms that live in those habitats. These range from algae and the glacier flea (“Each night it freezes, hard as a popsicle, to the surface ice until warmer daytime temperatures free it”) to polar bears and penguins. With side glances at Mount Kilimanjaro and the Swiss Alps, the photos capture Arctic foxes in both winter and summer coats, penguins and puffins at their most photogenic, glaciers rolling grandly down to sea and luminous views of sunlit icebergs and a glacial ice cave. Bulleted facts at the end reinforce the message; leads to eco-activist organizations provide readers motivated by it with means to get involved.
An updated and more melodramatically titled version of a 1994 title, it sounds warnings that have grown all the more immediate. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)