Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1620409887

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A new edition of the book that launched Elizabeth Kolbert's career as an environmental writer--updated with three new chapters and timed to publish with the paperback of her bestselling The Sixth Extinction.











programmed to respond to day length the same way their parents did, even if they find themselves living under very different conditions. (One of the walk-in-freezer-like rooms in the Bradshaw-Holzapfel Lab contains locker-size storage units, each equipped with a timer and a fluorescent bulb, where mosquito larvae can be raised under any imaginable schedule of lightness and dark.) In the mid-1970s, Bradshaw and Holzapfel demonstrated that Wyeomyia smithii living at different elevations also obey

million years ago, the earth, which had been warm and relatively ice-free, started to cool down until it entered an era—the Pleistocene—of recurring glaciations. DeMenocal has argued that this transition was a key even tin human evolution: right around the time that it occurred, at least two types of hominids—one of which would eventually give rise to modern man—branched off from a single ancestral line. Until quite recently, paleoclimatologists like deMenocal rarely bothered with anything much

disconsolately, then unlocked a door at the back of the room. The door led to a second room, much larger than the first. It was setup like a library, except that instead of books the shelves were stacked with hundreds of cardboard boxes. Each box contained fragments of broken pottery from Tell Leilan. Some were painted, others were incised with intricate designs, and still others were barely distinguishable from pebbles. Every fragment had been inscribed with a number, indicating its provenance.

had much the same cause and, according to Romanovsky, was likely to have the same result. “Another disappearing island,” he said, gesturing toward some freshly exposed bluffs. “It’s moving very, very fast.” On September 18, 1997, the Des Groseilliers, a three-hundred-and-eighteen-foot-long icebreaker with a bright-red hull, set out from the town of Tuktoyaktuk, on the Beaufort Sea, and headed north under overcast skies. Normally, the Des Groseilliers, which is based in Qùbec City, is used by the

interaction of solar radiation with sea ice.” During the Des Groseilliers expedition, Perovich spent most of his time monitoring conditions on the floe using a device known as a spectroradiometer. Facing toward the sun, a spectroradiometer measures incident light, and facing toward earth, it measures reflected light. By dividing the latter by the former, you get a quantity known as albedo. (The term comes from the Latin word for “whiteness.”) During April and May, when conditions on the floe were

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