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The White Planet:
The Evolution and Future of Our Frozen World
Jean Jouzel, Claude Lorius & Dominique Raynaud

Book Description | Reviews
Preface [in PDF format]

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Preface xi

PART ONE THE WORLD OF ICE: PAST AND PRESENT 1

Chapter 1 The Ice on Our Planet 3

  • Snow and Ice: A Multifaceted World 3
  • Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps 5
  • Polar Regions: The Omnipresence of the White Planet 7
  • Greenland, Antarctica, and Ice Shelves 10
  • Ice: An Agent and Indicator of Climate Change 14
  • The White Planet and Sea Levels 16

Chapter 2 From Exploration to Scientific Observation 18

  • The Flow of Mountain Glaciers 19
  • Mass Balance: The Health of a Glacier 21
  • The Arctic Ocean in the Time of the Explorers 23
  • The Arctic Ocean: Vulnerable Ice 25
  • Greenland: An Island Inhabited for Millennia 28
  • Greenland: An Increasingly Negative Mass Balance 28
  • Antarctica: A Much More Recent Exploration 31
  • Antarctica: A Long Uncertain Mass Balance 34

Chapter 3 Ice through the Ages 37

  • The Time of the Pioneers 37
  • Ice of Long Ago 40
  • Glaciations of the Quaternary and Astronomic Theory 46

PART TWO POLAR ICE: AMAZING ARCHIVES 51

Chapter 4 Reconstructing the Climates of the Past 53

  • The Round of Isotopes 54
  • Going Back in Time 57
  • The Recent Period 57
  • The Distant Past 60
  • Paleoceanography 61
  • Continental Archives 62
  • Dating Oceanic and Continental Archives 64
  • A Cornucopia of Results 66

Chapter 5 Glacial Archives 68

  • The Long Story of a Snowflake 68
  • The Ice and Its Isotopes: A Paleothermometer 70
  • Impurities with Multiple Sources 71
  • Air Bubbles in the Ice: A Very Beautiful Story 73
  • The Headaches of Dating 77

Chapter 6 The Campaigns 82

  • Camps Century and Byrd: The First Deep Ice Core Drillings 82
  • Fifty Years Ago: The French on the Polar Ice 86
  • The First Drilling at Dôme C: Success of the French Team 88
  • Rapid Climate Variations: Initial Inklings 91
  • Vostok: A Collaboration between French and Soviet Teams 92
  • Europe and the United States: Two Drilling Operations in the Center of Greenland 96
  • Europe Turns to Antarctica 98
  • Vostok: More than 3,600 Meters of Ice 101
  • Other Core Drilling in Antarctica 103
  • The Glaciers of the Andes and the Himalaya 105
  • A Return to Greenland 106
  • The European EPICA Drilling: A Double Success beyond All Hopes 108

Chapter 7 Vostok: The Cornucopia 110

  • A Complete Glacial-Interglacial Cycle 112
  • Climate and Greenhouse Effect Go Hand in Hand 113
  • Much More Information 118
  • A Huge Lake under the Ice 120

Chapter 8 Dôme C: 800,000 Years and the Revolution of the Rhythm of Glaciations 122

  • Ice Older than That at Vostok 123
  • Inversion of the Magnetic Field 126

Chapter 9 Rapid Climatic Variations 130

  • The First Indications 130
  • Increasingly Clear Indications 132
  • A Connection with Ocean Circulation? 133
  • Confirmation 134
  • Rapid Events during a Warm Period? 139
  • Initially Underestimated Changes in Temperature 142
  • The Connection with the Ocean Henceforth Demonstrated 143
  • Consequences on a Planetary Scale 147

Chapter 10 The Last 10,000 Years: An Almost Stable Climate 149

  • Volcanism and Solar Activity: Natural Climatic Forcings 150
  • How Long Has Human Activity Been Changing the Composition of the Atmosphere? 152

PART THREE THE WHITE PLANET TOMORROW157

Chapter 11 The Climate and Greenhouse Gases 159

  • The Greenhouse Effect: A Truly Beneficial Natural Phenomenon 159
  • The Greenhouse Effect Due to Human Activity: A Slow Awareness 163
  • How Did We Get to This Point? 168

Chapter 12 Have Humans Already Changed the Climate? 173

  • The Time of the Pioneers 173
  • The Awareness 174
  • The Establishment of the IPCC 177
  • The Problem of Aerosols 180
  • The Climate in the Last Millennium 183
  • Warming Is a Certainty 185
  • The Arguments of Skeptics 189
  • The White Planet on the Front Lines of Global Warming 195

Chapter 13 What Will the Climate Be in the Future? 201

  • A True Upheaval if We Aren't Careful 202
  • What Will Become of Our Glaciers? 206
  • An Arctic Ocean without Ice? 209
  • Surprises under the Frozen Ground 210
  • A More Rapid and Higher Sea-Level Rise than Predicted 211
  • The Halt of the Gulf Stream 214

Chapter 14 A Warming with Multiple Consequences 218

  • A True Upheaval on a Global Scale 218
  • Mountain Regions 222
  • Polar Regions: Multiple and Diverse Impacts 223
  • The Political and Economic Stakes: Climate and Oil 225

Chapter 15 What We Must Do 227

  • Stabilizing the Greenhouse Effect: A True Challenge 228
  • The Kyoto Protocol: A First Step 230
  • The Bali Conference 234
  • Can the Challenge Be Met? 236
  • Copenhagen: Failure or Half-Success 238
  • A Necessary Adaptation 241
  • The "Grenelle de l'environnement" 242

PART FOUR THE POLES AND THE PLANET 245

Chapter 16 The Crucial Place of Research 247

  • A Short History of the Polar Years 249
  • The International Polar Year 2007-2009 251
  • Glacial Ice Coring: Ambitious Objectives 253
  • The Microbiology of Ice and Subglacial Lakes: Life in an Extreme Environment 255
  • Concordia: A Station Full of Promise 258

Chapter 17 Humans and the Rise of Pollution 261

  • The Story of Lead 262
  • Other Heavy Metals, Including Copper 264
  • Sulfates 266
  • Radioactivity 268
  • The Ozone Hole: An Emblematic Pollution 269
  • The Anthropocene and Greenhouse Gases 271

Conclusion: The Anthropocene Era 272
Notes 277
Selected Bibliography 289
Index 291

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File created: 4/17/2014

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