Join us on Tuesday, February 4th, in welcoming Eric Scigliano, the author of The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science and A Race to Save the World, a newly published book from Braided River, the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books. In The Big Thaw, you'll meet scientists and students who have been studying the permafrost and what it contains: a vast store of ancient carbon, more than four times the quantity found in all of today's forests, a ticking carbon bomb releasing carbon dioxide and methane as the permafrost thaws.
Permafrost--dark, ice-flaked, permanently frozen ground that lies under tundra and boreal forests across our northern regions--covers more than 12 percent of the earth's land mass. It exists in places that seem otherworldly and unimaginably remote to most of us, but the changes taking place in the permafrost layer may ultimately affect the lives of every person on Earth.
In The Big Thaw, readers meet a diverse team of scientists and students who have been studying the permafrost and what lies beneath: a vast store of ancient carbon, more than four times the quantity found in all of today's forests, which is releasing carbon dioxide and methane as the permafrost thaws. The release of all this carbon would alter Earth's climate forever. Braving endless hordes of mosquitoes, quicksand, and extreme temperatures, the researchers are racing against the clock to educate us all about the changes we must make in order to preserve Earth's carbon balance.
ERIC SCIGLIANO is a journalist and author with a longtime interest in climate change, the Arctic, and the alarming intersection between the two. Scigliano is the author of Michelangelo’s Mountain and Seeing the Elephant: The Ties That Bind Elephants and Humans and coauthor, with Curtis Ebbesmeyer, of Flotsametrics and the Floating World. His writing has been featured in four photo books including, most recently, The Wild Edge: Freedom to Roam the Pacific Coast, from Braided River. His work has won Livingston and American Association for the Advancement of Science awards and has been included in Best American Science Writing.