Out of the Ice: How Climate Change is Revealing the Past by Clair Eamer & Drew Shannon (Illustrator)

I read a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book presents an overview of the kinds of artifacts that are coming to light as climate change causes a melting of the earth’s cryosphere. It’s organized around specific sections. The first four chapters deal with ice patches. The second section includes three chapters about glaciers. The four chapters in the third section deal with permafrost and finally there is a chapter about the cryosphere in general. 

Here's the goodreads blurb:

"As climate change is warming our planet, the ice in Earth's cryosphere is melting --- from glaciers to mountaintop patches to permafrost. An unexpected result of this melting has been the discovery of artifacts that were long preserved in the ice's depths. Tools, clothing and, perhaps most remarkable, human bodies have been revealed at the edges the retreating ice. Examining these discoveries, along with traces of plants and animals also melting out of the ice, is the work of researchers in a brand-new scientific field called glacial archaeology. This one-of-a-kind introduction to the work of these researchers examines some of the fascinating artifacts that have been uncovered and the insights they provide into how our ancestors lived. It also describes the urgency of this work; as soon as these clues to the past become exposed to the elements, they begin to disintegrate."

The layout is pleasing. Information on each page is accompanied by illustrations and photographs. Most of these have captions that explain what is happening. The illustrations give the reader a sense of what the world was like at the time the discovered artifacts were created.

There are sidebars with additional data. The back matter contains a glossary, an index, a timeline, and a list of where to go for further information.

I sure wish this book had been around when I working with a group of classrooms doing research on aspects of the hydrosphere. I would have purchased at least one copy. This book will be an invaluable resource in Elementary schools in all kinds of ways. Budding archeologists and anthropologists will be fascinated. So too will young meteorologists and hydrologists. Who doesn't want to read about ancient hunters and their tools, learn about mummies, and ancient rituals? It’s a fun and informative read for all of us.

However, I have one significant criticism of this book. While it does discuss how rapidly major aspects of the cryosphere are melting, at no point does it address the implications for how devastating this is going to be.

Let's face it - it's not going to be, "Oh goody! Look at what we can learn as all this ice melts." 

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