Ending in Ice
The Revolutionary Idea and Tragic Expedition of Alfred WegenerBook - 2006
An old truism holds that a scientific discovery has three stages: first, people deny it is true; then they deny it is important; finally, they credit the wrong person. Alfred Wegener's "discovery" of continental drift went through each stage with unusual drama. In 1915, when he published histheory that the world's continents had once come together in a single landmass before splitting apart and drifting to their current positions, the world's geologists denied and scorned it. The scientific establishment's rejection of continental drift and plate tectonic theory is a story told oftenand well. Yet, there is an untold side to Wegener's life: he and his famous father-in-law, Wladimir Koppen (a climatologist whose classification of climates is still in use), became fascinated with climates of the geologic past. In the early 20th century Wegener made four expeditions to thethen-uncharted Greenland icecap to gather data about climate variations (Greenland ice-core sampling continues to this day). Ending in Ice is about Wegener's explorations of Greenland, blending the science of ice ages and Wegener's continental drift measurements with the story of Wegener's fatalexpedition trying to bring desperately needed food and fuel to workers at the central Greenland ice station of Eismitte in 1930. Arctic exploration books with tragic endings have become all too common, but this book combines Wegener's fatal adventures in Greenland with the relevant science--now moreimportant than ever as global climate change becomes movie-worthy ("The Day After Tomorrow").
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
Characteristics: ix, 194 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.