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The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey Into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Greenland: a remote, mysterious island five times the size of California but with a population of just 56,000. The ice sheet that covers it is 700 miles wide and 1,500 miles long, and is composed of nearly three quadrillion tons of ice. For the last 150 years, explorers and scientists have sought to understand Greenland--at first hoping that it would serve as a gateway to ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Random House
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4.23  · 
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 ·  111 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Vicky Hunt
A Microcosm of Glaciology: And The Politics That Pay

The book that needed to be written; The Ice at the End of the World is that book that briefly surveys the history of Greenland’s exploration, and the work that is done in those research stations we know exist, but know little about. I have read a large number of books written by and about polar explorers and expeditions. But, I have not yet found good books on what is happening in those research stations and in the field of glaciology. In the f
Susan Paxton
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an important book. Deniers argue that climate change is a recent and invented or, conversely, a "natural" phenomenon. Jon Gertner spent several years working on this book to prove that the current climate change is none of those things, but in fact has been evident for many decades and is human-caused. The arena he selected for his tale is Greenland, the world's largest island, covered in a sheet of ice that is in places several thousands of feet thick, and his method is looking closely ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an advance reader copy of Jon Gertner’s The Ice at the End of the World, in uncorrected proof ebook, provided to me by Penguin / Random House through netgalley, in return for promising to write an honest review. The book is scheduled for release on June 11, 2019. Jon Gertner is an American writer, the author of The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation (2012), which I have not yet read, and a longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine.

The book first fol
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this fascinating and important book, beautifully written by New York Times bestselling author and long-time friend Jon Gertner. After finishing it, I had a real understanding of not only Greenland's past (including jaw-dropping accounts of exploration) but also Greenland's current and future impact on our world. A must-read book!
Kaitlyn Joy
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, 2019-books
I received an Advanced Review Copy of The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland’s Buried Past and Our Perilous Future by Jon Gertner from the publisher Random House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What It’s About: A history of glacierology, with scientific fact interluded in.

I'll be honest, I really didn't love this. I'm a scientist but know nothing about Glaciers and Greenland and so was excited to see the implications of global warming but I really fou
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book. The first half follows the early explorers of Greenland. The author provides vivid detail and conveys their hardship in a way that makes you really see them out on the ice without a tree or another human being for hundreds (thousands?) of miles. The second half dives into what scientists are up to on the Greenland ice sheet. This was a great read, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in climate change and the history of arctic exploration.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I give The Ice at the End of the World by Jon Gertner 4 stars, or in this case 4. I found the first half so fascinating, I loved the explorations and learning about Greenlandic culture and landscape. The second half, the science part was harder to follow and much more in depth than I am interested in. All in all, I loved reading a book about Greenland and want to learn more about the culture and history now.
Tonstant Weader
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Ice at the End of the World is a history of the exploration of Greenland’s massive ice sheet and the scientific research conducted there. There are many articles and books about climate change and rising sea levels linked to the melting ice of Greenland, but Jon Gertner takes a different approach. He goes back to the beginning to the first explorers and the kinds of research findings they brought back. This puts the research that alarms many today into a context of historical inquiry and fac ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A timely & exciting read. Being interested in Polar Explorers; Gertner does a great job bringing the Greenland Explorations to life!

Having done chemical analysis / carbon dating the description of the Ice Core Analysis and Climate Change was brilliant.

A key take away was that while we can continue to do more analysis... we really know the direction that the Antarctic and Greenland Ice is heading too already.

A must read if you are interested in science, chemistry, polar explorations and cli
Charles Fried
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you want an excellent introduction to climate change this is the book. There are great stories of the early explorers of Greenland, as well as recent scientific expeditions. This book is suitable for both scientists and non-scientists, full of anecdotes, and people, and stories, as well as scientific material clearly and simply explained. This is a frightening book. It scares me that we have climate change deniers, dangerous idiots, running our country. They should be required to read this bo ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about the history of Greenland from its discovery and exploration to its modern status as a repository of Earth's climatic history via deep ice core drilling. Also a very sobering look at our planet's possible future.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book topic is high in my interest range. However, I found it extremely dull. DNF. I would love for a Robert Caro or Stephen Ambrose type of author to have written this ...someone who can tell a story, rather than write a textbook.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, science
This was a great science history of Greenland. Gertner covers the European time of discovery - landing on the island, crossing the ice sea and the movement into the modern science of glaciology. it was easy to follow.
Bad timing for me, recovering from food poisoning and thought climate change would be an interesting topic, I was instantly at odds with the book as it discusses the historical explorations and slaughter of animals... My stomach was not up for the butchery and spent too much time skimming.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I found the history in the first half a little slow but still very engaging.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Great read, A fascinating account of the early European explorers of the Arctic and the uncertain future of the climate of the region.
Bob Peru
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
great science writing.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this book off Goodreads. Very interesting. Lots of information. Awesome book. Highly recommend. Thank you.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-reads
It was a good read.
Deborah McMillan
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For a nonfiction book, it is very readable weaving the stories with the technical aspects and highlighting the impending crisis of global warming. I highly recommend reading this book.
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-new
Amy Wels
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book on the history of exploration and the current relevance of Greenland. Fascinating accounts of the first European explorers who crossed the middle of the country in spite of the harshest conditions on the planet. The earliest climatologists collected and measured the environment and weather patterns, which are invaluable to the research of today. Discusses the military history and the evidence of our current state of extreme climate change. I would have enjoyed further information ...more
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(From his website)

I’m a book author and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and I tend to describe myself as both a journalist and historian. In addition to the Sunday Magazine, my writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Wired, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Technology Review and Fast Company. Usually I write about science, nature,