A FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020One of the least-known places on the planet, the only continent on earth with no indigenous population, Antarctica is a world apart. From a leading cartographer with the British Antarctic Survey, this new collection of maps and data reveals Antarctica as we have never seen it before. This is not just a book of traditional maps.
It measures everything from the thickness of ice beneath our feet to the direction of ice flows. It maps volcanic lakes, mountain ranges the size of the Alps and gorges longer than the Grand Canyon, all hidden beneath the ice. It shows us how air bubbles trapped in ice tell us what the earth's atmosphere was like 750,000 years ago, proving the effects of greenhouse gases.
Colonies of emperor penguins abound around the coastline, and the journeys of individual seals around the continent and down to the sea bed in search of food have been intricately tracked and mapped. Twenty-nine nations have research stations in Antarctica and their unique architecture is laid out here, along with the challenges of surviving in Antarctica'sunforgiving environment. Antarctica is also the frontier of our fight against climate change.
If its ice melts, it will swamp almost every coastal city in the world. Antarctic Atlas illustrates the harsh beauty and magic of this mysterious continent, and shows how, far from being abstract, it has direct relevance to us all.