By Bill Streever
From avalanches to glaciers, from seals to snowflakes, and from Shackleton's day trip to "The 12 months with no Summer," invoice Streever trips via background, delusion, geography, and ecology in a year-long look for cold--real, icy, 40-below chilly. In July he reveals it whereas taking a dip in a 35-degree Arctic swimming gap; in September whereas excavating our planet's old and never so old ice a while; and in October whereas exploring hibernation conduct in animals, from people to wooden frogs to bears.
A scientist whose ardour for chilly runs pink sizzling, Streever is a wondrous advisor: he conjures woolly big carcasses and the ice-age Clovis tribe from melting glaciers, and he conjures up blizzards so wild readers may perhaps freeze--limb by means of vicarious limb.
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Extra resources for Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places
Warmth makes the molecules in a substance move faster. They dance around, bumping into one another. As the temperature increases, they dance faster, and when they bump into one another, they push harder. They need more space. A cooler temperature means slower movement, softer collisions, and less space. This holds true for water, but only to thirty-nine degrees. After that, the water molecules start to line up. The water thickens. Hydrogen atoms in one molecule attract oxygen atoms in others. The process of crystallization begins.
Water drains from the waders into the boat. I tell him about the book I am writing. I tell him of my five-minute bath in the Beaufort Sea. He has this to say: “You should do a book called Warmth. ” I ask. And then it occurs to me: fire walking. Some polar explorers stayed warm. Part of their secret was clothing. Richard Byrd, famous for a failed attempt to fly over the North Pole and for a successful flight over the South Pole, spent many months in Antarctica. It was during a Byrd expedition to Antarctica that Paul Siple hung his water-filled cylinders in the breeze and worked out the principles of windchill.
I stand in a weed-choked lot just outside Fairbanks, Alaska, one hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle. It is close to sixty degrees. A giant air conditioner drowns out the noise of traffic, wind, and birds. In front of me, built into the side of a hill, is a shed, painted brownish red, a color marketed as redwood but looking entirely unnatural here among the spruce trees. A door leads into the shed and from there into the hillside itself. S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s to test tunneling equipment.
Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever