IN Science on Ice: Four Polar Expeditions (University of Chicago Press), Seattle photojournalist and oceanographer Chris Linder offers us an over-the-shoulder glimpse as researchers seek answers in the planet’s most frigid terrains. “The scientists I know are as tough as the ships they sail on,” Linder writes. His photos show just that. Glaciologists skip improbably from floating iceberg to iceberg. A tuxedoed army of penguins engulfs biologists in Antarctica. Climatologists in the Arctic track the devastating effects of global warming while walruses stare them down as if they were bloody porterhouse steaks. But there’s a darker note to Linder’s images. The world he documents is quickly disappearing—depicted most vividly by a village increasingly unable to use its most reliable form of transportation, dog sleds. “These photographs are an eyewitness account of what we stand to lose,” the author notes, “if the march of rising temperatures continues unchecked.”

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