The White Planet: The Evolution and Future of Our Frozen World

By Jean Jouzel; Claude Lorius et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
From Exploration to Scientific Observation

In the eighteenth century, the way in which an educated man perceived our white planet was quite different from that which has just been presented. Of course, people knew about the existence of mountain glaciers and eternal snows that covered the highest peaks, but no geographer imagined that the amount of snow could fluctuate over time. The Arctic—at least its peripheral regions—was not a completely virgin land since native peoples lived there, but no chronicle mentions anyone reaching the North Pole or traveling across all of Greenland. As for Antarctica, that continent was terra incognita. On January 17, 1773, James Cook became the first person to cross the polar circle, declaring upon his return from what was then his second expedition: “I went around the austral hemisphere, following a high latitude, and ran along it in order to irrefutably prove that no continent exists, unless it [the continent] is close to the pole and out of reach of the sailors.”

Certain zones in the center of Antarctica remain largely unexplored to this day, but our knowledge of these polar regions has increased enormously in recent times. Their geography and topography keep very few secrets in this era of satellites, but progress has also reached more intimate aspects of the evolution of various components of the white planet: the flow and mass balance of mountain glaciers, polar ice caps, and ice sheets; the conditions prevailing at their base; the thickness and processes of formation of the ice shelf and permafrost; and so forth. We cannot resist the pleasure of including a few anecdotes about (and mentioning some names among those who became known through) the discovery then the exploration of these extreme regions. However, it is above all the scientific aspects of the explorations, the methods of observation used by researchers, and a few notable results that should be emphasized. We will leave aside for the moment one of the questions that quite naturally comes to mind: Does the recent evolution of the

-18-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The White Planet: The Evolution and Future of Our Frozen World
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 306

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.