Philip Conkling

Philip Conkling is Founder and President of the Island Institute in Maine. Richard Alley, a glaciologist, is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and Associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State.

  • The Fate of Greenland

    The Fate of Greenland

    Lessons from Abrupt Climate Change

    Philip Conkling, Richard Alley, Wallace Broecker, and George Denton

    Experts discuss how Greenland's warming climate—seen in its melting ice sheets and retreating glaciers—could affect the rest of the world.

    Viewed from above, Greenland offers an endless vista of whiteness interrupted only by scattered ponds of azure-colored melt water. Ninety percent of Greenland is covered by ice; its ice sheet, the largest outside Antarctica, stretches almost 1,000 miles from north to south and 600 miles from east to west. But this stark view of ice and snow is changing—and changing rapidly. Greenland's ice sheet is melting; the dazzling, photogenic display of icebergs breaking off Greenland's rapidly melting glaciers has become a tourist attraction. The Fate of Greenland documents Greenland's warming with dramatic color photographs and investigates episodes in Greenland's climate history for clues about what happens when climate change is abrupt rather than gradual.

    Greenland's climate past and present could presage our climate future. Abrupt climate change would be cataclysmic: the melting of Greenland's ice shelf would cause sea levels to rise twenty-four feet worldwide; lower Manhattan would be underwater and Florida's coastline would recede to Orlando. The planet appears to be in a period of acute climate instability, exacerbated by carbon dioxide we pour into the atmosphere. As this book makes clear, it is in all of our interests to pay attention to Greenland.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £25.00
    • Paperback $9.75 £7.99
  • From Cape Cod to the Bay of Fundy

    From Cape Cod to the Bay of Fundy

    An Environmental Atlas of the Gulf of Maine

    Philip Conkling

    Images of the earth's surface have been around for years, but it is only recently that scientists have begun to take advantage of new data generated by the explosion of remote sensing equipment to address a variety of technical questions in many different fields. This Atlas presents breathtaking full-color images of the region to reveal and interpret environmental patterns and problems. The illustrations are interwoven with commentary on the area's ecology, geology, and oceanography, giving readers an understanding of the link between their own backyard and the interdependent set of systems that make up one of the most distinctive regions on earth. The Gulf of Maine is an almost-enclosed sea bounded by an international watershed; shaped by volcanoes, glaciation, and other geologic forces; rich in marine resources; diverse in terrestrial systems; occupied by indigenous peoples for nearly 10,000 years; and now used intensively by fishermen, foresters, and tourists. A different aspect of this multi-faceted region is discussed in each chapter. Yet it is the stunning satellite images and aerial photographs that set the Atlas apart. With pinpoint clarity, the images demonstrate how these increasingly powerful sensing tools may be utilized to view and interpret elements of the natural environment and ultimately, to help rectify problems. In the carefully coordinated narrative essays, authors from across the region address issues raised by the images, for example: how much clear cutting is going on and what its effects are on other parts of the ecosystem; how well marine fisheries are managing to prevent overfishing; the effect of pollutant loadings in nearshore estuaries; and how seaweeds contribute to the lobster harvest.

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $7.75 £5.99