296 ページ
156 x 235 mm
  • Reviews and updates the latest scientific data regarding glacier melt and climate change
  • Reveals the emerging importance of the invisible periglacial environment (permafrost, rock glaciers, and more!)
  • Offers an introspective reflection on social and political responses to COVID-19 and climate change
  • Walks readers through the ways glacier melt affects society, public infrastructure, and the economy

We hear about pieces of ice the size of continents breaking off of Antarctica, rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas, and ice sheets in the Arctic crumbling to the sea, but does it really matter? Will melting glaciers change our lives? Absolutely.
Glaciers are built and destroyed during ice ages and interglacial periods. These massive ice bodies hold three quarters of our freshwater, yet we don't have laws to protect them from climate change. When they melt, they increase sea levels, alter the Earth's reflectivity, wreak havoc for ocean and air currents, destabilize global ecosystems, warm our climate, and bring on floods that swamp millions of acres of coastal land. The critical ecological role they play to keep our global climate stable, and the environmental functions they provide, wither. And, as climate change warms glacier cores, collapsing glacier ice triggers tsunamis that send deadly massive ice blocks, rocks, earth, and billions of liters of water rushing down mountain valleys. It has happened before in the Himalayas, the Central Andes, the Rockies and Western Cascades, and the European Alps, and it will happen again.
In his new book Meltdown, Jorge Daniel Taillant takes readers deeper into the cryosphere, connecting the dots between climate change, glacier melt, and the impacts that receding glacier ice brings to livability on Earth, to our environments, and to our communities. Taillant walks us through the little-known realm of the periglacial environment, a world of invisible subsurface rock glaciers that will outlive exposed glaciers as climate change destroys surface ice. He also looks at actions that can help stop climate change and save glaciers, exploring how society, politics, and our leaders have responded to address the global COVID-19 pandemic and yet largely continue to fail to address the even larger—looming and escalating—crisis of climate change.
Our climate is deteriorating at a drastic rate, and it's happening right in front of us. Meltdown is about glaciers and their unfolding demise during one of the most critical moments of our planet's geological history. If we can reconsider glaciers in a whole new light and understand the critical role they play in our own sustainability, we may be able to save the cryosphere.


Chapter 1: And Then There Was Ice
Chapter 2: The Rising Seas
Chapter 3: Do You Drink Glacier Water? Probably
Chapter 4: Glaciers are White, the Ocean is Blue, the Earth is Warming, and So are You!
Chapter 5: A Thawing Earth
Chapter 6: Run! The Mountain is Coming!
Chapter 7: Ocean Currents, Jet Streams, and Polar Bears
Chapter 8: Invisible Glaciers... Will They Save Us?
Chapter 9: A Race to Save Everything
Chapter 10: Why for COVID but Not for Climate?
About the Author


Jorge Daniel Taillant is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights and Environment. Born in Argentina, raised in California, and now living in Florida, he has lived and worked around the world to promote sustainability and social justice. Taillant was key to getting the first glacier protection law passed in 2010, and he has developed educational materials about glaciers for children and adults. He is the author of numerous publications on the impacts of mining on glaciers, including his most recent book Glaciers: The Politics of Ice (Oxford University Press, 2015).

"Melting glaciers are the primary cause of the rising sea level. Few people are as familiar with this topic as Jorge Daniel Taillant. In Meltdown, he brings glaciers to life. Taillant takes us on a very personal discovery of the disappearing world of glaciers, warning the world of the risks and encouraging their protection. He brings an important perspective that should be read and heeded." - John Englander, oceanographer and author of Moving to Higher Ground: Rising Sea Level and the Path Forward

"This book is well written, enjoyable, and creative. Jorge Daniel Taillant brings a more light-hearted view to glaciers while recognizing and discussing the key issues in an understandable way." - Eugénie S. Euskirchen, Associate Professor, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks

"Taillant masterfully takes us on a journey through the profound changes our cryosphere is suffering from climate change and how melting glaciers that are vanishing around the world will not only destroy delicate ecosystems, from oceans to coastlines and from urban environments to forests, but how they will radically change how we live on Earth in ways not yet imagined. His unique capacity to bring together media, science, politics, and society in understandable prose offers a powerful wake-up call to our deepening climate crisis." - Durwood Zaelke, President, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development