3. Book of the Month - Watermelon Snow: Science, Art, and a Lone Polar Bear
Watermelon Snow is the name given to snow that turns reddish from a species of algae that live on the snow. Unfortunately, this algae causes the snow to absorb more heat, resulting in faster melting times, and is accelerating the rate of glacier loss.
If you've done any hiking at elevation in recent years, 'watermelon snow' might be something you've come across before. I remember seeing this strange phenomenon for the first time at Wedgemount Lake.
As Professor of Molecular Biology at Simon Fraser University, Author Lynn Quarmby took to researching climate-threatened microbiome living on the surface of alpine summer snow. During this time, Quarmby fell into a state of deep concern over the fate of our planet.
"Concern about the climate crisis is widespread as humans struggle to navigate life in uncertain times. From the vantage of a schooner full of artists on an adventure in the high Arctic, biologist Lynne Quarmby explains the science that convinced her of an urgent need to act on climate change and recounts how this knowledge - and the fear and panic it elicited - plunged her into unsustainable action, ending in arrests, lawsuits, and a failed electoral campaign on behalf of the Green Party of Canada.
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Watermelon Snow weaves memoir, microbiology, and artistic antics together with descriptions of a sublime Arctic landscape. At the top of the warming world, Quarmby struggles with burnout and grief while an aerial artist twirls high in the ship's rigging, bearded seals sing mournfully, polar bears prowl, and glaciers crumble into the sea. In a compelling narrative, sorrow and fear are balanced by beauty and wonder."
Learn more about the book here.