Page 31

Birmingham Bar Association - Bulletin Fall 2017

phone unless sun spots interfered with the weekly phone calls. Of course, this all was before the internet, computers, Facebook, Twitter and the other modern social media. The phone calls were delayed by 2,400 miles of radio distance to New Zealand and then 6,500 miles of telephone cable spanning the Pacific sea floor. The delays in talking are related here..., “when the phone rang I would lift the receiver.” ‘Hi, Ferne!’ After what seemed like an eternity, I would hear her faint response. She might as well have been speaking to me down a long hollow tube with a modicum of static thrown in for good measure. The long delay between our familiar exchanges was frustrating, and on occasion, humorous. One minute we would remain silent in anticipation of the other speaking, the next minute we would trip over one another mid-sentence.” Now though he is able to communicate through internet IP phones which sit on his office desk in the laboratory or next to his bed. He can now actually carry around an IP phone much like a cell phone: As he says “times have changed indeed.” The closest this reviewer can say that he and his wife have traveled to the Antarctic would be on one trip at around the southern coast of New Zealand and on another trip to the southern tip of South America, with stops at Ushuaia, Argentina, and the Falkland Islands (around Cape Horn). Dr. Mc- Clintock now takes travel groups through Abercrombie & Kent Travel Company to the western Antarctic Peninsula. Some of these trips would include Dr. McClintock’s undergraduate honor students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham who had enrolled in his Antarctic Marine Ecology course. They would be accompanied by 200 passengers aboard the ship Minerva which mostly consisted of well healed retired professionals who travel the world over. Your reviewer admits that the Antarctic is the only continent he and his wife have not visited and this will remain a temptation for a future trip. Climate change is one the themes of this interesting book written in the first person and this review will not open the debate on climate change, though Dr. McClintock is convinced that the disappearing geography in Antarctica is the best proof for the argument for climate change. Dr. McClintock is one of the foremost experts on Antarctica and is the current endowed university Professor of Polar and Marine Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has appeared on CNN News and The Weather Channel and been quoted in National Geographic and Discover magazines as well as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and others. Dr. McClintock even has a point of land on the north side of the entrance of Explorer’s Cove on the south coast of the Ross Sea Antarctica named in honor of his research. If you are more interested in the biological aspects of the Antarctic Dr. McClintock will explain to you about plankton, king crabs (formally known in the restaurant world as spider crabs, the name was changed to something more palatable), penguins, sea butterflies, anemones, cucumbers, urchins, fingers, seals and other shellfish. The book is complete with an entire section of photographs showing calving of glaciers, a satellite image which captures the dramatic breakup of the Larson-B Ice Shelf in 2002, chinstrap penguins, and one picture of an extension of the Andes mountain chain of South America located in the vicinity of Wilhelmina Bay from the coast of the northwestern Antarctic Peninsula. It also has a very descriptive map of the entire Antarctica South Pole that will orient one to its geographical relationship to South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. As further evidence of global warming, Dr. McClintock describes the migration of king crabs on the Book Review deep sea floor of the southern ocean. “As sea water temperatures warm with rapid climate change, king crabs are no longer confined by low temperatures to the deep and may reach a point where they would emerge from the deep onto the Antarctic Shelf.” King crabs are apparently vulnerable to low temperatures and have therefore been unable to move up into the colder slope of the Antarctic but now as sea temperatures warm that is changing. Another interesting detail discussed is the fact that ants typically do not exist in the Antarctica. Dr. McClintock has discussed this with native Alabamian E.O. Wilson, the world’s authority on ants. Dr. McClintock describes it as follows, “...we have enjoyed a good laugh that the one major continent on the planet that has no ants is Antarctica, so you can imagine my delight when during a field season at Palmer Station I discovered a column of tiny ants marching across my desk. They had probably arrived with our recent shipment of fresh fruit from Chile, and, not surprisingly they disappeared the next day. But their brief appearance serves as a reminder that as climate change continues to accelerate in Antarctica, invasive species, whether coming from deep water or introduced by research and tour ships, is sure to establish themselves with greater frequency.” This reviewer cannot recommend this book too highly to you. Also, the reader should know that Dr. McClintock is available (when he is not in Antarctica) for lectures and audio-visual presentations at civic clubs. This book can be obtained at most book stores for $18.99, though the price might not be frozen by the time you get there. G Editor Robert R. Kracke Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2017 31


Birmingham Bar Association - Bulletin Fall 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above