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About the book
  • Published: 15 January 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099534129
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $22.99
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Ice Bear

A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear




A fascinating, up-close look at virtually everything interesting, important, or culturally relevant about the birth, life, and death of the polar bear.

The polar bear is one of the most recognisable animals on the planet. Yet if global warming continues at its present pace, summer sea ice could disappear entirely from the Arctic Ocean by the year 2040. Polar bears could be extinct within a generation.

Ice Bear is the definitive account of an iconic species: its life, its past, and its uncertain future. These beautiful bears are creatures of paradox: Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool. Officially classed as marine mammals, they are the world’s largest land carnivores. They begin life in a snowdrift; at birth they weigh just twenty ounces. Fully grown, they become massive predators that can walk almost silently, ten feet in length and close to 2,000 pounds. Wandering thousands of miles over the course of a year, they are, above all, creatures of the ice. Without sea ice and the life it supports, polar bears cannot survive.

Kieran Mulvaney is an expert on the Polar regions who has led three expeditions to the Arctic as well as Project Thin Ice 2006: Save the Polar Bear - the successful first attempt to reach the North Pole in summer and draw attention to the impact of climate change on polar bears. This book blends natural and human history, myth and reality with scientific and personal observation, to tell the story of these remarkable animals, the region in which they dwell, and the rapid changes overtaking planet Earth.

  • Pub date: 15 January 2012
  • ISBN: 9780099534129
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Kieran Mulvaney

Kieran Mulvaney is the author of At the Ends of the Earth: A History of the Polar Regions and The Whaling Season: An Inside Account of the Struggle To Stop Commercial Whaling. He was born in the UK, in Weston-super-Mare, but now lives in Virginia in the US. (Houghton Mifflin is his US publisher). He has travelled extensively in the Arctic and Antarctic, and has written for such outlets as New Scientist, BBC Wildlife, the Washington Post Magazine and the Guardian. He blogs regularly at the 'Earth Pub', Discovery Channel's Global Science Blog, and is also a boxing correspondent for Reuters.


Praise for Ice Bear

“The excellent book - a blend of natural history and personal reflection - is full of profound observations about one of the world's most telegenic yet threatened mammals”

BBC History Magazine

“Ice Bear joins the dots of this unfolding drama at the top of the world, showing why polar bears are much more than majestic and charming adornments to the planet.”

Daily Mail

“Kieran Mulvaney has written numerous polar-related book and in this one he sheds some light on this odd animal, concentrating on two bears living around Hudson Bay in Canada and following them from their charming infancy through to full adulthood. On the way there is much to be learnt.”

Daily Telegraph

“The excellent book - a blend of natural history and personal reflection - is full of profound observations about one of the world's most telegenic yet threatened mammals”

BBC History Magazine


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