Life on Surtsey

Life on Surtsey

Iceland's Upstart Island

Book - 2017
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"In this addition to the Scientists in the Field series, readers join scientists as they tackle something unusual in the world of ecosystems: colonization. Not a colonization by people, but one of cells, seeds, spores, and other life forms that blow in, fly in, float in, and struggle to survive on the beautiful but harsh new island of Surtsey."-- Provided by publisher.
On November 14, 1963, something exceptional happened in Iceland - and that's saying a lot.. In a country where the average summer temperature is 50°F and the sun only appears for a few hours a day during the winter, an event has to be pretty unusual to stand out. The birth of the island of Surtsey, the newest earth on Earth, was just that. On that November day, a volcano fifteen miles offshore exploded under the sea, nearly six thousand years after the most recent eruption in the area. What resulted was a brand-new island of ash and rock (and, a few years later, lava) named for Surt, the Icelandic god of fire. Almost immediately, scientists recognized Surtsey for what it was: not a pile of desolate rock, but a rare opportunity to observe the way life takes hold on sterile land. As the early Surtsey explorer Sigurder Thorarinsson put it: "When, how, from where, and in what order does life invade such an island?" More than fifty years later, Icelandic scientists are still answering these questions. In her newest Scientists in the Field book, Loree Griffin Burns joins the entomologist Erling Ólafsson on one of his yearly expeditions to Surtsey, where since 1970 he has studied the arrival and survival of insects. Along with a small group of colleagues, Erling observes the island's flora and fauna, records changes, and collects samples to bring back to the mainland for further study. Visit by visit, record by record, Surtsey's passionate scientists are uncovering the process of change that can transform a lump of lava into a thriving island ecosystem. Join the expedition to see just how demanding conditions on Surtsey can be, what it's like to live and work while making the smallest impact possible, and the passion that sustains scientists working in one of the strangest - and youngest - places on Earth. -- from dust jacket.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780544687233
054468723X
Branch Call Number: 577.52 BUR J
Characteristics: 73 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), color map ; 24 x 29 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Burns chronicles the fascinating birth and evolution of Surtsey, the youngest island on Earth, and one researcher’s almost 50 year study of the environs.


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