ANTARCTICA

WARNINGS FROM THE ICE THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS THAT CLIMATE CHANGE WILL BE GRADUAL AND MODERATE. BUT WHAT IF IT IS SUDDEN AND EXTREME? A FROZEN WILDERNESS MAY HOLD THE ANSWER

Through blind physics, the Antarctic can confer on a dead seal the splendor of an Arthurian burial rite. A corpse will become frozen beneath some floating ice, then rise slowly to the top as ice forms below and evaporates above. Once on the surface, the body insulates the underlying ice from the sun, causing it to form a pedestal as the surrounding ice recedes. Eventually, the ice breaks up, and the seal, mummified by the dry, cold climate, drifts out to sea. As layers of warm and cold air bend light and play tricks on the eye, it can appear that...

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