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Articles by Elizabeth Grossman

Elizabeth Grossman is the author of Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry, High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, Watershed: The Undamming of America, and other books. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Scientific American, Salon, The Washington Post, The Nation, Mother Jones, Grist, and the Huffington Post. Chasing Molecules was chosen by Booklist as one of the Top 10 Science & Technology Books of 2009 and won a 2010 Gold Nautilus Award for investigative journalism.

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In late November, I began a three-week stay on the CCGS Amundsen, a Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaker and scientific research vessel that is spending 15 months in the Arctic. This expedition will be the first ever to spend the winter moving through sea ice north of the Arctic Circle — and at present, I am the only reporter on board. The logistics of such an expedition are extremely difficult. But we are here now because it is so important to predict the effects of climate change in the Arctic.

Press Play to watch with narration by the author, or use the arrow keys on the right to advance through without sound.

Photos© Elizabeth Grossman

As I write, the ship is grinding forward. The sound of breaking ice roars just beyond the porthole of my compact little berth on the lowest deck in the bow of the ship. It’s like being in the scoop of a snowplow.

Ten international science teams rotating in groups of about 20 — altogether over 200 scientists from 15 different countries — are taking part in this expedition, making it the largest International Polar Year project in the ... Read more

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  • Made to Break reveals the roots of our throwaway culture

    What could be more American than reaching for something new? The U.S. is, after all, a nation founded on the rejection of tradition and a profound belief in invention. This urge has given us more than two centuries of powerful technology, but has also made Americans the world’s most voracious consumers. The propensity to buy, […]