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Articles by Ysabelle Kempe

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You probably know the headlines well. A “doomsday glacier” in Antarctica is “melting faster” than predicted; the Greenland ice sheet is on the “brink of a major tipping point.” But what about the lives of the scientists behind the research? The ones who spend grueling months living on glaciers in sub-zero temperatures, eating frozen cans of beans and collecting tubes of ice melt to study?

Those stories are rarely told, partly because it’s not seen as professional for academics to make details about their personal lives public, according to Jemma Wadham, a glaciologist from the United Kingdom. The University of Bristol professor decided to break that unspoken rule in her first book, Ice Rivers: A Story of Glaciers, Wilderness, and Humanity. 

“I really believe in true stories and it being OK to share how you are and what’s been going on for you, in addition to what you discovered,” she said. “There’s sort of a blending between all of those things, isn’t there? Glacier change itself is very personal because it will affect us personally.” Melting glaciers won’t just contribute to sea-level rise, although that’s a big deal too — they ... Read more

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