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Nature Polar Regions

Future Arctic

Field Notes from a World on the Edge

by (author) Edward Struzik

Island Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2016
Polar Regions, Environmental Conservation & Protection, Environmental Policy
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2015
    List Price

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In one hundred years, or even fifty, the Arctic will look dramatically different than it does today. While these changes may seem remote, they will have a profound impact on a host of global issues, from international politics to animal migrations. In Future Arctic, journalist and explorer Edward Struzik offers a clear-eyed look at the rapidly shifting dynamics in the Arctic region, a harbinger of changes that will reverberate throughout our entire world. A unique combination of extensive on-the-ground research, compelling storytelling, and policy analysis, Future Arctic offers a new look at the changes occurring in this remote, mysterious region and their far-reaching effects.

About the author

Edward Struzik has been writing about scientific and environmental issues for more than 30 years. A fellow at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, his numerous accolades include the prestigious Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy and the Sir Sandford Fleming Medal, awarded for outstanding contributions to the understanding of science. In 1996 he was awarded the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and spent a year at Harvard and MIT researching environment, evolutionary biology, and politics with E.O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin. His 2015 book, Future Arctic, focuses on the effects of climate change in the Canadian Arctic and the impacts they will have on rest of the world. His other books include SwamplandsFirestormArctic Icons, The Big Thaw, and Northwest Passage. He is an active speaker and lecturer, and his work as a regular contributor to Yale Environment 360 covers topics such as the effects of climate change and fossil fuel extraction on northern ecosystems and their inhabitants. He is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, a citizens’ organization dedicated to the long-term environmental and social well-being of northern Canada and its peoples. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Edward Struzik's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Few places on earth are changing as fast as the high Arctic, and few have told the story as compellingly as Ed Struzik."

author of Eaarth

These 'Field Notes from a World on the Edge' are just that—the reader has access to a field notebook that has traveled hundreds of miles around the Arctic Circle. Struzik’s field stories help to highlight the changes that are occurring and bring to life the facts and figures he shares. Scientist and lay reader alike will find this an interesting and useful primer for understanding the contemporary physical and metaphorical Arctic landscape."

Natural Areas Journal

"There is much that can be done to ameliorate each individual problem and Struzik's book demands action, not resignation or anger."

New Scientist

"From a review of the Arctic’s exploration history to an analysis of the many governmental failures there, Struzik makes the case for the Arctic’s unique place in the world and stresses that undeniable change has already occurred, and that coping with change and planning for the future are mandatory...A bracing read."


"The scope and detail of his diagnosis lend weight to an alarming prognosis."

BBC Wildlife"

"This book is a fascinating collection of firsthand obervations and insights gleaned from decades of travels with scientists across the Arctic....Though many scientific assessments of Arctic change have been produced, none are as readable or engaging as Future Arctic, and that is what makes this book so important."

Conservation Biology

"Struzik succinctly and vigorously covers almost the full scope of Arctic change....Struzik conveys some sharp observations to which scientists and policymakers ought to pay sincere attention."


"Struzik blends biology and politics with firsthand experience to present a comprehensive...portrait of the future."

Publishers Weekly

"No journalist has traveled more widely in the North American Arctic or understands the region better than Ed Struzik. In Future Arctic he has written a fascinating and vitally important book about the swift changes sweeping across the Far North. If you want to see where the world is headed in an era of rapid warming, this is the book to read."

Fen Montaigne, author of "Fraser's Penguins"

"Future Arctic is a powerful, provocative, personal look at the Arctic in all its wonder and uncertainty. Ed Struzik has the experience to connect stories that are too often told separately, with vigorous writing and first-hand insight. Be ready to think carefully about what Arctic change means for all of us."

Arctic scientist and co-chair of the USNAS report The Arctic in the Anthropocene

"...a timely contribution to the global discussion of the Arctic’s value to economics, culture, and the environment."


"Struzik's book is a thoughtful and impassioned argument that we need to respond to a warming world by researching, adapting, and changing what we are able to."

Pacific Standard

"Struzik asks questions of wildlife scientists, military strategists, and indigenous peoples, and paints a complex picture with their stories."


"An urgent, passionate defense of ecological conservation and understanding."


"In Future Arctic, the intrepid explorer shares tales of his adventures, from surviving a terrifying peregrine falcon attack and tracking polar bears to navigating an anomalous Arctic cyclonic storm and living in native communities...The author views the Arctic through the lenses of archaeology, geology, anthropology, and ecology to draw a unique picture of where the sensitive region has been and where it might be headed."

The Scientist

"An engaging new account of a planet transformed."


"A broad, comprehensive, and fair-minded look at not only the upheaval in the Arctic, but what should be done about it."


"Provocative…detailed, impeccably reported exploration of how man-made climate change is already reshaping the Arctic…The Arctic’s future isn’t bright, says Struzik, but it is adaptable, if we’re smart. In any case, it is inevitable, and Future Arctic is a must-read for lovers of the far north and climate change realists."

Outside Online

"Struzik's travel vignettes and discussion about the north are compelling."

Library Journal

"Journalist and explorer Edward Struzik cogently analyses the environmental and policy challenges, drawing on research into past extinctions and present disruptions such as tar-sand exploitation, military territorialism and tundra fires. As he ticks off the costs to indigenous peoples, ocean biodiversity, caribou habitat and more, the case for an Arctic treaty and serious conservation efforts becomes ever clearer."


"In this engaging and powerful book, Ed Struzik draws on firsthand experience and analysis of policy decisions to provide a detailed account of Arctic ecosystems stressed by shifting weather patterns, pollutants and disease. Through Struzik’s compelling insights the reader can begin to draw connections between Arctic environmental change and events occurring elsewhere much further south."

Director, Arctic in Context, World Policy Institute

"Future Arctic is marvelous—as a long-time arctic reseracher, I can honestly say it is the best book that I have seen dealing with the challenges facing the region. A masterful examination of the past, present, and future status of the Arctic, it is also very enjoyable reading, storytelling at its best."

Professor and Dean Emerita, University of Alaska Fairbanks

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