||Pack ice is a layer of frozen seawater on the top of the polar oceans, varying in thickness from a few centimetres to tens of metres. It is an ephemeral feature, not just of polar regions but also of seas such as the Baltic, Caspian and Sea of Okhotsk. At its maximum extent it covers 13% of the Earth's surface area, making it one of the major biomes on the planet.For many years seen as an obstacle to trade and a threat to human life, the ice itself is now perceived to be vulnerable as we come to realize the dangers posed by global warming. Sea ice not only dominates polar regions but is also central to global ocean circulation as well as global climate patterns. Every year the formation, consolidation and subsequent melt of millions of square kilometres of ice influence the whole of the ocean's ecosystems.This is the first book to offer the general reader access to a remote frozen habitat which has for so long fascinated explorers, writers and scientists. During the harsh polar winter the surface of the ocean freezes up, forming a temporary ice layer called pack ice, or sea ice. This gives rise to a spectacular floating world which for a number of months each year becomes home to a wealth of plant and animal life. The wonderful colour photographs of life on, in and under the ice help draw the reader into this superb account of an extreme environment. Guaranteed to capture the imagination.The author is a veteran of six expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, and this book is packed with photographs taken in the course of his journeys. His lively and readable text conveys his excitement at the dangers and possibilities of life on the ice. He provides an in-depth background to the whole ecosystem of sea ice, its living communities and the structure of the ice itself. The level of accurate scientific detail will satisfy anyone looking for a reliable, up-to-date overview of this topic.