We know the world is getting hotter, but have you ever wondered exactly why a warming planet matters? How does just a degree or two of extra heat actually change anything much?

Launching today, with support from Paddy Pallin, Adventures in Climate Science: Tales From the Frontiers of Climate Change explores the science behind how and why the Earth is changing as temperatures creep higher.

Bring together science and adventure, the anthology features 15 stories by scientists from around the world, with tales of facing sharks, falling into crevasses, surviving cyclones, chasing pirates on the high seas, and more.

Editor Wendy Bruere said she was inspired to create the book as an entertaining way to learn about climate change. “We hear a lot about what is happening as the world warms, but I didn’t know much about how or why,” she said. “I figured I wasn’t the only one who wanted to better understand the science behind the changes we’re seeing in the natural world.”

With stories from around the globe, these remarkable scientists paint vivid pictures of their work at the frontiers of a changing world.

Take a peak into the pages…

I sat cross-legged in the dirt, drenched in the smell of death. I was familiar with this smell. I had been working in this Magellanic penguin colony in Patagonia for the past two years. Occasionally, this distinct smell would get caught on a breeze, and I would follow my nose to find the dead penguin and investigate why or how it died. Death was typically relatively rare, so the smell usually did not bother me. My curiosity would kick in, and I would want to know what had happened.

This time, the whole colony reeked of death, and dozens of vultures circled overhead. My clothes and research gear were covered in goop from measuring hundreds of dead penguins. I didn’t have time or sufficient water to wash my clothes frequently because water had to be brought 120 kilometres from the nearest town. All my measuring gear—callipers, rulers, weigh scales—were caked with this dead goop. A single-day mortality event of this magnitude had never been seen in the 40 years my PhD advisor, Dr Dee Boersma, and her students had been studying this colony. I was determined to collect as much information as I could before the penguins decomposed too much or were eaten by scavengers.

– from ‘Sentinels of the Ecosystem’, by Katie Holt.


I am cold, hungry and extremely tired. We are inside a tiny hut, made of mud and straw. Sitting on a small piece of wood, by the side of some smelly goats—and their poo, of course—Ghislain and Rodrigue, my Congolese Masters students, are sitting next to me. It seems that I will be allowed to spend the night on the little bamboo bench, my luxury as the only female in the group. My students will have to share the floor with the goats.

Maki, our guide and armed guard, is trying to convince our host to cook some food. But the old herdsman refuses. It might be that he does not have firewood or water left. Or he might be afraid to light a fire after darkness. Once darkness falls, one should not wonder around in this mountain full of rebels. The latest estimates say there are 14 different rebel groups fighting for the control of the different artisanal mines,. Instead we eat some peanuts and biscuits for dinner.

I am involved in a small research project documenting climate change impacts in African mountains.

‘So what have you done to adapt to these changes?’ asks Ghislain, when we interview people..

But most respondents say the same: not much. Investing in things which take time to show results, such as agroforestry, irrigation or terracing soils, is not common, because of the insecurity.

‘How can you invest in your land if you do not know if you will be living in the same village next year? We have bigger problems than the changing rainfall,’ says one old man.

– from ‘We have Bigger Problems Than Climate Change’, by Dr Aida Cuni-Sanchez.

Having pulled our sleds across the sea ice and over glaciers for approximately three weeks, Rob and I arrived in Qaanaaq, the northernmost major outpost in Greenland. We were lucky to find some Inuit with plans to go on a southerly hunting trip soon after our arrival, and we arranged to travel with them. Rather than a mode of travel, dogsledding is more of a lifestyle. We were with people who were absolute experts in navigating the sea ice.

As we travelled further south, we noticed more flex in the ice, and we heard the Inuit hunters commenting that it was melting earlier than they expected. 

One day, after dog-sledding southwards for about two weeks, we had an especially sunny, windless and less chilly than usual day, perhaps a mere -15 degrees Celsius. Rob removed his now-unnecessary bulky outer gloves and placed them on the sled beside him.

A thin layer of slush sat on the ice’s surface, bogging the sleds’ runners down and impeding their progress like a gluey sludge. Slow wobbling vibrations rippled outwards if you walked on the sea ice. Crossing a slightly rougher section of ice, one of Rob’s gloves fell off his sled onto the ice. When he noticed it was gone, he stopped the sled and walked back and pick it up.

As he bent down to grab it, the ice gave way beneath his feet, plunging him into the arctic ocean beneath, the piercingly cold liquid instantly penetrating his clothes. Hoping that the sea ice wouldn’t swallow me too, I ran back towards him with the lightest steps I could muster.

 – from ‘Pole to Pole’, by Dr James Hooper.


There is a distinct satisfaction in listening to the rhythmic sound of your ice axe and crampons biting into a frozen snow and ice surface. Jason and I could not see much that morning. We had begun in the dark, the colder predawn temperature reducing the risk of rockfall. As the sun rose, the thick fog was almost a whiteout, and it engulfed the Nuns Veil in cloud as we systematically worked our way up the glacier towards the summit.

We were moving un-roped as it is not a difficult climb—a Grade 1+ for those who mountaineer—and one I had done six years earlier in 2007. The route follows the Nuns Veil Glacier up the southern flank of the mountain, rising in a series of gentle steps. Occasionally gaps would form in the swirling mist, revealing a glimpse of the summit.

We crossed the bergshrund and started up the final slope towards the summit. I had hoped the mist might clear as we got higher, but not that day. I was just starting to ponder whether or not the top portion of the slope seemed a little steeper than last time—I didn’t remember the climb being this hard—when ‘twang!’ my ice axe punched through the ice and bounced on the rock below.

I had a definitive answer now—the ice cloaking the mountain was definitely thinner this time around, and the route was indeed steeper. It was a reminder that the mountains are becoming less predictable.

– from ‘Revisiting the Nuns Veil’, by Dr Heather Purdie.


Adventures in Climate Science: Scientists’ Tales from the Frontiers of Climate Change, 2023, ed. Wendy Bruere, Woodslane

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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