Foreword / Al Gore -- Discovering ice -- Ice and life: on earth and beyond -- When ice ruled the world -- Warming up -- Nature at work -- Human footprints -- Melting ice, rising seas -- Choices amid change -- Acknowledgments -- Index. This book examines the effects of global warming by looking carefully at the potential consequences of a world without ice. The author traces the effect of mountain glaciers on supplies of drinking water and agricultural irrigation, as well as the current results of melting permafrost and shrinking Arctic sea ice--a situation that has degraded the habitat of numerous animals and sparked an international race for seabed oil and minerals. Catastrophic possibilities loom, including rising sea levels and subsequent flooding of low-lying regions worldwide, and the ultimate displacement of millions of coastal residents. This book answers the most urgent questions about this pending crisis, laying out the necessary steps for managing the unavoidable and avoiding the unmanageable.