The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth

Ben Rawlence

The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth
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The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth

Ben Rawlence

‘The very treeline is on the move: a devastating image. This book is an evocative, wise and unflinching exploration of what it will mean for humanity.’ Jay Griffiths


The Arctic Treeline is the shifting region of forest that encircles the globe in an almost unbroken green ring. It is the second largest biome on our planet and is - quite literally - on the frontline of global warming.

The six trees that characterise this little-known region (Larch, Spruce, Mountain Ash, Downy Birch, Poplar and Scots Pine) form the protagonists of Ben Rawlence’s story. He travels to Scotland, northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland to discover what these trees and the people who live and work with them have to tell us about the future of our planet. The significance of this ring of forest and its rich biome has only recently begun to be understood. How the species in this zone respond to warming will shape the ability of the boreal forest to produce the fresh air and fresh water that sustains life on earth.

The Treeline offers insights into the nature of our changing climate over the coming decades and a stark vision of the future. This is a spellbinding blend of reportage, nature, travel and science writing, deeply researched and beautifully written, underpinned by a startling and urgent environmental message.

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