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Climate Change in the Arctic & around the globe

Arctic Svalbard

Greta and Johannes should now be on board their ship.
Sounds like they’ll be busy for quite some time today before they get time to blog.
In the meantime, I’d like to respond to Eliza Honey, who says she loved the photos on the Ice Blog but dreads the message. “Early reading of books re;Antartica and the Arctic were a formative experience in the late 40’s. As old age approaches and the chaotic world continues on its path to destruction I wish strength to your arm and those dedicated people around you. Keep up the good work and more photos please”, says Eliza.
Well, Eliza, while we wait for our dedicated young “ambassadors” to send us their first report from Svalbard, Spitzbergen, here are some more pictures which I took during a trip to the scientific research base in Ny Alesund, Spitzbergen, this time last year.
There is a “flash gallery” with more if you click here:

Pole to Pole Slide Show


The runway at Ny Alesund – cleared of snow in June.


The “3 Crowns” at midnight


Views from the Monitoring Station above Ny Alesund


A Svalbard reindeer, in Longyearben.

Date

June 11, 2008 | 9:38 am

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Voyage for the Future

Greta and Johannes are two of 18 young people setting sail today for a 12-day Arctic voyage, along the coast of Svalbard. They have been chosen by WWF as “Ambassadors for the Future”, to learn about climate change and pass the message on to the world’s political leaders. They’ll be blogging as guests on the Ice Blog for the next 12 days, as they sail along this route:

The background from WWF

Date

June 9, 2008 | 8:26 am

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Baked Alaska Online!

My “Flash Gallery”, with Alaskan photos and information, is now online.
Baked Alaska Flash Gallery
And Deutsche Welle is currently broadcasting the first installment of the “Climate Change College in Alaska” radio feature series. You can listen online or subscribe to the podcast.
Alaskan Climate Change Series on LIVING PLANET

Date

June 5, 2008 | 7:58 am

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Fuelling the Melt of the Arctic?

The Arctic made its way into the headlines again at the end of last week, when the five Arctic coastal nations met in Greenland to discuss sovereignty over the Arctic seabed.
Denmark, Norway, Russia, Canada and the United States are the countries concerned. Wouldn’t it be great if they were negotiating on who could do the most to protect this unique and fragile area? Of course what they are actually concerned about is who will have access to natural resources – for instance the right to drill for oil once the seabed becomes more easily accessible because global warming is melting the ice.

(The airport at Alaska’s oil centre, Prudhoe Bay).

The environmental groups were not invited to the meeting. As you might expect, most of them are concerned about the rush to exploit the Arctic further as soon as possible. One suggestion is to have a treaty similar to that regulating the Antarctic, which bans military activity and mineral mining, but this was rejected by the “Arctic 5”. Greenpeace Nordic campaigner Lindsay Keenan put the bizarre situation in a nutshell when he told Reuters “they are going to use the law of the sea to carve up the raw materials, but they are ignoring the law of common sense. These are the same fossil fuels that are driving climate change in the first place”. Good point Mr. Keenan. Greenpeace points out that the world already has four times more fossil fuel reserves than it can afford to burn.

Date

June 4, 2008 | 11:08 am

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Alaska baking faster?



This was us in Barrow just two weeks ago.
This morning, this email reached me from George Divoky, our ornithologist friend, observing climate change as part of his work monitoring a black guillemot colony on the Arctic’s Cooper Island:

“Was able to follow your travels via the B&J website and your blog and it looked like you were able to see some impressive examples of climate change in Alaska.
I was impressed with both the quality of climate change ambassadors and the media traveling with them. I tend to be skeptical of much of what is said and done to bring climate change issues to the public but found this exercise to be a good one and was glad I could become involved.
(…) I head off to Alaska in a week and Cooper Island about a week after that. After the late and snowy spring (which you know about first hand) things have gotten very hot there (5 C as I write this) and the snow all melted in the past two days.
Best,
George”

George J. Divoky
Friends of Cooper Island

Date

May 26, 2008 | 8:02 am

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