Search Results for Tag: IUCN
Polar bear update: “wildlife” or politics?
The Arctic Institute publishes a weekly newsletter “The Arctic this Week” and, not surprisingly, our white furry Arctic residents feature prominently again this time. As the authors, Tom Fries and Kevin Casey point out, they have slipped from the “wildlife” category into the “politics” category, with the debate going on at the CITES meeting. The newsletter went out before the start of the meeting, but it has links to some very interesting background articles on the issue. I recommend a look at their website.
Some ice blog followers drew my attention to links in yesterday’s post which were not working properly. Apologies for any technical hitches. Here are the polar bear links, mine and some of those Tom and Kevin drew my attention to.
Polar Bear Politics in the Economist
Is enough being done to protect polar bears? (International Polar Foundation)
Polar bears to retain “threatened” listing – in Alaska Dispatch
USA, Europe and Russia team up to help bears – in New York Times
Suggestions for further reading welcome!
DateMarch 5, 2013 | 9:19 am
Wild about the Antarctic?
I’m back! And as is so often the case, there’s a lot waiting to be done that didn’t disappear while I was on holiday. So for today,I’d like to draw your attention to some people who have been looking after the icy regions of the planet while the ice-blogger was still on holiday.
IUCN and WWF jointly produce a podcast called Wild Talk.
In the latest edition, one of the topics is the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. There’s an interview with Carl Gustav Lundin
head of the IUCN Global Marine Programme about the Treaty and the state of the Antarctic today. Worth a listen.
Ministers from the Arctic Council and the Antarctic Treaty states held their first ever joint meeting in Washington on April 6 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. WWF provided the ministers with recent evidence from both the north and south poles that clearly demonstrates global temperature increases must be kept well under two degrees Celsius.
“A global average temperature rise of 2 degrees is clearly too much for the poles,” says Rob Nicoll, Manager of WWF’s Antarctic and Southern Oceans Initiative. “Scientists are already unpleasantly surprised at how quickly the impacts of warming such as sea ice loss are showing up in the polar regions, exceeding recent predictions.”
Global average warming due to climate change since the late 1800s is showing severe impacts at less than one degree, as the Arctic is warming at about twice the global average and parts of the Antarctic are also outstripping the global average. The polar regions themselves have profound and not yet fully understood impacts on climate globally, and there are fears that polar tipping points could trigger abrupt change around the world.
A forthcoming report on Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research is expected to up previous estimates on Antarctica’s expected substantial contributions to sea level rises. Marine food chains of global significance are also under threat from warming in the Antarctic.
DateApril 15, 2009 | 2:35 pm
Polar Bears in the Limelight
For the first time since 1981, the contracting parties to the agreement for the conservation of polar bears are holding an official meeting in Tromsö in the Norwegian Arctic.
The agreement was signed in 1973, when over-hunting was the biggest threat to polar bear survival. These days, the survival of the polar bear species is endangered by the far more complex phenomenon of climate change.
Today, there are between 20- and 25,000 polar bears living around the north pole, in territory belonging to the USA, Russia, Norway, the autonomous Danish island of Greenland, and Canada. These numbers could be reduced by as many as two thirds in the foreseeable future unless the Arctic sea ice can be preserved.
WWF has great polar bear photos and info on their site, including this link, where you can follow the polar bears they are tracking:
Following polar bears with WWF
The IUCN polar bear group has been the main body involved in publicising and protecting polar bears.
IUCN dossier on polar bear as Red List endangered species
Geoff York is WWF’s polar bear coordinator. I called him up to find out how he and WWF view the current status of polar bears and what they expect from this conference. Listen to his views for yourself:
DateMarch 16, 2009 | 12:37 pm
Climate Update – and Pics from History
Apologies for a longish blog break, I have been busy on other matters.
Amongst other things, I’m working on what the media have to do to get the climate change message across.
On a recent trip to the German North Sea island of Norderney, I was pleasantly surprised to hear two couples, evidently 2 generations, discussing what would happen to those islands when sea levels rise. So the media they use have obviously been successful in getting that part of the message across.
On a subsequent visit to Scotland, I was horrified to hear people still doubting that our emissions are driving climate change.
So there’s still plenty work for us journalists to do.
Meanwhile, I’ve found a website that will fascinate Ice-Blog visitors.
Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute has a great collection of polar images, including Scott and Schackleton, but also images from more modern expeditions.
Now they have digitised negatives, daguerreotypes and lantern slides, and made them available online. You can find them here:
The “Freeze Frame” archive
Thanks to Anne. S. in Scotland for drawing my attention to this wonderful online archive.
And I’ll get back to my polar bear research, ahead of a historic meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, which will take place in Tromsø, Norway, March 17-19, 2009. WWF says the meeting may be decisive for the fate of the world’s polar bears.
DateMarch 11, 2009 | 12:43 pm
Climate Change killing coral reefs at an alarming rate
The planet has lost an alarming 19 percent of its coral reefs, according to the 2008 global reef update.
The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network has just published its latest report at the climate conference in Poznan.
It warns many of the remaining reefs may also be lost over the next 20-40 years, if current trands in carbon dioxide emissions continue.
Some 500 million people depend on coral reefs for their livelihood.
Coral reefs are threatened by several factors. Climate change is considered the biggest danger, with increasing sea surface temperatures and the acidification of the sea water.
Overfishing, pollution and invasive species are other factors putting pressure on coral reefs.
Carl Gustaf Lundin, Head of the Global Marine Programme at IUCN – one of the organizations behind the Reef Monitorin Network, says atmospheric carbon dioxide will double in less than 50 years if nothing changes. He warns the carbon will be absorbed by the oceans, making them more acidic and damaging a wide range of marine life, from corals to plankton communities and from lobsters to seagrasses.
Clive Wilkinson, Coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, says the report details the strong scientific concensus that climate change must be limited to the absolute minimum. If nothing is done to cut emissions substantially, he says, we could effectively lose coral reefs as we know them, with major coral extinctions.
Download the briefing paper:
On Indian Ocean research and development. See CORDIO:
DateDecember 10, 2008 | 10:57 am