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Happy Icy New Year

Happy New Year Ice Blog readers. I have been on holiday enjoying the winter weather in Germany and the UK. A lot of people are complaining about the cold and the bad road conditions and delays on planes and trains – but I for one am happy to have a real winter. What else would you expect from the ice-blogger? Some colleagues reckon this will save me an Arctic trip…
There is a lot of talking and joking as usual about whether the extreme winter conditions will undermine the acceptance that humankind is affecting the climate.
I was interested to read in the British press today that some British newspapers have even been taking the name of Professor Mojib Latif in vain, a respected climate expert at the Leibniz Institute of Kiel University Germany – whom I have interviewed several times. Two conservative papers apparently misinterpreted his research as signalling a switch from global warming to cooling. Fortunately (i.e. in the interests of the truth and no misrepresentation) today’s edition of The Guardian puts his research into context and quotes him as affirming his strong belief in man-made global warming.Prof Latif says the cold spell is short-term “weather” and not a cooling related to ocean cooling which he describes in his work. He also compares the complexity of the climate problem to Einstein’s theory of relativity and stresses the difficulty of presenting it accurately in the media. I’ll second that, but keep doing my best.

Before I stop for today I’d like to draw your attention to a comment posted by David Scrimgeour under the last entry.
He draws attention to the question of how clean technologies are going to be trasferred across borders, and what incentives there will be for example to German companies to invest in projects in potentially risky locations. Good question, David.
I personally think companies will only go into this if they know there is a market, and a market with a future. We need clear signals from governments – which we didn’t really get in Copenhagen – but we also need to draw companies’ attention to the finance experts who say it will ultimately be cheaper to work against global warming, and to all the studies which indicate the future lies with clean technology which does not put a burden on the climate. And of course companies are ultimately interested in making a profit. Look how some energy companies have realised fossil fuels are finite and are getting into alternative renewables – to secure their future.
Any other views on this?


January 12, 2010 | 3:03 pm



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Arctic Update from Johannes

Johannes, 16.06.2008

Before answering the questions readers of our blogs raised, I want to give you a quick summary of today.

Our 6th day started as usual, with a lecture, this time Solitair Townsend, a communication-trainer from London, told us how to talk to leaders in politics and business. I think that was quite important, because we all want leaders using their power for combating global warming.
In the afternoon we landed at Snatcherpynten, Recherchefjord and walked up to a moraine of the Renard Glacier. We climbed the glacier and had a magnificent view of this nature.

In the evening the crew of the ship prepared a surprise: we had a barbeque (!) in front of a great landscape with glaciers and high snow covered mountains. While eating we just had nice conversations and enjoyed the sunshine.

But now I want to answer your questions:
“Gerry B” asks which “submarine” we used and if it is something special about the Arctic.
I think you have seen the photos of our first Onboard-Day. On this day (Wednesday) we had a safety and lifeboat drill. So we had to embark in the narrow lifeboats, which probably on the photos look like submarines.

Gerry B also wanted to know whether we had special fitness training and tests.
Although some trips are a bit exhausting, we did not partake in fitness trainings or test. When we applied for the voyage there was only the note that every participant has to be healthy and fit enough to go to the Arctic.

Ann likes to see photos of the seal and the reindeer(s).
Unfortunately we currently do not have the communication possibilities to load up extra pictures. But as soon as we are back in “internet territory” we will make sure to show you more pictures. Until then check out
Pictures on German blog
– our German blog for more photos.

“Tom” wants to know why the Sami are suffering from global warming and why they aren’t happy about things warming up.
As I/ we already mentioned in the blog the Sami have several problems probably caused by global warming. Let me give you an example which was given to us by the Sami Olav Mathis Eira, reindeer-herder from North Norway. In the 1990s several times it rained during winter. The last time that happened was in 1918! This caused several problems. As the rain froze on top of the snow cover forming a thick hard layer, the reindeer where unable to dig through the snow and to find food. Furthermore reindeers had trouble to walk on the frozen rain. According to Olav Mathis Eira this probably led to a severe decrease in reindeer during the 1990s. Nearly everybody sees global warming as the cause for these incidents, which occurred several times in the last 20 years.
Another example is that oil-companies began to exploit the nature because global warming makes it easier and, of course, cheaper to use the natural resources in Norwegian and Swedish arctic regions. This industrial development destroys valuable nature and at the life of the Sami people because they depend on the intact nature here in the Arctic.

And a PS from Irene, your Ice-Blogger in the background:
The Inupiat in Arctic Alaska are another indigenous group affected by climate change, as you may have read on this blog.
If you listen in to this week’s edition of Living Planet, you can hear a feature about my visit to the Inupiat with a field trip from the Ben and Jerry’s Climate Change College.
Here’s the link
Radio Feature on the Inupiat of Arctic Alaska and Climate Change
Cara,Erika, Jakob, Aart – you’re all in that feature, you were great, and I hope you’ll be listining in!!!
Marc and Michel from the Climate Change College (currently up there in the Arctic!) – you’ll be proud of them!!


June 17, 2008 | 10:03 am



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