Climate Change – Why Antarctica Matters
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 & Thursday, 23 October 2014
Greetings from San Francisco
NASA has announced that September 2014 was the warmest month since records began in 1880. In total, the last six months were the warmest on record and it is very likely that 2014 will become the warmest year ever.
These statistics confirm alarming trends in global warming and the related impact on climate change.
Ultimately, it is the polar regions where climate change is having the most visible and significant impacts. Sea ice and freshwater glacial ice are melting, the permafrost continues to thaw and release even more greenhouse gases and many species are find it increasingly hard to adapt to the escalating changes.
Sea ice in the Arctic has declined drastically in the last 30 years and the Northwest Passage was ice free for the first time in history in 2007. At the Arctic and Antarctic massive ice shelves are disintegrating and breaking away, such as the now famous break away of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica in 2002.
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has thinned significantly as a result of warmer temperatures in the surrounding Antarctic Ocean. The upper ocean in this region has increased in temperature by more than 1°C since 1955. The greatest degree of thinning has happened in an area called the Amundsen Sea Embayment.
Many glaciers have retreated and 10 ice shelves have been seen to retreat in recent years. 87% of glaciers along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years with most of these showing accelerated retreat in recent years.
The end result of this is slowly rising sea levels with far reaching implications for future generations.
The countdown to Antarctica continues…
I’m excited about the race in Antarctica and the challenge of raising R250 000 for a Greenpeace Africa solar energy project, and encourage you to support my efforts and the work of Greenpeace Africa!
Please make a donation and encourage others to do the same.
“Together we can make a difference!”