Since my first experiences of hiking in the Alps in the 1970s, I have had a fascination for ice, snow and sky. Later, as an environment journalist with Deutsche Welle, I had my first opportunity to visit the Arctic in 2007. It was the start of the international polar year and Moira Rankine of Soundprint in the USA approached me along with other award-winning science and environment colleagues from international broadcasters with a view to making a series of radio features on the Arctic and the Antarctic. After just one trip, I was hooked. When the snow melts on Svalbard was my first feature for the series. The years that followed took me back to Svalbard, Greenland and – in 2008 – to Arctic Alaska, where the Ice Blog was born. I am fascinated by the fragile beauty of the unique ecosystem, the people who live there, the animals and plants that thrive in the cold. And I am deeply disturbed by the extent to which our behaviour has warmed and goes on warming the planet, endangering the icy regions which play such an important role in regulating the climate all over the globe.
Hooked on the Arctic
Rapid emissions cuts could still ensure their long-term survival. Otherwise, some Arctic regions seem set to lose polar bears by 2080 – and all but a few populations could collapse by 2100, according to a new study.
In the remote, high Arctic region of north-eastern Greenland, at 74° North, a scattered group of blue and white buildings and tent-like structures perches above a river which starts to swell with melting ice, in a broad valley amongst green and brown hills, dotted with snow. For almost 25 years, a small group of scientists …
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