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
The United Nations Environment Programme is calling for bold action to “make peace with nature” by cutting greenhouse gases and restoring biodiversity as the world emerges from the COVID pandemic. “Innovation and investment only in activities that protect both people and nature”, is the motto. What does this mean for the rapidly changing Arctic and the Indigenous peoples living there?
International Polar Bear Day: Only rapid emissions reductions can ensure the Arctic icons survive beyond 2100
February 27th is International Polar Bear Day. In the rapidly warming Arctic climate, sea ice is declining at record rates, destroying the habitat the bears need to survive. Rapid emissions cuts could still ensure their long-term survival. Otherwise, all but a few populations could collapse by 2100.
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