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
As I started work on this post, on December 23rd, the thermometer here in north-western Germany showed 14° Celsius. I’ve long given up dreaming of a White Christmas in this part of the world, but roses and honeysuckle in bloom in mid-winter? 2020 marked the close of the warmest decade (2011-2020) on record, according to …
Last Monday, Germany’s public service broadcaster ARD dedicated its prime viewing time after the evening news to the Arctic, the start of a whole week of themed programme contributions. It showed a film documentary on the MOSAiC project, a spectacular year-long expedition, during which the legendary icebreaker Polarstern – (pole star) belonging to Germany’s polar …
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