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
Rain has fallen on the highest point of Greenland’s ice sheet for the first time ever. The world’s climate experts have given their starkest forecast for the future of the climate. Net zero by 2050 will not be enough to stabilize it. Without negative emissions, catastrophic impacts cannot be avoided.
We are fine and glad to live up a hill, but in shock, with the region around us devastated by the heaviest and longest lasting rain I have ever experienced and unprecedented floods. At least 160 people are dead here, more in neighbouring Belgium, and many more missing. This is in Germany, one of the …
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