Search Results for Tag: WWF
“Svalbard bears on the move”
I found the latest online edition of WWF Arctic‘s newsletter The Arc in my in-box today. For a Friday afternoon or weekend pastime, I would recommend a look. I was particularly interested in the item about polar bears on Svalbard, following the sea ice or locating a dead whale. Having been on the Arctic island a few times it holds a special interest for me. And the chance to track polar bears moving around is absolutely fascinating. The bear tracker site does just that. There’s also a video of how researchers on the ground work with the bears. Can you imagine putting your hand between the jaws of a giant white bear?
DateSeptember 28, 2012 | 1:00 pm
Well, it has finally happened as feared. The National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado has confirmed the summer sea ice in the Arctic has melted even further than in the record year 2007 – and it’s not at its annual summer minimum yet. It’s likely to melt more in the next three weeks. Must be a very frustrating feeling for the Greenpeace activists who have been hovering around the Russian Arctic drilling platform Prirazlomnaya, belonging to Gazprom, for the last five days.
DateAugust 29, 2012 | 9:30 am
Alarming news on Greenland ice sheet
I was just preparing material for my trip to the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromso this coming weekend when a press release came in headlined “new melt record for Greenland ice sheet”.
A study sponsored by WWF Arctic, the US National Science Foundation and NASA has been examining surface temperature anomalies over the Greenland ice sheet surface and estimates of surface melting from satellite data, observations on the ground and models. Dr Marco Tedesco, Director of the CryosphereProcesses Laboratory at the City College of New York , is quoted as saying the past melt season was exceptional, “with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average”. It seems melting in 2010 started exceptionally early – at the end of April – and ended quite late in mid-September, says Tedesco. Amongst the other results of an article just published by Tedesco and others in Environmental Research Letters are that summer temperatures were up to 3 degrees C above the average in 2010, combined with reduced snowfall. Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, “had the warmest spring and summer since records began in 1873″.
The study indicates that bare ice was exposed earlier than the average and longer than previous years.
“Bare ice is much darker than snow and absorbs more solar radiation”, says Tedesco. “This means the old ice is warming, melting, and running off into the sea”.
Melting of the Greenland ice sheet is expected to be a major contributor to projected sea level rises in the future.
WWF’s climate specialist Dr. Martin Sommerkorn said sea level rise was expected to top one metre by 2100, largely because of melting from ice sheets.
All of this does not surprise me. I am intrigued to hear what the Arctic specialists will have to report at the Arctic Frontiers meeting – and what the politicians attending the political part of the forum will have to say.
DateJanuary 20, 2011 | 3:19 pm
Cancun breakthrough? Everything’s relative
(Melting ice, Svalbard 2010)
Somehow I find it hard to jump up and down and rejoice about the package that’s being hailed as the big success of the Cancun climate conference. Sure, it’s great that there has been some progress on funding adaptation for vulnerable countries, forest protection, technology transfer and monitoring and verification. But what is actually going to be monitored? The Cancun package includes agreement that we need to stay below a two-degree rise in temperature. But there is widespread agreement that the emissions reductions pledged so far will not get us anywhere near that, but rather somewhere between 3 and 4 degrees. By 2015, the agreement says, this should be monitored and corrected. I wonder what is supposed to happen between now and then to make especially the big emitters USA and China “up” their commitments so radically?
There was a lot of effort put into reducing expectations ahead of the Cancun meeting. If you don’t expect too much, every little appears like a bonus. After the Copenhagen fiasco, there had to be a package coming out of Cancun which would keep the talks “on the road”. But it’s still a long, long road to go. The fact that ngos like IUCN, Germanwatch or WWF are welcoming the Cancun outcome almost make me wonder if I am being too pessimistic. They probably assume there is just no alternative, and it’s better to keep countries around the negotiating table. But although I see myself as a “born optimist”, I find it hard to feel confident that we will see emissions peak by 2020 and then be reduced steadily afterwards to get to the 2 degree limit which many scientists say is already too high.
DateDecember 13, 2010 | 1:02 pm
Emerging countries moving ahead?
As the Cancun conference approaches, let me draw your attention to an interesting study published by WWF on how the developing world could be putting the rest of us to shame and taking on leadership in combatting climate change.
Emerging Economies- How the developing world is starting a new era of climate change leadership
It looks at Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa and there is some encouraging reading in there.
DateNovember 24, 2010 | 3:45 pm