Fading Arctic: Greenpeace tests sea ice thickness

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Feature Story - 2011-09-13
Hong Kong campaigns manager Gloria Chang recently ended a one week trip on Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise which traversed Norway's Warbah Islands. The expedition included leading independent ice scientists from the University of Cambridge who were there to test Arctic sea ice thickness. The trip revealed the second-lowest sea ice minimum on record - a devestating consequence of global climate change.

Gloria arrived in the Arctic armed with a pair of boots with a long and colourful history. Their original owner is Catherine Fitzpatrick, a campaigner who first wore them in 1989 as part of Greenpeace's work to have Antarctica declared a world park. Take a look at some of the amazing things Gloria was able to see on her trip.


And read Gloria's blog coverage (in traditional Chinese) of her Arctic expedition:

The Arctic sea ice is a key indicator of the state of our climate. The shrinking and receding sea ice has dire consequences. First, as the white ice that normally reflects sunlight away from Earth melts, more of the dark open water of the Arctic Ocean is is exposed, absorbing heat and causing more ice to melt. This is a positive feedback loop where ice melt causes more ice to melt.

Secondly, distinctive Arctic species such as the polar bear, walrus and ice seals depend on the sea ice; they cannot survive without it, so as the sea ice shrinks and thins, these animals' continued existence is jeopardized, as are the Arctic peoples whose cultures and ways of life have depended on the animals and the ice for millenia.

Watch this video to find out more about the melting Arctic sea ice:

And discover this incredible 'melting' artwork we commissioned. The massive 'Melting Vitruvian Man' - the size of which is four Olympic-sized swimming pools - draws attention to how climate change is causing the rapid melting of sea ice to outstrip predictions.

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