Posts Tagged ‘Arktis’

Arktis: Betreten verboten – Eltern haften …

Donnerstag, Juni 28th, 2012

“Arctic Sea Ice at Lowest June Level Ever

Recent ice loss rates have been more than double the climatological rate, reports the NSIDC

By Common Dreams staff

The sea ice extent in the Arctic is at its lowest level ever for this time of year, according to the latest information from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

The NSIDC reports that the recent ice loss rates have been 38,600 to 57,900 square miles — more than double the climatological rate.

"The main contributors to the unusually rapid ice loss to this point in June are the disappearance of most of the winter sea ice in the Bering Sea, rapid ice loss in the Barents and Kara Seas, and early development of open water areas in the Beaufort and Laptev Seas north of Alaska and Siberia," the NSIDC explains.

The NSIDC further notes that the far north's snow cover is "nearly gone, earlier than normal, allowing the coastal land to warm faster."

In its most recent Arctic Report Card, the NOAA reported that changes to the Arctic had been "profound," and that with global warming projected to increase, "it is very likely that major Arctic changes will continue in years to come, with increasing climatic, biological and social impacts."



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(Quelle: Common Dreams.)

Kiribati: Ein neuer Lebensstil ist nötig

Dienstag, Dezember 6th, 2011

“Spotlight Durban: An Island Nation’s Call For Gifts to the World

By His Excellency Anote Tong, President of Kiribati
Another in a Triple Crisis and Real Climate Economics Blog series on the Durban Climate Change Conference.

Earlier this fall, I crossed the Pacific Ocean from the island nation of Kiribati, which I am privileged to serve as President, to visit the United States.

In the days just before the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, I saw and heard many references to the “resilience” of the American people. President Obama spoke of it, the covers of magazines displayed it. There is no doubt that Americans have found within them the capacity to absorb tremendous shocks, to adapt and heal from unimaginable disaster.

I listened as my American hosts spoke about your economic challenges. I understand that the hardship in your country is great. I heard of many people who are jobless, “underwater” on their home loans, and struggling to make ends meet. I know the deep insecurity that many of you feel.

These same ten years have brought another sort of disaster to my country, a constellation of low-lying, reef-fringed islands scattered across 1.3 million square miles of the South Pacific. On average, our islands are just two meters above sea level. Scientists anticipate sea level rise of one meter or more as a result of climate change within this century. You begin to see the catastrophe that Kiribati faces.

The citizens of Kiribati are resilient, yes, and I am proud of their efforts to face our grim reality. For Kiribati, climate change is not an issue for the future. We are feeling the effects now. We have begun to relocate families from places where homes are already being washed away. This is something the international community needs to understand and address. We are all citizens of this planet. We have a moral responsibility to one another.

I came to the United States to participate in a conference on resilience hosted by Ecotrust, a non-governmental organization in Portland, Oregon. Participants came from around the world to share the stories of their home regions, and to find common cause in the face of unprecedented challenges. The threats of climate change, economic crisis, and cultural upheaval are felt in every region.

I was pleased for the opportunity to tell Kiribati’s story, although I could not offer a happy ending. But more than that, I was pleased to learn about efforts from around the world to pioneer paths for people and nature in the world that we share today: Efforts to support Arctic communities as the snow and ice that underpins their culture disappears. A campaign by nations around the Baltic Sea to designate the world’s first “eco-region.” An educator’s remarkable effort to train illiterate grandmothers to bring solar energy to rural villages in India and Africa.

Two elders from the Haisla Nation in Canada described the struggle to defend their traditional homeland, the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. Sixteen years ago, their community rejected offers of logging jobs and instead created the Kitlope Heritage Conservancy in a co-managed partnership with the Province of British Columbia. They call it their “gift to the world.”

The phrase struck a chord with me, because the people of Kiribati have also made such a gift. Three years ago, we declared 160,000 square miles of our Phoenix Islands a fully protected marine park, off limits to fishing and to any extractive use. Today these pristine islands and waters are a United Nations World Heritage Site – in fact the largest World Heritage Site.

I think these gifts lie close to the heart of resilience: A decision to say “This is where we stop taking from the earth, and start giving back.” We need many such gifts to the world. Kiribati is a poor country that relies heavily on its marine resources for its income, but we did not hesitate to make our gift.

The Haisla elders spoke of a “magic canoe” in which we might travel together into the uncertain waters ahead. I am eager to get in that canoe and to paddle hard for my nation. I am ready for a long journey. But I fear that when we reach Kiribati, we may no longer find a place to go ashore.

This month I am representing Kiribati at COP 17, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. I don’t expect the conference to produce an answer that has eluded the international community for years. But I have arrived in Durban with a new question.

To my American friends, and to the other industrial economies that today face great uncertainties and difficult choices of their own, I ask: Are you prepared yet to build a way of life that does not depend on taking from the earth? Will that be your gift to the world?

In Kiribati and in many other places, our resilience depends on the answer.

His Excellency Anote Tong is the President of Kiribati.”


(Quelle: TripleCrisis.)

Arktis: Der Kampf um Rohstoffe hat längst begonnen

Samstag, Mai 14th, 2011

Battle for Arctic oil intensifies as US sends Clinton to polar summit

WikiLeak cables show fears that Arctic resources rivalry could lead to military conflict between Nato and Russia

By Terry Macalister

The US government has signalled a new determination to assert its role in Arctic oil and gas exploration by sending secretary of state Hillary Clinton and other ministers to a summit of the region’s powers for the first time.

Clinton and the US secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar, were both at the biennial meeting in the Greenland capital of Nuuk amid fears by environmentalists of a “carve up” of Arctic resources that could savage a pristine environment.

The political manoeuvres came as Britain’s Cairn Energy prepares to drill for oil off Greenland while Shell applies to explore for oil off Alaska and BP has done a deal to explore the Russian Arctic. They also came as cables were released by WikiLeaks showing American diplomats talking about the need to assert US influence over political and economic competitors such as China.

The WikiLeaks site published a dispatch from 2007 – numbered 12958 – detailing a conversation between US diplomats and the then Danish foreign minister, Per Stig Møller, in which they discuss delays in US ratification of a key maritime convention. “If you stay out,” Møller is quoted as telling the Americans, “then the rest of us will have more to carve up in the Arctic.”

Another cable details the lengths to which the US has been going to influence Greenland. “Our intensified outreach to the Greenlanders will encourage them to resist any false choice between the United States and Europe. It will also strengthen our relationship with Greenland vis-a-vis the Chinese, who have shown increasing interest in Greenland’s natural resource,” a US diplomat is said to have written.

Excitement about the commercial potential of the Arctic has escalated as ice has retreated, making access to oil, gold and uranium easier at a time when commodity prices have rocketed. The US Geological Survey reported in 2008 that up to a quarter of the world’s remaining reserves may lie under a melting ice cap.

Renewed interest by oil and mining companies has been accompanied by growing political and military activity but all the big states in the area, such as the US and Russia, have played down in public any speculation about a new cold war.

Greenpeace oil campaigner Ben Ayliffe said the latest revelations were extremely disturbing. “Instead of seeing the melting of the Arctic ice cap as a spur to action on climate change, the leaders of the Arctic nations are instead investing in military hardware to fight for the oil beneath it. They’re preparing to fight to extract the very fossil fuels that caused the melting in the first place. It’s like pouring gasoline on a fire.”

The WikiLeaks cables show how the scramble for resources in the Arctic is heightening military tension in the region, with Nato sources worried about the potential for armed conflict with Russia.

There is also concern that Russia may be manoeuvring to claim ownership over huge areas of the Arctic, with one senior Moscow source alleging that a Russian explorer’s submarine expedition to plant a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole was ordered by Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.

Canadian leaders have privately expressed disquiet over Nato’s mooted plans to use military force in the Arctic in the face of perceived Russian aggression.

The recently re-elected Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, is quoted by diplomats as saying that a Nato presence in the region would give non-Arctic members of the alliance too much influence in an area where “they don’t belong”.

The race for new resources has also worried indigenous people. Jimmy Stotts, president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council in Alaska, said he was not opposed to oil exploration as long as it was done safely. “We’re not convinced, at least in Alaska, that it’s sustainable so far, despite statements that are made by government or industry or others,” Stotts said. “We’re still waiting for somebody to prove to us that they can clean up an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean.”


(Quelle: The Guardian.)

Arktis: Finger weg! (KAMPAGNE)

Dienstag, Mai 10th, 2011

“Arctic: Moratorium Now!

The devastating BP spill off the Gulf of Mexico has awakened our collective consciousness to the serious risks of offshore drilling. Images of oil soaked wetlands, dying birds and animals and firsthand accounts of jobs and livelihoods lost are just the start of what will be long-lasting impacts of this environmental catastrophe.

With the discovery of 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under melting ice, the Arctic is increasingly being viewed as a final frontier for fossil fuel development.  More than 80 per cent of the oil and gas is found offshore.

Here are 5 reasons to support a moratorium on oil and gas developments in the Arctic:

● As seen with BP Oil in the Gulf of Mexico, there is no surefire way to guarantee against a massive oil spill.

● A spill will devastate the fragile Arctic ecosystem.

● Further Arctic oil and gas development and a spill stands to have devastating impacts on local Indigenous Peoples including on food security and cultural needs.

● Melting ice in the Arctic shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity for Big Oil to increase their profits with new projects – it is a serious warming signal of the climate crisis.

● A moratorium is a logical first step in a just transition to sustainable jobs, energy and an improved environment for everyone.

Arctic Coastal States told to Leave it in the Ground

In the lead up to the 7th Arctic Council meeting in Nuuk, Greenland May 12, the Council of Canadians coordinated an open letter sent by organizations in six Arctic Coastal states – Canada, U.S., Russia, Greenland, Denmark and Norway – demanding a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Arctic.

With the Arctic increasingly being seen as a final frontier for fossil fuel development, the open letter affirms international unity around concerns with, and opposition to the pursuit of offshore drilling. The letter, received by Foreign Ministers, encourages the Arctic Council to advise against offshore drilling and engage in a discussion exploring alternative, viable opportunities for sustainable economic development. It highlights the unacceptable risks of offshore drilling in Arctic waters and the need  for political leaders to start choosing to leave fossil fuels ‘in the ground’ in the face of a climate crisis.

You can read the open letter here.
You can read the press release here.

The signing organizations are: Avataq, Greenland, Friends of the Earth Denmark, Greenpeace Denmark, Friends of the Earth Norway, Greenpeace Norway, Kola Environmental Center, Russia, Council of Canadians, Canada, Greenpeace, Canada, Indigenous Environmental Network, Canada, Yukon Conservation Society, Canada, Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, U.S., Friends of the Earth U.S., Global Exchange, U.S., Indigenous Environmental Network, U.S., Pacific Environment, U.S., REDOIL Network, U.S.

FACT SHEET: Leave it in the Ground: No offshore drilling in the Arctic! October 2010

TAKE ACTION: Use our action alert to send an email demanding a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Arctic!

BLOG POSTS: Click here for arctic blog posts by Andrea Harden-Donahue, energy and climate justice campaigner, and here for posts by Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications.

Letter to Foreign Ministers of Canada, Norway, Denmark, Russia and the United States ahead of the Arctic Summit in Chelsea, Québec, March 29, 2010. Council of Canadians; Indigenous Environmental Network; REDOIL.

PHOTOS: Council of Canadians’ photostream

The Council of Canadians together with the Indigenous Environmental Network and Greenpeace rallied just 20 metres from the road where Foreign Ministers passed to get to the Arctic Summit in Chelsea, Quebec on March 29, 2010.”


(Quelle: Council of Canadians.)

Arktis: Klimakatastrophe voraus!

Montag, Mai 2nd, 2011

“Artischer Rat: Forscher warnen vor dramatisch steigendem Meeresspiegel

Neue Alarmprognose von der Arktis: Das immer schneller schmelzende Festlandeis rund um den Nordpol beschleunigt den globalen Anstieg des Meeresspiegels massiv. Bis zum Jahr 2100 wird er um 0,9 bis 1,6 Meter höher sein als jetzt, meint der Arktische Rat.

Der Arktische Rat sagt einen dramatisch höheren und schnelleren Anstieg des globalen Meeresspiegels voraus als bisher angenommen. Wie die Kopenhagener Zeitung „Politiken‟ am Montag berichtete, warnt die Expertengruppe AMAP in einem noch unveröffentlichten Bericht vor einem durchschnittlichen Anstieg des Meeresspiegel von 0,9 bis 1,6 Meter bis zum Jahr 2100. Weltweit leben 150 Millionen Menschen auf einer Höhe von bis zu einem Meter über dem Meeresspiegel.

Bei der letzten großen Prognose zu dieser Frage hatte der Weltklimarat (IPCC) 2007 angenommen, dass die globale Klimaerwärmung zu einem um 0,19 bis 0,59 Meter höheren Meeresspiegel führt. In dem am Dienstag zur Veröffentlichung anstehenden AMAP-Report heißt es jetzt, dass vor allem das beschleunigte Abschmelzen der arktischen Gletscher und des grönländischen Inlandeises, zur unvermutet hohen Änderung des Meeresspiegels beitrage (…).”



(Quelle: Handelsblatt.)

Siehe auch:

Meeresspiegel steigt schneller und höher

Arktis: Bye-bye Knut…

Montag, Juli 12th, 2010

“Arktisches Meereis schmilzt im Rekord-Tempo

WWF: Kein guter Sommer für Eisbären

Photograph by: Denis Sarrazin/Center for Northern Studies/Handout/Reuters
The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in the Canadian arctic. File photo.

Ein Report des National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in den USA zum Zustand des arktischen Meereis hat einen neuen Rekord-Tiefststand ausgewiesen. Demnach war die Eisfläche so klein wie in keinem Juni seit Beginn der Satelliten-Aufzeichnungen 1979. Der Studie zufolge ging das Meereis im vergangenen Monat um durchschnittlich 88.000 Quadratkilometer pro Tag zurück. Der Durchschnittswert liegt im Juni normalerweise bei etwa 53.000 Quadratkilometer täglich.

Die Umweltschutzorganisation WWF sorgt sich aufgrund dieser Entwicklung vor allem um die verbliebenen Eisbär-Vorkommen im Nordpolarmeer. „Es ist kein guter Sommer für die Eisbären mm Nordpolarmeer. Ihr Lebensraum schmilzt ihnen offensichtlich immer schneller unter den Pfoten weg‘, sagt Volker Homes, Leiter WWF Artenschutz.

Fünf Grad mehr als sonst

Der WWF beobachtet derzeit Eisbären in der Arktis, in Norwegen, der Hudson Bay und der südlichen Beaufort See. Vor allem im kanadischen Churchchill, in der westlichen Hudson Bay, sei die Situation der Eisbären dramatisch, so der WWF. Die Tagestemperaturen betragen dort momentan um die 17 Grad Celsius – der normale Durchschnittswert liegt bei zwölf Grad Celsius. Der WWF beobachtet derzeit drei Eisbären, die sich im Norden von Churchill an die verbliebenen, spärlichen Reste des Meereises klammern.

„Solch hohe Temperaturen werden den Bären zum Verhängnis‟, erklärt Homes. Noch könnten die drei Bären auf Seehundjagd gehen, doch andere Artgenossen dieser Sub-Population seien hingegen bereits an Land gegangen. Die Tiere versuchten nun, soviel Energiereserven wie möglich zu sparen, was angesichts derart hoher Temperaturen nicht einfach sei.

„Es ist ein Teufelskreis. Die Tiere magern unter diese Bedingungen immer weiter ab und werden geschwächt. Zugleich müssen sie im November länger ausharren, bis das Meereis zurückkommt und sie wieder auf Robbenjagd gehen können‟, sagt Homes.

160 Tage fasten

Nach WWF-Einschätzung müssen einige Eisbären durch die veränderten klimatischen Bedingungen eine Fastenperiode von bis zu 160 Tagen überstehen. „Auf eine derart lange Hungerzeit sind die Tiere physiologisch nicht ausgerichtet‟, sagt Homes. In diesem Jahr hätten einige Bären durch die frühe Eisschmelze bereits 18 Tage länger fasten müssen.

Jetzt hofft der WWF, dass das Meereis im kommenden Winter frühzeitig zurückkehrt. „Sollte es ähnlich spät zufrieren wie im letzten Jahr, könnten das viele Bären womöglich nicht überleben‟, so Homes.

(WWF Deutschland, 12.07.2010 – DLO)”


(Quelle: scinexx.)

Siehe auch:

Das Ende der Ruhe am Nordpol
Rate of Arctic sea ice melt heats up