Uxbridge, Canadá, 17/5/2013 – Muitos olhos se voltam para o Ártico, alguns com horror diante da veloz redução de um componente crucial do sistema que apoia a vida, outros antecipando com ansiedade os recursos sem explorar que dormem sob a neve e o gelo que se derrete. “Trabalhei no norte durante 21 anos, e a escala e velocidade da mudança que acontece ali é assustadora”, afirmou à IPS Douglas Clark, da Universidade de Saskatchewan, no Canadá. “Estas mudanças, tomadas em sua totalidade e refletidas em nosso informe, me impedem de dormir à noite”, destacou. Continue reading
Ambientalistas alertaron sobre la fragilidad de un plan inadecuado para proteger al océano Ártico de derrames de petróleo, tras la reunión que mantuvieron en Suecia los ministros de Ambiente de los países con territorios en el área. Según el Greenpeace, una copia filtrada del documento sugiere que los ocho miembros del Consejo Ártico no lograron ponerse de acuerdo el lunes 4 sobre los detalles técnicos necesarios para hacer frente a un vertido de magnitud. Ello pese a que incluso abrieron la puerta para más perforaciones y exploraciones petroleras en la zona. Continue reading
It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half century.
Three weeks before the minimum occurred, the melting of the Arctic’s sea ice broke the previous record(1). Iconic remnants of the global megafauna – such as rhinos and bluefin tuna – were shoved violently towards extinction(2). Novel tree diseases raged across continents(3). Bird and insect numbers continued to plummet, coral reefs retreated, marine life dwindled. And those charged with protecting us and the world in which we live pretended that none of it was happening. Continue reading
Fault Lines travels to the Arctic Circle to investigate the impact a resource rush might have on local communities.
Al-Jazeera, November 14, 2012
Fault Lines looks at the potential environmental impact of resource extraction in the Arctic, and what that might mean for the people who live there.
The UN has imposed a 2013 deadline for the submission of scientific claims to the Arctic seabed. It is the precursor to a resource boom which would see Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Greenland all attempt to exploit the region’s resources.
These Arctic countries are desperately mapping out their territories so they can tap into the fossil fuels and minerals locked beneath the fast melting ice.
And with global warming speeding up the melting of the Polar ice caps, potential shipping routes are opening up – raising concerns about oil spills, and control over these new passageways.
Fault Lines’ Josh Rushing heads to the Far North to see first-hand how Arctic countries are responding to the potential bonanza.
Kumi Naidoo, Yes! Magazine, November 17, 2012
Hanging from an oil platform in the Russian Arctic one day last August, I was hosed by a jet of water from above so icy it almost cut through the skin on my face. My hands and feet were blue from the cold. Though I was wrapped in layers of waterproof gear, freezing water trickled into the small openings around my neck. My body was under extreme stress, and I was sinking into a state of confusion. Suddenly I wasn’t so sure that joining this Greenpeace action was the best decision I could have made. Then I thought of the supporters who joined Save the Arctic to tell the oil industry, with a united voice, not to drill in this pristine environment. They kept me warm.
Global warming caused by our use of fossil fuels is already driving climate change and extreme weather events. From drought in South Africa to severe flooding in the Philippines to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, our planet is sending us warnings that could not be clearer. And the Arctic ice is melting, reaching a record summer low this year. Continue reading
Filed under: Ciencia, Direitos, Ecologia, Economia, Mundo | Marcado: aquecimento global, Artico, combustiveis fosseis, Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, mudancas climaticas, petroleiras, petroleo | Leave a comment »
In lieu of recent statistics showing ‘unprecedented’ and ‘amazing’ Arctic sea ice melt at record levels, leading climate scientist Michael Mann stated this weekthat rising water levels are “decades ahead of schedule” and that “Island nations that have considered the possibility of evacuation at some point, like Tuvalu, may have to be contending those sort of decisions within the matter of a decade or so.”
Arctic sea ice is “declining faster than the models predict,” Mann, who is the director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center, told the Guardian this week. “When you look at the major Greenland and the west Antarctic ice sheets, which are critical from the standpoint of sea level rise, once they begin to melt we really start to see sea level rises accelerate.”
“The models have typically predicted that will not happen for decades but the measurements that are coming in tell us it is already happening so once again we are decades ahead of schedule.” Continue reading
Camila Nóbrega, O Globo, 2 de outubro de 2012
Sobrevoando o Oceano Ártico, a sensação era de estar diante de um espelho gigante, estilhaçado em milhões de pedacinhos. Em vez de vidro, placas de gelo quebradas, resquícios dos últimos dias de verão, refletiam de forma descontínua os raios de sol. Vistos do alto, de um helicóptero, os pedaços, já frágeis, ocupavam quilômetros de mar, mas, a cada minuto, ondas engoliam mais um trecho da cobertura branca. Diante dos nossos olhos, a geleira que cerca o Polo Norte se desfazia, materializando números que, no dia 27 de agosto, já haviam acionado o alarme sobre a situação. Este ano, foi registrado o recorde de derretimento da cobertura de gelo no oceano, desde que as medições começaram a ser feitas, em 1979. Era esse o motivo que levava à região uma expedição do Greenpeace.
A bordo do navio Artic Sunrise, cientistas de diferentes partes do mundo, protestavam contra a exploração econômica do Ártico. Eles reivindicam a criação de uma área de proteção internacional.
O cenário é um exemplo vivo da elevação da temperatura da Terra, que se potencializa na região. O termômetro no local marca um aumento três vezes maior do que no resto do planeta. Cientistas alertam que o fenômeno é acelerado pela queima de combustíveis fósseis e que esse processo causará, cada vez mais, eventos climáticos extremos, como tempestades, inundações e secas. Continue reading
US and Russian groups unite to lobby governments after concerns over rise in poaching and melting Arctic ice
Miriam Elder, guardian.co.uk, October 1, 2012
Environmental activists in the United States and Russia have come together to push for unprecedented protection for the polar bear, hoping to stave off the decline of its already dwindling population.
With Arctic Sea ice at record low because of climate change, polar bears have been deprived of a key habitat and feeding ground. Legal trade in polar bears, mainly in the form of trophy skins and furs, remains legal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), leading to the death of hundreds more each year. Continue reading
NSIDC (Centro Nacional de Dados de Neve e Gelo dos Estados Unidos) confirma derretimento recorde no extremo norte do planeta, o que traz impactos para o clima global e acirra a corrida por recursos, como petróleo e gás, que até agora estavam fora do alcance das empresas e governos.
Jéssica Lipinski, Instituto CarbonoBrasil, 27 de setembro de 2012
Nas últimas semanas, diversos especialistas vêm alertando para o crítico degelo no Ártico e a possibilidade de serem alcançados recordes no derretimento. Pois no dia 16 de setembro, imagens de satélite do Centro Nacional de Dados de Neve e Gelo (NSIDC) dos Estados Unidos mostraram que a capa de gelo ficou com 3,42 milhões de km2, a menor extensão desde o início das medições, em 1979. Continue reading
As Arctic sea ice hits a record low, focus is turning to climate ”tipping points” – a threshold that, once crossed, cannot be reversed and will create fundamental changes to other areas. ”It’s a trigger that leads to more warming at a regional level, but also leads to flow-on effects through other systems,” said Will Steffen, the chief adviser on global warming science to Australia’s Climate Commission.
There are about 14 known ”tipping elements”, according to a paper published by the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Continue reading
Elizabeth Rosenthal, O Estado de S.Paulo / The New York Times, 23 de setembro de 2012
Com o gelo derretendo no Ártico a um nível recorde, as superpotências mundiais vêm competindo cada vez mais para ter influência política e uma posição econômica em postos avançados como Nuuk, vista antes como região selvagem e estéril.
Em jogo estão as abundantes ofertas de petróleo, gás e minérios que, graças à mudança climática, começam a se tornar mais acessíveis, como também rotas mais curtas navegáveis para transportar produtos. Este ano, a China vem se comportando com muito mais ousadia na área, alarmando as potências ocidentais. Continue reading
Filed under: Direitos, Ecologia, Economia, Mundo | Marcado: aquecimento global, Artico, China, degelo das calotas polares, Governo Obama, Groenlandia, mineracao, mudancas climaticas, rotas maritimas | Leave a comment »
Common Dreams staff, September 20, 2012
Drawing on new data on the rate of melting arctic ice released Wednesday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), leading scientific experts and environmental campaigners upped the level of alarm and issued a renewed call to action by calling the growing reality of climate change a “planetary emergency”. Continue reading
Last week as Shell was getting ready to poke the first hole in the Chukchi Sea floor in Arctic Alaska to begin exploratory drilling, I was getting ready to give two talks in Alaska—the concluding lecture of the Next North Symposium at the Anchorage Museum on 9/8, and one at the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks on 9/11 as part of the Northern Voices Speaker Series hosted by Northern Alaska Environmental Center in partnership with the Gwich’in Steering Committee.
While there something remarkable happened over the weekend—perhaps the shortest–lived “beginning” of drilling anywhere. “Only a day after Shell Alaska began drilling a landmark offshore oil well in the Arctic, the company was forced on Monday to pull off the well in the face of an approaching ice pack. With the ice floe about 10 miles away, the Noble Discoverer drilling rig was disconnecting from its seafloor anchor Monday afternoon in the Chukchi Sea, about 70 miles from the northwest coast of Alaska,” the Los Angeles Times reported. There is much more to this story of ice and Shell. Continue reading
John Vidal, guardian.co.uk, September 17, 2012
One of the world’s leading ice experts has predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years. In what he calls a “global disaster” now unfolding in northern latitudes as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded, Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University calls for “urgent” consideration of new ideas to reduce global temperatures. Continue reading
Damian Carrington, The Guardian, September 14, 2012
Our planet is waving the white flag of surrender. But as the polar flag becomes ever more tattered, with holes scorched by hotter ocean waters, humanity pumps ever more globe-warming gases into the air. The story of the Arctic ice cap is the story of modern environmentalism. In 1968, as satellites began to document the vast ice field blanketing the north pole, the iconic Earthrise image was beamed back to the ground. It revealed a planet of awesome beauty, deep blue oceans, verdant continents and crowned with at least 8m square kilometres of gleaming ice. The image kickstarted the global green movement.
In 2007, a new record was set for the minimum summer sea ice cover in the Arctic had halved. This furious flag waving attracted attention. That year, the world’s scientists declared the end of any doubt that our addiction to burning fossil fuels was changing the face of the planet. Al Gore expounded his inconvenient truth and the world seemed set to act. Today, that 2007 record is smashed and the shredded white flag is now flickering rathering than flashing. But the danger is greater than even, even if the alarm signal is frayed. Continue reading
John Vidal and Adam Vaughan, guardian.co.uk, September 14, 2012
Sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk to its smallest extent ever recorded, smashing the previous record minimum and prompting warnings of accelerated climate change. Satellite images show that the rapid summer melt has reduced the area of frozen sea to less than 3.5 million square kilometres this week – less than half the area typically occupied four decades ago.
Arctic sea ice cover has been shrinking since the 1970s when it averaged around 8m sq km a year, but such a dramatic collapse in ice cover in one year is highly unusual. A record low in 2007 of 4.17m sq km was broken on 27 August 2012; further melting has since amounted to more than 500,000 sq km. Continue reading
Arctic Sea ice levels continue to drop below record set on Aug. 26
Common Dreams staff, September 7, 2012
The rate of Arctic Sea ice melt has caught scientists by surprise, leaving them to describe the current record low levels as “amazing,” “a Goliath” and “unprecedented.” While a record low was recorded on Aug. 26, the ice level continues to fall, and theNational Snow and Ice Data Center reportsthat there is still a week left in the melting season.
The speed of the Arctic ice melt is astounding, scientists say. “It is a greater change than we could even imagine 20 years ago, even 10 years ago,” Dr. Kim Holmen, international director of the Norwegian Polar Institute told the BBC. “And it has taken us by surprise and we must adjust our understanding of the system and we must adjust our science and we must adjust our feelings for the nature around us.” Continue reading
Scientists say this year’s record declines in Arctic sea ice extent and volume are powerful evidence that the giant cap of ice at the top of the planet is on a trajectory to largely disappear in summer within a decade or two, with profound global consequences.
Fen Montaigne,Yale Environment 360, August 30, 2012
As the northern summer draws to a close, two milestones have been reached in the Arctic Ocean — record-low sea ice extent, and an even more dramatic new low in Arctic sea ice volume. This extreme melting offers dramatic evidence, many scientists say, that the region’s sea ice has passed a tipping point and that sometime in the next decade or two the North Pole will be largely ice-free in summer.
NASA and U.S. ice experts announced earlier this week that the extent of Arctic sea ice has dropped to 4.1 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) — breaking the previous record set in 2007 — and will likely continue to fall even farther until mid-September. As the summer melt season ends, the Arctic Ocean will be covered with 45 percent less ice than the average from 1979 to 2000
As record sea ice melt scarcely makes the news while the third runway grabs headlines, is there a form of reactive denial at work?
George Monbiot, The Guardian, August 29, 2012
Yesterday was August 28th 2012. Remember that date. It marks the day when the world went raving mad.
Three things of note happened. The first is that a record Arctic ice melt had just been announced by the scientists studying the region. The 2012 figure has not only beaten the previous record, established in 2007. It has beaten it three weeks before the sea ice is likely to reach its minimum extent. It reveals that global climate breakdown is proceeding more rapidly than most climate scientists expected. But you could be forgiven for missing it, as it scarcely made the news at all. Continue reading
The company has been granted permission to begin preparation work at exploratory drilling sites in the Arctic
Associated Press, guardian.co.uk, August 31, 2012
Royal Dutch Shell has been given a permit to begin preparation work at exploratory drilling sites in the Arctic while it awaits certification for its oil spill response barge, US interior secretary, Ken Salazar, announced onThursday. “We are allowing certain limited preparatory activities that we know can be done in a safe manner,” he said in a teleconference with reporters.
The company was granted permission to starting digging with its drill ship in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s north-west coast, but only into the layer of ocean bottom that’s above oil reserves. Shell can dig 20-by-40ft mud-line cellars, which will eventually hold and protect a well’s blowout preventer 40ft below the seabed. The company also is authorised to drill narrow pilot holes, which reveal obstructions or gas pockets, down another 1,500ft. Continue reading