The scale of the change that is happening in the Arctic is so significant that it’s sending out a warning cry but the rest of the world isn’t listening.
While politicians and business leaders walked briskly between meetings to try and stay out of the freezing cold at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this year, a group of scientists set up an Arctic base camp at the event and spent most of their time outdoors. The group where trying to highlight the rapid melting of Arctic ice, and convince world leaders that the freezing extremes of our planet are crucial to a healthy world. Here’s what they had to say:
Professor Gail Whiteman, Rubin Chair in Sustainability. Lancaster University:
“We’re setting up the arctic basecamp in Davos because scientists are so worried about the changes that are happening in the arctic and the global risks associated with those. What happens in the arctic doesn’t stay there and it posts global risks throughout the world The scale of the change that is happening in the arctic is so significant that it’s sending out a warning cry but the rest of the world isn’t listening.
We want to set up a direct line of communication between arctic scientists and world leaders. I’m going to be sleeping in that tent over there. There’s going to be ten of us, it’s going to be cold and we’re all scientists here to bring our message of global change.”
Director of WSL, Professor ETH, Konrad Steff en, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow & Landscape Research WSL:
“Last year this glacier receded 70 metres and is moving up hill. What you see is a retreating of the glaciers, the retreating of the ice sheets and that is happening in the arctic as well as the rest of the world and if this continues then most of the glaciers won’t be here by the year 2100.
The glaciers worldwide are the biggest contributor to the global sea-level rise right now. There is a 1mm per year global sea level rise. I think it is time we start talking about the arctic basecamp and the fast changing arctic because we have seen it. But now it is so urgent, 2016 was the warmest year on record.”
Dr Jeremy Wilkinson – Sea Ice Physicist, British Antarctic Survey:
“Arctic basecamp is here because climate change is happening right now, the science is totally compelling. We’re here at Davos to bring our message of Arctic change. The Arctic Basecamp is here because climate change is real. Scientists have been studying the Arctic for years and can conclusively confirm that Arctic change is happening now and we need to bring that evidence of Arctic change to the wider community.”