22 September 2012

Arctic Melt and Ramsar

At the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder Colorado, warning bells have been going off. 

This year's figures have shown a record 18% decrease in Arctic ice compared with 2007. The knock-on effect for the northern hemisphere is huge. 

Julienne Stroece, an ice research scientist with the centre said,

"We can expect more summers like 2012 as the ice cover continues to thin. The loss of summer sea ice has led to unusual warming of the Arctic atmosphere, that in turn impacts weather patterns in the northern hemisphere, that can result in persistent extreme weather such as droughts, heatwaves and flooding," 

Other scientists in the field are predicting that within four years, Arctic ice will have disappeared. Human activity at sea is worsening the situation and we can no longer carry on ignoring the extent and speed of climate change. Sea ice plays a pivotal role in this, reflecting some of the sun's energy and helping to keep the earth's climate cool enough for life - ours and the plants and animals we share our planet with. 

Faced with this worrying trend, author and environmentalist Bill McKibben says,

"Our response has not been alarm, or panic, or a sense of emergency. It has been: 'Let's go up there and drill for oil'. There is no more perfect indictment of our failure to get to grips with the greatest problem we've ever faced."


In more exciting news, Burns Bog has been given Ramsar designation as part of the newly renamed 'Fraser River Delta' site.

This from Ramsar's own site

"The government of Canada has vastly extended the Alaksen Ramsar Site, first designated in 1982, from 586 hectares to 20,682. The resulting Ramsar Site, now renamed "Fraser River Delta", is formed by six components (Burns Bog, Sturgeon Bank, South Arm Marshes, Boundary Bay, Serpentine, and the former 'Alaksen' Ramsar Site), all in the Metro Vancouver Region and part of the the most important river delta/estuary for fish and birds on the west coast of Canada."

This is something the Burns Bog Conservation Society has been hoping for for a long time. This gives international status to the conservation of the bog. 

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