Displaying items by tag: Antarctica
About nine million species of animals and plants are exposed to changes in the global climate. Monitoring how climate change affects wildlife and ecosystems has become critical for directing conservation measures where life is most at risk. Today the world's biggest iceberg is bearing down on South Georgia. The Antarctic ice giant, similar in size to the island or to the county of Somerset, is expected to anchor itself offshore of the wildlife haven; posing a grave threat to local penguins and seals. Their normal foraging routes could be blocked, preventing them from feeding their young properly. All creatures living on the seafloor would be crushed where it touches ground. David Attenborough said the world is a unique and spectacular landscape, if we act now we can put it right and save and protect the animals and plants we have endangered throughout centuries of changing the natural world.
An artwork was unveiled in London on 11 December, to coincide with the climate change conference taking place in Poland. Centuries-old Greenland icebergs weighing between 1.5 and 6 tonnes keep melting. This installation seeks to bring the effects of climate change closer to home, putting people in direct contact with its effects. The icebergs remind us we have only twelve years to limit the worst effects of climate change, and they also represent another 10,000 blocks of ice which are falling from the same ice sheet in Greenland every single second. ‘People need to face the tangible consequences of their actions’, states the artist on his website. Meanwhile NASA has detected new signs of large glaciers in East Antarctica losing ice. This area has long been considered more stable than West Antarctica.
Three Japanese whaling ships returned to their home port in Shimonoseki on 30 March with 333 minke whales killed in Antarctica. They attracted international protests and condemnation. Supposedly, these sea mammals were harpooned ‘for scientific purposes’. The International Court of Justice ordered a suspension of Japan's ‘scientific whaling’ in 2014, which led the country to cut its whaling programme. Minke whales are categorised as great whales, and commercial hunting of great whales was banned in 1986. Japan wants whaling to be permitted once more, and its steadfast participation in whale hunts continues to provoke protests worldwide. In its defence, Tokyo points out that the International Whaling Commission allows whales to be killed for ‘research’ purposes.