THE PROJECTED FUTURE OF THE ARCTIC

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The inland ice in the year 2000, 2175 and 2350 based on temperature development at 1.000 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. The locations of the ice core drilling: Dye3, GRIP, NorthGRIP and Camp Century are marked (source: Mernild 2008)

Creative researchers uses alternative methodes in the fight against global warming in Greenland

Report from the scientific conference i Copenhagen, march 2009 (before COP15).
Text: Dr. Sebastian H. Mernild, JULY 2009
(climate and polar scientist (Ph.D.) at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.)
A new and alternative weapon has been taken into use in the fight against global climate changes. This summer in Greenland, climate and polar researchers are going to cover an area of the inland ice (about 10,000 square metres) with a white cover of synthetic material, expecting it to minimize melting and the flow of melt-water from the inland ice.
  The project is both different and interesting and can probably most of all be considered to be an experiment in education. It is spectacular and will provide good pictures which can stimulate political and public interest in climate changes. But no-one believes that covering all the glaciers and ice-caps in the world is a solution for global warming.
  However, the experiment says something about how serious the situation is – and how creatively we scientists are forced to think. An idea like covering the inland ice is only one example of how science has used alternative solutions recently – the so-called »geo-manipulation processes« – in attempts to minimize the effects of global climate changes.
Researchers stresses the political dimension
Other creative suggestions are projects that are aimed at lowering the global temperature artificially. This could be through technology which uses man-made means to either reduce the effects of the sun’s rays or to remove CO2 from the at-mosphere. But the problems surrounding climate changes reach further than the above-mentioned efforts at manipulation.
  The climate debate should not only be about how we can heal the state of the planet – mini-mize the effects of the ongoing climate changes – through scientific initiatives and new technologies, but also what political action is necessary to prevent the effect of future climate changes.
  Previous political attempts to reduce CO2 are evaluated by climate researchers to be too little, too late. The longer it takes from the start of political negotiations and to ratification of a future replacement for the Kyoto protocol, the harder and more expensive it will be to limit temperature increases to 2-3 degrees by the end of this century.
Does we want the atmosphere to end up as garbage dump?
A crucial question is whether we will, in future, accept that the atmosphere is used as a refuse dump for our CO2: The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has for many decades risen by 1.5 parts pr. million (ppm) each year, and is today at 387 ppm.
  If our atmosphere is not to end up as a refuse dump, prevention and healing must go hand in hand. An aggressive, holistic, political initiative on behalf of the climate is essential. This should be based on joint responsibility and common commitments. It is important to remember that climate problems are a global issue and a challenge that requires global solutions: if one loses, everyone loses.
  At the conference in Copenhagen in March 2009 we scientists presented the latest extrapolations for the state of the planet. It is now up to the planet’s politicians to ratify a new climate protocol, preferably to replace the present Kyoto protocol and reach far into the next generation. 
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