Antarctica, the Arctic and Greenland: the world’s last great wilderness areas, home to unconquered frontiers, unfathomable challenges and awe-inspiring scenery. Now they are melting, breaking up, and disappearing. Climate change and global warming are creeping into these icy worlds causing changes that will potentially devastate large areas of these regions as well as large parts of the planet.
The Arctic is home to the North Pole, polar bears and Santa (yet to be scientifically confirmed). There is no landmass at the North Pole, only floating ice.
Antarctica is home to a rich and diverse collection of whales, seals, penguins, albatross, fish and krill – a small prawn-like creature that is the basis of the food chain. The landmass of Antarctica holds 70% of Earth’s fresh water, frozen as ice.
The third big slab of ice on Earth is Greenland. Greenland holds enough ice to raise sea levels by seven metres if melted.
Along with the Arctic and Antarctica, Greenland is often referred to as the ‘canary in the coal mine’, due to the sensitive nature of its ice sheets to changes in temperature. Climate change and global warming are already taking causing changes to the Polar Regions, changes that have never been experienced in recorded history.
‘The continent (of Antarctica) has become a symbol of our time. The test of man’s willingness to pull back from the destruction of the Antarctic wilderness is the test also of his willingness to avert destruction globally. If he cannot succeed in Antarctica he has little chance of success elsewhere.’ – Edwin Mickelburgh.