The State of the Cryosphere - What the ice is telling us

Rapport - 5 december, 2003
Hoe is de cryosfeer eraan toe? Wat vertelt het ijs ons over de opwarming van de aarde? Een Engelstalig rapport van Greenpeace.

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Executive summary: Scientific understanding of the Earth's climate and how humans are affecting it is constantlyimproving, but there is still much to learn about what climate change will mean to natural systemssuch as the cryosphere. For most people polar regions are remote places that are out of sight andperhaps out of mind. There are however highly sensitive to climate change with strong feedbacks atplay. Dramatic and disturbing trends have already been observed in the Arctic, Greenland, theAntarctic Peninsula and in glaciers globally.Risk of sea level rise that could displace millions of people; radical alterations of ocean currents that inturn effect regional climate; loss of glaciers that provide water people need to live; changes to the foodchain and even possible dramatic and rapid irreversible changes to the global climate - these aresome of the possible impacts of climate change.The Kyoto Protocol is the one global mechanism to address climate change. As the latest round ofKyoto talks get underway in Milan in December 2003, evidence about the serious impact of climatechange is mounting. Governments and industry must take action to protect the climate now and stoptrying to weaken the Protocol. It is not only the cryosphere at risk, but also potentially the globalclimate system.

Num. pages: 5