Posts Tagged ‘Antarctic’

Days to Save the Antarctic Ocean‏

October 21, 2012
Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Dear friends,

I’m writing to ask for your help. In days, governments could turn stretches of the Antarctic ocean into the world’s largest marine sanctuary, saving thousands of majestic polar species from the threat of industrial fishing fleets. But a small group of countries could drown the deal unless we act now:

I’m writing to ask for your help. Within days, governments could begin turning wide stretches of the Antarctic ocean into the world’s largest marine sanctuary, saving the habitat of whales, penguins, and thousands of other polar species from industrial fishing fleets.

But they won’t act unless we speak out now.


Most countries support the sanctuary, but Russia, South Korea and a few others are threatening to vote it down so they can plunder these seas now that others have been fished to death. This week, a small group of negotiators will meet behind closed doors to make a decision. A massive people-powered surge could break open the talks, isolate those attempting to block the sanctuary, and secure a deal to protect over 6 million square kilometers of the precious Antarctic ocean.

The whales and penguins can’t speak for themselves, so it’s up to us to defend them. Let’s change negotiators’ minds with a massive wave of public pressure — Avaaz will surround the meeting with hard-hitting ads, and together we’ll deliver our message to delegates via a deafening cry on social networks. Sign this urgent petition and share it with everyone you know:

More than 10,000 species call these remote Antarctic waters their home, including blue whales, leopard seals, and emperor penguins, and many are found nowhere else on Earth. Climate change has already taken a cruel toll on their fragile habitat, but they will come under further threat from the industrial fishing fleet’s mile-long nets cast over these precious waters. Only a marine sanctuary will increase their odds for survival.

The 25-member governing body that regulates the Antarctic oceans has already committed to creating these marine protected areas. But the two plans being negotiated — one to protect part of the fragile Ross Sea and one for East Antarctica — are at risk of dilution or delay. Shockingly, the talks have been off the media’s radar and countries like Russia and South Korea are betting their opposition will go unnoticed, but if we cast a public spotlight on the talks we can force them to back off, and encourage champions like the US and EU to push for even stronger protections.

The future of the Southern ocean is in our hands. Let’s unleash a massive surge of global pressure and ensure governments don’t put profits before our planet. Please sign and share this petition with everyone you know:

The Avaaz community has come together time and time again to protect our oceans. We’ve already helped win two of the largest marine reserves in the world. But the threats to our oceans continue, and one by one species are coming closer to the brink. Join me in saving the Antarctic ocean before it’s too late.

With hope,

Leonardo DiCaprio, with the Avaaz team

The end of the British Antarctic Survey?

October 8, 2012
Shrinking ice in the Antarctic means scientific research more vital than ever

Shrinking ice in the Antarctic means scientific research more vital than ever

Since coming to power the ConDem government has declared war on the poor, the disadvantaged, the arts, science, welfare budgets have been cut, the Tories are now bragging they intend to cut a further £10 billion from welfare budgets, libraries closed, a failed attempt was made to sell off our historic forests for commercial exploitation. Now they are wishing to destroy the British Antarctic Survey.

Everyone has heard of Scott of the Antarctic, the ill-fated attempt by Captain Scott to reach the South Pole and how he and his team died in the attempt. But even if they had succeeded they would have found they were beaten by a Norwegian team.

A legacy of Scott is the British Antarctic Survey. It was the British Antarctic Survey that discovered the hole in the ozone layer.

At a time of global warming, with warming taking place much faster at the Polar Regions, we need the British Antarctic Survey more than ever before, were the west Antarctic ice sheet to collapse sea levels would rise by 3 metres wiping out many coastal cities including London, and yet the ConDem government wish to abolish the British Antarctic Survey based in Cambridge. They wish to merge it with National Oceanography Centre based in Southampton and Liverpool.

To put a 3m rise in sea level in context, the Thames Barrier was built to cope with a 16cm rise in sea level over the next 20 years. 

This summer has seen more melting of the Arctic ice beating previous records. The ice is melting far faster than previously forecast leading to the very real possibility of the Arctic free of ice during the summer within the next ten years.

The British Antarctic Survey carries out research and collects data on climate change, ice dynamics, ecosystems and fisheries, work that is vital to understanding climate change.

Next month a 12-strong team will use a custom-built hot-water drill to penetrate a three-kilometre layer of ice to reach the waters of the subglacial Lake Ellsworth on the west Antarctic ice sheet. Sixteen years to plan, this investigation will open new research into the Earth’s past climate and possibly could find new life forms or if not, the limit at which life can exist.

The Cambridge headquarters will be closed, the name lost (losing the link with Scott). This will pave the way for later sell-off of ships, aircraft, the closure of bases, redundancies, lose of expertise.

Already senior personel have left seeing no future for the British Antarctic Survey.

Only the ConDem government could be this foolish, this shortsighted.

Please sign the petition opposing abolition of the British Antarctic Survey. Please pass to all your friends and colleagues and ask them to sign.