Gore calls melting ice a global wake-up call

TROMSØ April 28 – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Al Gore, ministers from Europe, the Americas and Asia, and some of the world’s leading experts on snow and ice melting met in Tromsø, Norway, today. Mr Gore and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who co-chaired the conference, decided to establish a task force which will report on these issues to the climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

“This conference is a global wake-up call. The ice is melting faster than the worst-case projections of only a few years ago in the Arctic and in Greenland. The ice is also melting in West Antarctica and in mountainous regions across the globe. Moreover, the Permafrost is thawing and beginning to release methane. The scientific evidence for action in Copenhagen in December is continuing to build up week by week,” said Mr Gore.

“The leadership shown by the Obama administration gives me hope that we now have reached a tipping point in favour of reaching a global agreement on the need for action on climate change,” said Mr Gore.

“Temperatures are rising faster in the Arctic than in any other region, causing the ice to melt. However, the effects of melting ice and snow are being felt in regions all over the world. I am therefore pleased that this conference has brought together ministers from both north and south,” said Mr Støre.

Representatives of the world’s foremost scientific expertise attending the conference showed how ice melting is affecting the Arctic, the Antarctic and also high altitude areas such as the Himalayas and the Andes. 

“As chairman of the Arctic Council, which will meet tomorrow, I am confident that the issues raised today will inform our discussions,” said Mr Støre.

At the conference researchers presented new data from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) which show global sea levels may rise as much as 1 meter this century. This is far earlier than projected by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, IPPC. The main reason is accelerated melt-down of the Greenland Ice sheet.

Source: Government.no. Click here to read the Norwegian governments statement.

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