June 16, 2010

Conference on polar science concludes in Norway

The International Polar Year Scientific Conference, held from June 8 to 12 in Oslo, brought together over 2,000 scientists from 70 countries to share their findings.

Jointly organized by the Research Council of Norway, International Polar Year research campaign, World Meteorological Organization, and others, the forum sought to advance understanding of rapid changes observed in the polar regions due to climate change.

At the opening ceremony, His Royal Highness the Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon commended the cooperative endeavors of the participating scientists.

His Royal Highness the Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon (M): The International Polar Year has been about people joining forces and working together to solve a task that could not have been solved by any of them alone. You should all be proud of being part of this effort.

VOICE: Among the government dignitaries in attendance was Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education Tora Aasland, who noted the significance of studying the two regions that are highly indicative of global warming.

Tora Aasland - Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education (F): The timing of the International Polar Year, both fortunately and sadly at the same time, has been very good. Climate change is a growing threat and a challenge we must see in a global perspective.

VOICE: Also present was His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, whose foundation of the same name committed to further valuable polar research. As new data from rapidly changing polar regions have so many implications, ranging from sea level rise to damaged ecosystems, participants sensed the urgency of communicating their findings.

Prof. Steven Chown – South African Antarctic scientist, Martha T. Muse Prize laureate (M): In many of the areas that I’ve worked, we see huge changes in glaciers, we see changes in temperature, we see changes in biodiversity. The situation is critical, and we need to do something about it now; we can’t delay.

VOICE: According to Dr. Steven Chown, who was honored during the meeting with the Marth T. Muse Prize for his work in Antarctica, individuals' lifestyle changes also play a vital role in the solution.

Prof. Steven Chown (M): We know that agricultural emissions through the growing of cattle and other livestock are quite substantial. So I think we need to think as individuals about how our lifestyles affect the planet we have.

VOICE: Our appreciation all concerned and dedicated polar scientists for your participation in this meeting. Let us heed your messages to join now and act sustainably to save the vital polar regions and our planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often reminded of the need to prevent the danger of warming gases especially in the polar regions, as during an interview with The House Magazine for the September 2009 edition.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Our planet is on a dangerous course to passing irreversible tipping points with disastrous consequences.

Like melting of the Arctic sea ice which causes oceans to absorb more sunlight and speeds up melting; and the melting of permafrost which in turn releases toxic methane gas, resulting in more warming of the atmosphere.

We can’t stop the climate change with all this methane heating our planet and in turn heating the Arctic, yes? Heating the South and North Poles and in turn also heating the permafrost.

All the methane from the animals heats the ice, the ice melts and the permafrost is exposed and melts as well. All this methane comes out together with the animals’ methane. We can’t be saved if we still continue with animals’ raising practice.


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