|Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center|
Preliminary figures released today from US National Snow and Ice Data Centre indicates that Arctic sea ice extent has passed the previous record low set in 2007. On 26th August it fell to 4.10 million km2, some 70,000km2 lower than the 2007 level.
Speaking from the Russian Arctic, where he has been taking action to stop Russian oil giant Gazprom’s drilling operations in the Pechora Sea, Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International said:
“Let’s be clear about what today means. Our planet is warming up at a rate that puts billions of people’s future in jeopardy.”
“These figures are not the result of some freak of nature but the effects of man-made global warming caused by our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”
“The extraordinary thing is that this is not unexpected news – governments and decision-makers have known for years the effects of global warming yet their short sighted approach has left people and other species living on the planet facing an increasingly insecure and uncertain future.”
“These preliminary figures provide irrefutable evidence that greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming are damaging one of the planet’s critical environments, one that helps maintain the stability of the global climate for every citizen of the world.”
“But even now it’s not too late – what man has broken man can also fix. We can invest in cleaner energy sources, but to achieve this millions of people will need to demand action from their governments.”
“Politicians must stop dancing to the tune of fossil fuel giants like Shell and Gazprom and do their job – to protect the well-being of their citizens and future generations.”
“Governments of every hue will meet in a few weeks for the United Nations General Assembly in New York. They should arrive with an image of the melting Arctic ice etched in their memory. Today's news should trigger a year of emergency action to save the Arctic, including unprecedented investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and agreement to create a global sanctuary in the far North, safeguarding its beleaguered and fragile ecosystem.”
Kumi Naidoo recently took action with other Greenpeace International activists to disrupt the operations of Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Arctic waters of the Pechora Sea. For more information visit http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/Greenpeace-Press-ReleaseTense-stand-off-as-Greenpeace-International-Executive-Director-and-13-others-again-take-action-against-Gazprom-in-Russian-Arctic/.
In June this year Greenpeace launched a campaign to save the Arctic and has so far nearly one and a half million people join the to call for the Arctic to be designated an internationally protected region.
The National Snow and Ice Data Centre announcement can be viewed here.
A new Greenpeace briefing on Arctic Sea Ice can be viewed here.