Category Archives: 2041

China, Pursuing Strategic Interests, Builds Presence in Antarctica

One of our Indian team members today shared an interesting and worrisome article about China’s assumed ambitions to extract resources on Antarctica.  The article refers to the Antarctic Treaty, and how it now still protects the Antarctic Continent.  In 2048 however, this treaty may not be renewed which will leave this beautiful continent unprotected against exploration.  A very disturbing vista…

May 4, 2015 – published on the website NDTV.com

China, Pursuing Strategic Interests, Builds Presence in Antarctica

China, Pursuing Strategic Interests, Builds Presence in Antarctica

File Photo: View of China’s military base in the King George island in Antarctica. (Agence France-Presse)

Hobart, Tasmania:  Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.

So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.

Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.

Read the entire article on the website of NDTV.com

 

NASA Facts about Climate Change … with Compelling Photographs

Icemelt_Alaska_McCarthy_Glacier-s
July 30, 1909                                                          August 11, 2004

McCarty Glacier melt, Alaska – 1909 picture taken by Ulysses Sherman Grant. 2004 picture taken by Bruce F. Molnia. Source: Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology.


FROM NASA’S WEBPAGES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is real, and the current warming trend is alarming because it is most likely human-induced and developing at a rate unprecedented in the past.

The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. In the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that the current climate-warming trends are very likely due to human activities.

The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated already in the mid-19th century. Carbon dioxide levels have increased tremendously since the 1950’s.


Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.

The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:

  1. Sea level rise
  2. Global temperature rise
  3. Warming oceans
  4. Shrinking ice sheets
  5. Declining Arctic sea ice
  6. Glacial retreat
  7. Extreme weather events
  8. Ocean acidification
  9. Decreased snow cover


IMAGES OF CHANGE

An astonishing series of images of change can be found on NASA’s website – click here.


Pine Island Glacier calving, Antarctica

Pine_Island_Glacier_1920x1200
October 28, 2013                                                   November 13, 2013

An iceberg estimated to be 35 by 20 kilometers (22 by 12 miles) separated from Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier between November 9 and 11, 2013. Such events happen about every five or six years but this iceberg, designated “B-31,” is about 50 percent larger than its predecessors in this area. A team of scientists from Sheffield and Southampton universities will track the 700 square-kilometer chunk of ice and try to predict its path using satellite data.

Images taken by the Operational Land Imager onboard Landsat 8. Source: NASA Earth Observatory.


Muir Glacier melt, Alaska

Icemelt1
1882                                                                         August 11, 2005

1882 photo taken by G.D. Hazard; 2005 photo taken by Bruce F. Molnia. Courtesy of the Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology.


Solar power growth, Spain

Andasol_1920x1200
September 5, 1987                                                September 11, 2013

In March 2009, Andasol-1 in southern Spain became the first solar thermal collector station in Europe. Andasol-2 and Andasol-3 were added in 2009 and 2011. In contrast to photovoltaic systems, these parabolic trough power plants store the sun’s energy in a “heat reservoir” of molten salt and generate electricity for up to 200,000 people via thermal turbines. Water from the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain range cools the system.

Images taken by the Thematic Mapper onboard Landsat 5 and the Operational Land Imager onboard Landsat 8. Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Missions Gallery “Andasol Solar Power Stations,” U.S. Department of the Interior / USGS and NASA.

Robert Swan 2041 Expedition Film

What is the International Antarctic Expedition about?  It is about inspiring and informing young leaders to return to their societies as ambassadors for Antarctica and a sustainable future.

Watch the expedition film by Robert Swan and 2041, to understand what the IAE is all about. It is amazing…!

 

If Current Trends Continue

In preparation for the IAE, I am reading ‘Antarctica 2041: My Quest to Save the Earth’s Last Wilderness’, the book by Robert Swan, OBE (with Gil Reavill). An exceptionally well written book and therefore a true joy to read.  An open and honest story, absolutely funny at times, always sophisticated and informative, inspiring, human, and – on occasion – horrifying… Why on earth would one want to walk 900 miles through that devastating icy landscape, defying gruesome storms and freezing to the bone? And then do it again – walking 550 miles to the North Pole… It takes tons of courage, and a good dose of stupidity, as Robert Swan admits himself… I warm-heartedly recommend this book!

At the beginning of his book, Robert Swan sums up some of the consequences we may expect by 2041 if current trends continue – I quote:

 

  • Greenhouse-gas emissions, if they follow current trends, will rise to 700 gigatons per annum (700 billion tons annually), a level projected to induce a five-degree rise in average global temperature over the next century. Global warming will have become a reality, triggering extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and resource shortages that will cause widespread disruptions to life as we know it.

 

  • Given current use patterns and rates of increase in energy demands, global oil production will drop below twenty million barrels a day – the accepted level necessary for sustaining industrialized civilization.

 

  • Soot from the coal plants and “black carbon” from cooking stoves in China and India, falling on the surface of glaciers in the Himalayas, will cause them to absorb more rather than reflect sunlight, shrinking them by 75 percent and disrupting the water supply for billions of people.

 

  • Sea levels will have risen .5 meters, given current trends in accelerated glacier and ice-cap melt on the margins of Greenland and Antarctica. A half-meter rise renders untenable one-tenth of human shoreline habitation. For example, half the roadways in Cairns, Australia, will be underwater. Extreme sea level – the measurement of high seas during hurricanes and storm surges – will displace 200 million people and impact a fifth of the world’s population, over 1 billion people.

 

  • The last Alaskan polar bear will have starved to death in the wild – again, extrapolating from current trends, in this case of bear-habitat destruction and population decline. All in all, in 2041 extinction rates on earth will have approached an unimaginable threshold, with 1 million land-based species gone forever.

 

  • The last of the snows made famous by Ernest Hemingway will have melted off Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, and the last of the glaciers will have disappeared from Montana’s Glacier National Park

 

Quoted from ‘Antarctica 2041: My Quest to Save the Earth’s Last Wilderness’
by Robert Swan, with Gil Reavill

 

Here is the urgency, for us to be smarter and more creative than ever before…

You can also have a look at NASA’s website – click here.

2041 and the Antarctic Treaty

What is the Antarctic Treaty and why the name 2041?

The Antarctic Treaty was signed December 1, 1959 in Washington, D.C., and was entered into force on June 23, 1961. The objective of this international agreement is “to ensure that Antarctica is used for peaceful purposes, for international cooperation in scientific research, and does not become the scene or object of international discord”.

The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed in Madrid on October 4, 1991 and entered into force in 1998. It designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”, establishes the principles pertaining to human activities in Antarctica and prohibits all activities relating to the exploitation of mineral resources, except for scientific research.

The current moratorium that bans drilling and mining in Antarctica can be reviewed after the 50-year anniversary of the ratification, which will occur in 2048. However, Robert’s goal is to increase awareness now and garner support by the year 2041 (the 50-year anniversary of the signing) to ensure the continued protection of the Antarctic Treaty so that the last great wilderness on earth is never exploited.

antarctica-2

Visit the website of 2041.

Hello world!

“The Greatest Threat to Our Planet Is the Belief That Someone Else Will Save It.” – Robert Swan, OBE

On December 5, 2014, I was selected as a team member on the International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) 2015, hosted by Robert Swan, OBE, and the 2041 Foundation, that will take place March 13 – 25, 2015.  With the carefully selected team, I will explore the Antarctic Peninsula with onboard experts and gain firsthand knowledge of the continent’s fragile ecosystem, today’s issues of climate change, renewable energy, sustainability and how it affects our present and future worldwide.

The International Antarctic Expedition 2015, which hosts Robert Swan’s Leadership on the Edge program, will be an exhilarating and unpredictable adventure – a life changing experience for the international group of men and women joining Robert Swan and the 2041 team to the last great wilderness on earth.

On these webpages I will keep you up to date on the exciting journey towards our departure, on fundraising successes and of course – once boarded – on our Antarctic adventure.

Antarctica truly is the last great wilderness on Earth.  Do we have the sense to keep at least one place on Earth protected?

I need your help! 

To raise the funds for this once in a lifetime opportunity, I need your help!  Spread the word, donate and follow me on the journey.

Enabling the dream for someone else as well…

If I can raise funds beyond my personal target, my commitment is to support another candidate in her fundraising.

Robert Swan and the 2041 Foundation are dedicated to supporting women worldwide in their dream of bringing positive change to the societies they live in.  I believe in this mission and have therefore committed to help raise funds for IAE candidates from countries with less access to funding.

About the 2041 Foundation

2041 was founded by polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE.  As the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, Robert Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.

2041’s mission is to build on Robert Swan’s dedication by informing, engaging and inspiring the next generation of leaders to take responsibility, to be sustainable, and to know that now is the time for action in policy development, sustainable business generation and future technologies.