Posts, that were tagged with "climate change"

Back in Germany – How I feel now

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Back in Germany I did notice that i finally got my idea of distance back! You don’t have any clue in Greenland about distance so that an envisaged 15 minutes way can take up to one hour or even more. In addition the ambient noise is totally different what is easy to imagine. Cars, the subway and roadworks are the daily sound effects in Germany.

Especially in conversations with my class, with my family or in other groups where nature or the climatic change was part in I feel more certain to comment. Furthermore I noticed that I intervene more often when friends don’t show respect for Nature and the raw materials they bought by throwing rubbish on the ground or throwing plastic bottles in the bin instead for recycling them because it is more convenience. (In Germany you get like 0,28$ per bottle!) What really is noticeable is that particularly the point of convenience is a thorn in the flesh of the improvement in climate change. If the most convenience way was the environmentally friendly one we would have less problems right now.

It is our assignment to get people out of their convenience in which they are right now and to find new ways to make actions for nature more easy and attractive. What really caught my attention in school was when we learned about so called „Nudges“ in economy class. A Nudge should affect the behavior and action of people without them noticing. A succeeded example for a Nudge is that the rubbish on danish streets got reduced for about 40% just by drawing green footprints on the ground who tend to guide to public garbage cans. Nudges find more uses by changing for example the former habits like reduce the wastage of paper by printing double-paged. Printers can therefore be set on double-page from the first. Only people who have an objection against has to change the setup then. Summarized, Nudges are changing habits and are improving them in many ways.

Right now it is important to teach young people and children more and earlier about the topic of climate change and the consequences and also what to do to help.

For the people who already have their own (selfish) opinion about the importance of nature and a lifestyle my message is: turn off your egoism. We are not the only creatures on planet earth and we have the responsibility for the future generations!

Nature knows no borders

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When you think about trees, the high arctic isn’t the first image that will pop into your head, let alone tree planting. You might be surprise to hear that some parts of Greenland do have trees. Although they are usually very small and don’t grow very tall due to the harsh climatic condition. In recent years, Greenland’s ice sheet has been retreating up north due to climate change. This increase in temperature, especially in south greenland and the coastal region, has caused a massive growth spurs on the trees around the area.

In the past year, there has been a program to plant more trees in Greenland, for the sake of helping mother nature along in climate change. Young trees which grow on similar temperature and condition in other parts of the world have been transported to greenland for replantation. There has been a total of around 300.000 trees planted in the forest area of Nasarssuaq.

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Prof. Jason Box has personally bought 2000 trees from the US and wanting to plant them in the amount of time we were there. With the help of forestry students from the University of Copenhagen, whom are having the same project of planting 15000 trees in a span of 10 days, we were able to plant all 2000 trees in just 5 days. It was not an easy task as this was a job done by not more than 20 people in total, but the feeling of knowing that in 5 years, those baby trees will grow big enough to reduce the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, was heartwarming.

Planting trees is one of the easiest thing we can do for the planet right now. I personally reckon that it doesn’t matter whether you’re planting trees in your home or foreign country, mother nature knows no borders, your tree will still be acknowledge. So lets start getting those hands dirty shall we.

Climate change – a worldwide problem

About one week ago we came together as a group of 5 people from 3 countries. A mixed group from Australia, Indonesia and Germany. But why is it so important to be that international? It is because we are all affected by climate change, but each of us in a different way. We all have similar fears because we all suffer from it in a special way.

Even when Germany is not one of the countries which is being affected the most by climate change (due to its location in the temperate zone), changes happen. Except for the year 2003, 2015 was one of the hottest years in Germany with a big and long heatwave and record-breaking temperatures from about 36 degrees. This also means that the harvest times for farmers, e.g. for the wine growing will change. Soil erosion will get worse and storm tides will happen more often.

One of the worst things due to climate warming is that the Asian tiger mosquito, which can transfer illnesses like malaria, reached Germany this year.

Aedes Albopictus - the tiger mosquito can be infectous with Malaria and reached germany for the first time this year

Australia is already affected more and stronger by climate change by droughts, tropical cyclones, sea-level rise, heatwaves, bushfires and heavy rainfall. Heatwaves have become longer and hotter. The number of record hot days in Australia has already doubles since the 1990s! Those hotter and drier conditions have contributed to increase bushfire weather risk in southeast Australia. That means that the continued increases in hot and dry weather will likely increase the frequency of extreme fire danger days. In southwest and southeast Australia droughts are also likely to happen more often.

Global sea level has risen 0.2m over the last century and still continues. This will drive major impacts to costal cities.

Indonesia is also hit very hard by climate change. Such as severe droughts, annual floods and intense tropical storms. Floods in Jakarta used to be once every 5 years, but now it is every year.

The increase in seawater temperature is causing major stress on Indonesia’s marine life. Coral bleaching has been spotted throughout Indonesian waters. Deforestation has cause more soil erosion and mud floods across Indonesia’s rural areas as well.

Ice is white – no? The Black Ice Story

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We are here with Prof Jason Box who has been monitoring changes on the Greenland icesheet to try and tell people what’s happening in this remote but important location.
Yesterday we took a helicopter ride to Kiagtût Sermiat Glacier which was really cool where Jason Box is recording how fast this glacier is melting.
I noticed all this black stuff on the ice, and was really surprised and sad to find out it was soot from our industrial world which seems so far away.
The glaciers and ice are covered in this really black soot like substance. Jason calls it Cryocynite which is making the glaciers melt even faster as they are absorbing more sun not reflect it.
I wanted to know where it was coming from. Jason said as far away as bushfires in Canada, the US, Europe, and from big business who are polluting the air that we breathe.

“It is a vast natural laboratory.” – Jason Box (geological survey of Denmark and Greenland, GEUS)

“It is a vast natural laboratory.” – Jason Box (geological survey of Denmark and Greenland, GEUS)

Icebergs up ahead!

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Finally arriving at Nasarssuaq, we noticed how the bay is completely packed with icebergs from the fjords. The locals mentioned that they never had so many icebergs during this time of year in the last few decades.

As we were crossing the bay to reach our hostel, the Lief Kensington hostel, we passed a few giant icebergs along the way. The group’s impression on it started of with more excitement than worry, since all of us have never seen this sort of sightings before.

After settling in our hostel, we decided to head to the nearest fjord/valley, where the icebergs were born, to document the whole situation on camera. Towering to about 10m in the air, we were overwhelmed by the gigantic size of these bergs. We began to noticed how difficult it was to navigate through the icebergs. not only did the captain had to watched out for normal icebergs, there were black ice half submerged in the water as well, which is transparent ice that are hard to spot and can easily be hit.

This unusual event was simply due to the amount of rain they had this season, which is cause by an increase in the warming of the ocean. Rain causes the glacials to have cracks in their structure, which in turn produces more icebergs.

Hearing about this, I remembered my flight attendant mentioning that Nuuk had 8 months of snow this year. Climate change has caused the areas in Greenland to have much severe winter and warmer summer. In other words, a colder winter and more icebergs to navigate through in the summer.