Catt-Trax 2 - Climate Change en Antarctica – Antarctic Circle & Climate Change <p style="text-align: center"><img class="image preview" src="/catttrax2/sites/" alt="A Massive Antarctic Iceberg" title="A Massive Antarctic Iceberg" width="500" height="336" /></p><p align="center"><span style="width: 498px" class="caption"><div align="left"><strong>A Massive Antarctic Iceberg</strong></div></span></p><p>Today we crossed the Antarctic Circle, located at approximately 66 degrees, 33 minutes South Latitude. This is the latitude where the sun does not set (you would have 24 hours of daylight) on the longest day of the year (summer solstice) in the southern hemisphere. Summer solstice in the southern hemisphere is around Dec 21. This is the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) in the northern hemisphere. </p><p>We had the chance to visit Detaille Island, located at 66 degrees, 52 minutes South Latitude. We were able to get this far south because the typical ice conditions in Antarctica are changing. It is not usual that expedition ships can travel this far south even in summer. The climate is changing and the ice is melting.</p><p style="text-align: center"><img class="image preview" src="/catttrax2/sites/" alt="Antarctic Iceberg" title="Antarctic Iceberg" width="500" height="336" /></p><p align="center"><span style="width: 498px" class="caption"><div align="left"><strong>Antarctic Iceberg</strong></div></span></p><p>As most of us are aware of these days, greenhouses gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) have been increasing in our atmosphere for the past 200 years, since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Carbon dioxide has increased more than 25% in that period. It is true that there have been warming periods and cooling periods throughout the Earth’s history, but it is the view of many scientists (most?) that human activities have contributed significantly to the warming of the planet. If that is the case we should do whatever we can to slow down or reduce the trend.</p><p>One of the greatest concerns related to climate change is the melting of the ice in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. If the ice on Antarctica were to disappear, two things would happen. Antarctica remember is a continent (rock) and due to the immense weight of the ice on top of it, the bedrock has been depressed by several hundred metres. If the ice were to be removed completely (by melting for example) it is estimated that Antarctica would rise by between 500 and 1000 metres. Don’t worry though, the North American continent has been doing just that for the past many thousands of years following the last ice age! The process takes a long time. But, at the same time, the water produced by the melting of ice could raise the Earth’s oceans by up to 60 metres (200 feet) flooding huge areas of the planet. This flooding would happen quickly and that is one of the main concerns related to climate change.<br /></p><p style="text-align: center"><img class="image preview" src="/catttrax2/sites/" alt="Antarctic Landscape" title="Antarctic Landscape" width="500" height="336" /></p><p align="center"><span style="width: 498px" class="caption"><div align="left"><strong>Antarctic Landscape</strong></div></span></p><p>If you haven’t already, rent and watch “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore. Discuss it with your family and friends and talk about things that you can do to encourage or create a carbon neutral lifestyle. Think about how our actions in North America, and in other parts of the world, may influence or impact Antarctica and other parts of the planet.</p> Antarctic Circle Antarctica Antarctica Climate Change Wed, 28 Mar 2007 10:10:00 -0700 Danny Catt 453 at The Fjords of Chile <div align="center" style="text-align: center"><img class="image preview" src="/catttrax2/sites/" alt="Southern Coast of Chile" title="Southern Coast of Chile" width="336" height="500" /></div><div align="center"><span style="width: 334px" class="caption"><div align="left"><strong>Southern Coast of Chile</strong></div></span></div><p align="left">If you have ever journeyed along the Inside Passage on the central coast of British Columbia and up into Alaska, or if you have cruised the fjords of Norway, then you will have an inkling of what the southern coast of Chile looks like.</p><div align="left"><img class="image preview" src="/catttrax2/sites/" alt="Glacier on the southern coast of Chile" title="Glacier on the southern coast of Chile" width="500" height="309" /><span style="width: 498px" class="caption"><strong>Glacier on the southern coast of Chile</strong></span> </div><p>Glaciation carved these fjords and we had a chance to see some of the glacial tongues that come down from the peaks to meet the sea. As in many parts of the world though the glaciers in southern Chile are retreating rapidly. Whether it is due to human caused climate change (global warming) or due to one of the planet’s natural cycles of warming and cooling … or a combination of both I am not sure. But, I am one who prefers to follow the precautionary principle… if we don’t know for sure let’s do whatever we can to change the trend!</p>If you are curious to learn about climate change I encourage you to check out a number of sources. You can look at the Environment Canada website, you can read <a href="/catttrax2/connections/global_warming" title="Global Warming"><em>Global Greenhouse</em></a> written by Greg Cairns, BCIT’s Environmental Education Coordinator, on Catt-Trax2 Global Connections (under Global Warming). I would also highly recommend you watch the movie &#39;An Inconvenient Truth&#39; (now available on DVD) and check out the associated website at <a href=""></a>. <p align="left">Some of you might be thinking, and rightly so, does your journey not contribute to climate change (with all of the traveling you are doing)? And the answer is yes. However, I am pleased to be able to say that one of the supporters of Catt-Trax 2, Eagle Eye Tours based on Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is making my journey ‘carbon neutral’. </p><div align="left">If you want to learn more about how this works, read <em><a href="/catttrax2/connections/tourism" title="Making Global Connections with Tourism">Making Global Connections with Tourism</a></em>, Cam Gilles short essay on Catt-Trax2 Global Connection (under EcoTourism).</div><p align="left">I look forward to learning more about the effects of climate change here in the southern hemisphere when I reach Antarctica in early March.</p><div align="left"><br /> </div> Chile Chile Climate Change Fjords Thu, 15 Feb 2007 11:50:53 -0800 Danny Catt 352 at