Greenpeace raises public awareness of melting Arctic

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Apr 21, 2013 - Page 3

A hundred volunteers brought together by Greenpeace Taiwan yesterday formed a heart shape in Greater Kaohsiung, two days before Earth Day, urging the public to be aware and help save the fast-melting Arctic.

The volunteers formed the heart shape and held banners that read “I” and “Arctic,” together forming the message “I love Arctic” at Sinkuang Wharf (新光碼頭) yesterday afternoon, as part of the organization’s worldwide campaign.

According to Greenpeace Taiwan, the melting sea ice is constantly shrinking and the size has already been reduced by 45 percent between 1979 and last year, with the thickness of the ice having declined by 7 percent to 9 percent annually.

The US National Snow and Ice Data Center also revealed last year that the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean fell to the lowest extent since its satellite records began in 1979, it said.

It added that there were about 20,000 polar bears last year, but some scientists have estimated that the number would have dwindled by about 65 percent by 2040 due to the melting of Arctic ice and insufficient food.

“The glaciers in the Arctic are melting, causing the habitat of many living things in the area to disappear, but there are still petroleum corporations waiting to go drill for oil,” Hoki Lo (羅可容), a project manager at Greenpeace Taiwan.

Greenpeace has invited more than 10,000 volunteers in 280 cities around the world to join in a campaign to display messages that express the will to protect the Arctic, Lo said.

He added that although Taiwan is far from the Arctic, the organization still encourages Taiwanese to participate in this international campaign.