Fascinating video on melting ice caps and climate change

explorers-catlin-arctic-survey-2011Back in 2004 I was involved with flash flooding in the UK village of Boscastle. As flood waters rose and 100 people were airlifted out of the village my immediate thoughts were that climate change was happening. Not in 50 years time, but right now…

Since then the debate has waged strongly between the climate change sceptics and those who feel we need to heed the warnings of nature. One thing is clear; in order to make any informed decision in life we need factual information.

Catlin Arctic Survey

We’ve all seen the iconic image of the polar bear floating around the sea on a piece of ice. Well this week I heard about “Catlin Arctic Survey” which is a unique collaboration between scientists and explorers to undertake field research in the Arctic. In its third year, their research can help improve scientific understanding of the processes involved in, and the impacts of, climate change.

Melting Arctic icecaps

On behalf of Catlin four polar explorers and a team of scientists will examine the surface layers of the Arctic Ocean during the extreme conditions of an Arctic winter and early spring. For 10 weeks, leading oceanographers will study changes to sea temperature, ocean currents and salinity at the Catlin Ice Base. In short, the survey will investigate how the melting Arctic icecaps could effect the entire globe.

Atlantic thermohaline circulation

From watching this fascinating YouTube video, I’ve learned about the importance of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation which carries nutrients, heat and oxygen around the ocean; allowing life to flourish. If this circulation stops, the potential impact on the earth and its eco systems could be devastating, such as rising sea levels, increased rainfall and extensive flooding across the globe.

Importance of ocean health

Watch the video and let me know what you think. Dr Simon Boxall, an oceanography lecturer from University of Southampton, presents difficult concepts in an easy-to-understand and compelling way. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot and be amazed how important the health of our oceans is to life on earth.