Thursday, July 24, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 25th July 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury
The effects of climate change are world-wide. Antarctica is a long way from us here in the UK but the results of the lifestyle of the developed world, of which we are part, are far reaching and are affecting one of the most iconic creatures we know.

Recent findings have shown that emperor penguins are at risk of extinction by the year 2100 because of the loss of sea ice due to climate change. Changes in the ice around Antarctica may increase penguin populations in the short term – there has been an increase in the sea ice along the Ross Sea because of wind conditions and the break-up of glaciers.

Penguins are the top predators in Antarctica and the loss of sea ice is reducing the supply of krill which is the main source of food for the emperors. To make matters worse, stocks of krill are being depleted by fishing boats that hoover up the tiny creatures to make fish meal to feed to farmed fish. It is difficult to think of a more damaging strategy than this one!

Scientists are calling for marine protected areas to be designated in the Ross Sea which would buy some time for the penguins by putting large areas of ocean off limits to fishing until climate change mitigation actions are in place to limit further greenhouse gas emissions.

Are there any areas in the world that are unaffected by man in one way or another? Even Antarctica is not exempt.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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