On 08/29/07, RTSea wrote: I just returned last week from a film assignment in the Northwest Passage, above the Arctic Circle, documenting the effects of climate change on the environment and Inuit culture there. The organization sponsoring the expedition was InMER (Integrated Marine Education and Research), a non-profit group dedicated to public awareness of key environmental issues. They have an ambitious project through 2010 to research and document climate change in this vital region and communicate their findings to both decision-makers and the general public through an arsenal of communication channels and formats. You can learn more at www.inmer.org.
The Arctic is an incredible ecological system. My first impression was one of a stark, bleak environment, seemingly impenetrable and impervious. But as I complied more and more images - from muskox to tundra moss to summer sea ice, from interviews with Inuit elders to government officials - I began to realize how fragile this ecosystem is in reality. And, like its southern cousin, the Antarctic, it serves as a barometer for worldwide change and a tripwire to warn us as to our future if we do not take steps to reverse the man-made effects on our climate. The earth's poles are trying to speak to us . . . and we must listen.
Addendum: The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that the 2007 summer ice field has been the smallest on record and many scientific agencies are saying that the arctic ice is melting in excess of predicted models. The impact on the Northwest Passage - it's people, wildlife, and ecosystem may arrive sooner than expected. See pictures and video of this year's summer ice by going to the Media Library and typing in "Northwest" or "ice".