Friday, October 16, 2009

But Where Will Santa Live?

More news today on the global climate change front and this time it gets right to the heart of

This image shows the Arctic as observed by the...Image via Wikipedia

many children's dreams- Santa's home. New research released today by the Catlin Arctic Survey and World Wildlife Foundation shows the arctic sea ice is melting faster than predicted and that it The North Pole is expected to be ice-free during the summers within 10 years.

While I'm confident that Santa can float his workshop further south to one of the eight countries that meet up in the Arctic region (Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), the implications definitely go beyond there.

The melting of the ice can trigger all kinds of changes to the Earth including flooding that could effect one-fourth of the planet's population and the release of large quantities of greenhouse gases. There is twice as much carbon stored in the Arctic ice as there is in the atmosphere today. Atmospheric levels of methane, a very potent greenhouse gas, have been rising faster over the last two years and some believe this is caused by the Arctic ice melt.

This last one is particularly interesting to me because I wrote about it a year ago in my fictional children's novel, Earth Rescue. In my book, the Arctic ice melts and the millions of dead plants buried under the ice release such high levels of methane gas that eventually no one is allowed outside. I always intended to keep my book as fiction, but it looks like we're going to need some big changes to reverse this process.

So, what can we do? As always, educate yourself. The web has phenomenal resources. Also, you should be aware of the global climate conference coming up in Copenhagen in December where 191 countries will be trying to hammer out the final details on a global agreement for climate change. Call your Senators to ask them to vote YES on climate legislation.

In regards to Santa, though, I'm not too worried. My kids have it on good authority that he lives in Finland (they have a letter from him to prove it) so they're confident he can just move a little farther south into Finland until his ice freezes up again. Let's hope it would only be a temporary move.

1 comment:

  1. So maybe we should also worry about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as well as the people living right at sea level on the coast, and the coastal biosphere in tidal basins etc. AMLD