Gore calls for action on melting ice

The world must act quickly to slow the melting of the polar ice packs and glaciers before it reaches a critical stage for global warming, Nobel peace laureate Al Gore told foreign ministers, scientists and others from the most affected countries, Reuters reported. “We have to act and we have to act quickly because we don’t want to cross this tipping point,” Gore said.


Speaking at a meeting in Norway called “Melting Ice Regional Dramas, Global Wake-Up Call”, the former US vice president said there was a danger of permafrost melting. As complex as the climate-change challenge is now, Gore noted, “it would be twice as difficult if you waited until this thawed”. If the permafrost were to melt, he said, microorganisms would turn vast amounts of thawed organic matter into climate-damaging methane gas, doubling current greenhouse-gas levels.

Carbon dioxide and methane remain the greatest challenges, Gore said, but black carbon (or soot) from diesel engines and fires also presents a threat. Soot blackens snow and ice, trapping heat and accelerating the melt.

Arctic Council foreign ministers are meeting this week to discuss a range of regional issues, including the impacts of global warming. The council members are the United States, Russia, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.


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