Due to its extreme sensitivity to heat and cold, the Arctic could be called the "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to global climate change: Scientists say the Arctic is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on Earth - and serves as a warning for other areas of the globe.
A Unique Environment
Most of the Arctic is covered in snow and ice, which are much more reflective than soil or ocean. When that snow melts, the exposure of dark earth (which absorbs heat) acts as a feedback loop that accelerates warming. A second factor that makes the poles special is that the atmosphere is thinner there than at the equator, and so less energy is required to warm it up. A third factor is that less solar energy is lost in evaporation at the frigid poles than in the steamy tropics.In this incredibly sensitive environment NOAA scientists predict that the Arctic may be ice free within 25 years The impacts could range from regional weather-pattern changes to global climate feedbacks that exacerbate overall warming.
Enter the organization 2041. Founded by polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE, it is the mission of 2041 "To build personal leadership skills among people who choose to embrace the challenge of sustaining all forms of life – in their families, communities, organizations and the planet."
The Arctic Expedition
One of the primary ways that 2041 fulfills their mission is through an annual expedition to the Arctic which brings together people from across the globe to debate, discuss and determine firsthand the effects of climate change. Together with a team of expert lecturers and Robert Swan, himself, the expedition participants will have an opportunity to see the effects of temperature rise on this icy and remote continent.
Upon return, the expeditioners are encouraged to share their first hand account of the Arctic and their experience with their families, companies, communities and countries -- in the hopes of inspiring action on climate change.
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