Changing Climate, Changing People - a European Environment
Agency (EEA) photographic exhibition presenting images of
climate change in Greenland, will be on display in Ireland
until 11 July 2007.
The exhibition is currently being housed in the Office of
Public Works, 51 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 and all are
welcome to attend.
Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist John McConnico
visited Greenland in 2007 to document the effects of climate
change on the breathtaking Arctic scenery. On June 21st that
year, temperatures reached 22°Celsius, the highest on
record. The photographs tell their own story - with the ice
showing the scars of the summer melt.
Larry Stapleton, EPA Director, Office of Environmental Assessment
(and alternate member of the EEA Management Board) said -
“As the national focal point in Ireland, the EPA works closely
with the EEA and we are delighted to support them in bringing
this important exhibition to Ireland. This is a unique opportunity
to see a first-hand record of the impacts of climate change
through the work of this renowned photographer.”
Mr. John Gormley, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage
and Local Government, who has also welcomed the exhibition,
said that tackling climate change is a key priority for the
Government. He said - “I think we are all aware that climate
change is the biggest single challenge of our time. It is
real and it is not going away. It will touch the lives of
every man, woman and child in this country. I encourage people
to attend this excellent exhibition.”
Effects of climate change on the Arctic
Global climate change is expected to have its most pronounced
effects in the Arctic region. Impacts are becoming evident
in this region sooner than in other parts of the planet. Sea-ice
has decreased by approximately 10% in summer and 3% in winter
per decade over the last 25 years.
The summer of 2007 witnessed the most dramatic sea ice retreat
since systematic monitoring started. Shattering previous records,
the sea ice shrank 1.5 million square km more in that summer
than the climatic average for 1979 - 2000. The melting has
been much faster than that predicted by climate models. It
is likely that the sea ice will disappear at the end of the
melt season within a few decades.
Reduced polar ice will further speed-up global warming. It
also threatens species that are especially adapted for life
in the ice - such as seals and polar bears.
“These powerful photographs remind us of the beauty and fragility
of our natural environment and, more importantly, its central
role in our day-to-day lives” - said Mr Stapleton.
John McConnico is a veteran Associated Press journalist.
He has been awarded the Pulitzer prize and two world press
awards, amongst many other accolades. For further information