For low-lying Bangladesh, sea level rise isn’t an abstract worry: it’s a problem the nation is dealing with now. We sent a film crew to Bangladesh to document the risks posed by ice melting in Antarctica and around the world.
In Nepal, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development organized an expedition into the Himalayas to find out how people are responding to the threats of melting glaciers and flash floods.
Our expedition trekked to the foot of the Matterhorn, to hear from some professionals who work in an environment impacted by glaciers every day.
It was very interesting to learn how the local people perceive their risks. They are aware of the risk of floods but are not taking measures to reduce it. Many new houses are built right next to the river in very high-risk zones.
Antarctica is not only the highest, coldest, driest and windiest continent on the planet. It is also a global bellwether of climate change, and a big influencer of the world’s climate.
The shrinking of glaciers in this area is leading to the formation and growth of more glacial lakes. This basin is vulnerable to flash floods caused by sudden discharges of water from such lakes, known as glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), as well as additional floods from intense rainfall and landslides.
The Arctic is alive and changing, and many of these changes are hard to measure. We hope we can all remain aware of the changes and keep the health of the people in mind, as well as the health of the lands and waters for the animals we depend on.
Nepal — As mountain glaciers shrink, they can weaken and destabilize underlying slopes, as well as loosen and dislodge blocks of rock. This increases the risk of landslides and avalanches. Now that climate change is leading more glaciers to melt, glacial lakes are forming more frequently.
Meeting the climate challenge is our collective responsibility. There is no room within this challenge for politics, or finger pointing. Because if we do not act, there will be no winners. What we stand to lose belongs to all of us.
Dean Jacobsen and Olivier Dangles, from Copenhagen University and the French Institute for Research and Development, respectively, led an expedition to the Antisana volcano in Ecuador with an international group of students in freshwater ecology.