From: WWF
Published November 14, 2007 06:39 PM

Eyewitness to climate change

WWF has launched a Climate Witness Programme for people to share how climate change is directly affecting them.  "Climate change is still viewed by some as an abstract and distant threat," said Hans Verolme, Director of WWF's Global Climate Change Programme.

"But the Climate Witness Programme shows that it's something that's happening now and affecting the lives of people around the globe," he added.

Testimonies from around the world are reviewed by a Science Advisory Panel to establish if the impacts reported are consistent with known climate change trends.

WWF wants to impress upon decision-makers and the public the need for urgent and serious action to stop climate change.

Over 100 leading climate scientists from around the world have so far joined the Panel.

Eyewitness: reef bleaching in Australia

Bleached coral, Fiji © WWF-Canon / Cat HOLLOWAY

 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have reported that there have been eight mass bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia since 1979, triggered by unusually high sea surface temperatures.

These findings are supported by business owners in Australia

"Aside from my concern about the impacts on the health of the Reef, my thoughts turned to the impacts that coral bleaching may have on my business and community," says John Rumney, dive business owner in Australia.

"I have lost about 10% of my dive sites in the past four years and I know what's happened in the Caribbean and the Maldives - if that happens here - what will we show the guests?" he asked. 

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Eyewitness: reindeers hungry in Norway

Climate research indicates that there will be higher temperatures and more precipitation, particularly in winter, in Northern Norway. Icing but also deeper snow cover in mid winter will probably cause problems for reindeer herding.

"The snow gets icy from the rain so that the reindeer cannot get through down to the food which they depend on to survive in the winter," says reindeer herder Olav Mathis from Eira, Norway.

"I have three sons. One of them will hopefully keep to the family tradition of reindeer herding.But it is no longer a good life. It is an insecure future," he concluded.

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