Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition took place in the pack ice off the Antarctic continent, the earth’s most fragile ecosystem. If the rain forests are the lungs of planet earth, then the Antarctic continent might rightly be considered its heart, the condensed organ of water so vital to its life. And this heart is, literally, breaking in the onslaught of global climate change. Recently, a 1,250 square mile section (the size of Rhode Island) broke off the Larsen Ice Shelf, twice as fast as scientists had predicted. Six other ice shelves have already disintegrated and most Antarctic glaciers have dramatically eroded. The effects of global warming are concentrated in the polar caps and have reached a level that is alarming scientists around the world.
A 2006 study by the World Wildlife Fund predicted that if no changes occur in global consumption we will experience a worldwide ecosystem collapse within 50 years. Global warming is the macro issue, but there are many others affecting our precious oceans–over-fishing, acidification, coral bleaching, and the twice-the-size-of-Texas Great Pacific Garbage Patch, to name but a few.
The Ice Heroes grassroots campaign leverages the power of entertainment—the Ice movie and In Search of the Endurance Expedition – with action. The Antarctic is our planet’s last relatively pure and pristine environment, ‘owned’ by no one and governed by international treaty. It’s up to all of us to protect it. Every person who becomes an Ice Hero is empowered to help us spread awareness of critical Antarctic and Southern Ocean environmental issues. One focus will be the unprecedented effort to establish the largest Marine Protected Area in the world in the seas surrounding the Antarctic continent. Others will be over-fishing, specifically, the impact of the krill and toothfish industries on Anarctic ecology, declining penguin populations, and global warming as it impacts the Antarctic.
We encourage your organization to join the effort to protect Antarctica, our planet’s precious last frontier. Follow us on twitter at @IceProjectShack for future announcements.
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