Portuguese climbers to show warming by measuring glaciers

5th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

The aim of the expedition is to show 'in a unquestionable way that the problem of global warming already exists,’ said organizers.

Lisbon -- A team of Portuguese climbers will next month begin a three-year expedition over five glaciers around the world to show the effects of global warming, the head of the project said Monday.

Until 2012, members of the Ice Care project will scale five glaciers declared world heritage sites by UNESCO: Jungfrau in Switzerland, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Huascaran in Peru, Ilulissat in Danish-ruled Greenland and Sagarmatha in Nepal.

The aim is "to show, in a unquestionable way, that the problem of global warming already exists in several of the planet's sensitive spots with serious consequences on populations," the project leader Jose Abecasis Soares said.

The team, comprising two climbers and an environmental engineer, are using non-polluting methods of transport, such as bikes and kayaks.

They will leave the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on June 19 and cycle to the 23-kilometre long Aletsch glacier -- Europe's largest.

"We will record the end of the ice's lower limit on a GPS. This position will then be marked on a satellite image available on the project's website (www.icecare.org) and updated every year," Soares said.

He added that this will allow people to see how quickly the glaciers are melting from one year to the next.

The project's other goal is to show how human behaviour is linked to global warming. During each climb researchers, environmental engineers, anthropologists, and a doctor will join the team.


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