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An Elegy for the Arctic

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Svalbard, Norway © Ondrej Prosicky

August 26, 2017 11:04 EDT

A beautiful piece of music is drawing attention to global warming.

Climate change is something that affects the entire planet and all its inhabitants, but nowhere is global warming happening faster and more dramatically than in the Arctic. Snow and ice stored in its vast glaciers are responsible for reflecting a large proportion of sun’s energy. Even a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius affects the planet’s ability to refract the incoming heat as ice and snow melt, accelerating the overall speed of global warming.

According to recent studies, even though warm spans have occurred in the past and as far back as 1890, the Arctic is now warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. The North Pole has warmed by an average of 1.3 degrees Celsius a decade since the late 1970s, and a further warming of just under 2 degrees Celsius — or an equivalent of 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide accumulated in the atmosphere — will mean an ice-free Arctic during the summer.

Greenpeace has been leading the campaign to protect the fragile ecosystem from the effects of manmade climate change and threats like oil drilling. To raise awareness of the dramatic loss of the Arctic ice sheet and biodiversity, the charity teamed up with Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi, who performed his magical Elegy for the Arctic amidst the crumbling Wahlenbergbreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway.

With 8 million signatures on the petition to create a marine protected area that would encompass nearly 10% of the international waters of the Arctic Ocean, Greenpeace’s campaign faces opposition from the governments of Norway, Iceland and Denmark that want it left open to oil exploration and industrial fishing.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Ondrej Prosicky /

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