Living On Thin Ice: Al Gore To Discuss Climate Reality In Antarctica

Former Vice President Al Gore is heading to Antarctica to highlight the extraordinary changes greenhouse pollution is causing even in our most remote continent. When Gore visited Antarctica in 1988, scientists were predicting it could warm more rapidly than the global average. “This prediction has proven true,” Gore writes. “Today, the West Antarctic Peninsula is warming about four times faster than the global average.”

Although the vast ice sheets of the frozen continent are remote from almost all of human civilization, their warming has drastic implications for billions of people. With the melting of those almost inconceivable reserves of ice, the planet’s sea levels are rising. Scientists now expect 21st-century sea level rise — on the scale of three to six feet or more — will be dominated by the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps.

Gore is leading an expedition of “civic and business leaders, activists and concerned citizens, as well as “many of the world’s leading climate scientists” to see how man’s negligence is transforming the forbidding continent:

To better understand the changes taking place near the South Pole and the impacts those changes will have around the world, I will be returning to Antarctica this month with The Climate Reality Project. A large number of civic and business leaders, activists and concerned citizens from many countries on this voyage will be joined by many of the world’s leading climate scientists and Antarctica experts to see firsthand and in real time how the climate crisis is unfolding in Antarctica.

The Climate Reality Project is asking everyone to host their own expeditions wherever they live. As the new plant hardiness zone maps from the USDA remind us, we don’t even need to leave our backyards to see the effects of the hundreds of billions of tons of carbon pollution we have pumped into the atmosphere with the profligate burning of fossil fuels.


Nor do we have to leave our neighborhoods to see the signs of positive change — community gardens, electric cars, solar panels, wind turbine manufacturers, and more in the growing mass movement to build a sustainable, resilient civilization on our changing planet.