Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is traveling along the Antarctic coast with his wife, Dorrit Moussaief, and a number of global celebrities, to observe the effects of climate change.
As can be seen on the president’s homepage, they have already encountered their share of seals and penguins. However, this is no mere vacation but the work of Al Gore, who organised the tour for a number of influential figures, in the hopes of demonstrating the effects of climate change on this part of the world.
The Climate Reality Project, the campaign behind the trip, focuses on a number of areas in the world where the effects of climate change can be demonstrably seen. Al Gore most recently wrote about how the environment of the Adelie penguins of Antarctica has been changing.
“As temperatures rise along the West Antarctic Peninsula and the winter sea ice blankets the ocean three months fewer per year than 30 years ago, the local ecosystem is in danger. Everything from the base of the food chain — the phytoplankton (microscopic plants and bacteria) and krill (shrimp like creatures), to one of the continent’s most iconic inhabitants, the Adelie penguins, are under threat,” he writes in part.
The other people attending this trip include Christiana Figueres, director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; film director and producer James Cameron; CNN founder Ted Turner and Hasan Mahmud, the environmental minister of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has a special interest in the Antarctic, as warming temperatures that cause melting ice there and in Greenland could raise sea levels and endanger the very existence of Bangladesh itself.
The tour will end on February 6, when all involved will board the survey vessel National Geographic Explorer.