Special Report: Fight against Global
OSLO, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- The polar cap in the Arctic
may well disappear this summer due to the global warming, Dr. Olav Orheim, head
of the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat, said on Friday.
The shrinking of the Arctic ice cap has been
astonishing, Orheim said in an interview with Xinhua.
"Ice sheet hit the historical low of 3 million square
km duringthe hottest weeks last summer, while it covered 7.5 million squarekm on
average before the year 2000, " he said.
"If Norway's average temperature this year equals that in 2007,the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away, which is highly possible judging from current conditions," Orheim said.
A polar bear sow and two cubs are seen on the Beaufort Sea coast within the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in this undated handout photograph provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
According to a UN report last year, the world's
average temperature could rise by as much as 6 degrees centigrade by the end of
the century, causing serious harm to ecosystems worldwide.
Human activity has been the primary driver of the
observed changes in climate. Emissions of the key greenhouse gases -- carbon
dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere resultin the greenhouse
Shrinking ice cap in the Arctic Ocean even produced a
new sea route from the Bering Strait to Oslo last summer, said Orheim. Maritime
enterprises in some industrial nations such as the UnitedStates and Britain have
started mulling on how to use it to cut cost over the past six months, he added.
"We are deeply concerned for the situation," he said,
adding that any leak from oil tankers will exert irreversible impact on
ecological security in the Arctic region.
Even if no such disaster occurs, too much human
activities willcause unpredictable results for the vulnerable ecological
environment in the region, Orheim said.