Bipartisan Senate Delegation Visits Global Warming’s Front Lines
July 30, 2007
***NOTE: Senators will hold a press conference at 1:00 pm ET in the Senate Radio and TV Gallery to discuss the trip, and they will have a slideshow of the trip available for viewing then.***
Washington, DC – Ten United States Senators returned Sunday from a two-day trip to Greenland to view the effects of global warming, and to learn more about the impacts of changing climate on the ice and glaciers of the world’s largest island.
U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ranking member of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, co-led the weekend trip to Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat on Greenland’s west coast. Participants viewed first-hand the effects of increasing global temperatures on Greenland’s ice sheets and glaciers, visiting the Kangia Ice Fjord near Illulissat on Saturday, and touring iceberg-filled Disko Bay by boat on Sunday. The Kangia glacier, already one of the world’s fastest moving two decades ago, has doubled its speed since then, an acceleration scientists say is driven by rising global temperatures.
Accompanying the Senators on the trip was Dr. Richard Alley, a professor at Pennsylvania State University who is one of the world’s foremost experts on ice and global warming. Dr. Alley was lead author for the pivotal Working Group I report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and will brief Senators and answer questions during the trip. Senators were also briefed by Danish climate scientist Dr. Minik Rosing, PhD.
In addition to visiting the ice sheets and glaciers, Senators met with environmental officials of the Danish government including Danish Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard, and Greenland Minister of the Environment Arkalo Abelsen.
Senator Boxer said: “It’s one thing to hear about the Greenland ice sheet; it’s another thing to see it. It’s one thing to read about the impacts of global warming on the native people there; it’s another thing to have them look you in the eye and tell you. After this trip, with nine of my colleagues, and scientists, and experts, I know I have a responsibility to move now to lessen the impacts of severe global warming. We can do it in a way that actually makes us stronger as a nation and that is my goal.”
The following Senators took part in the trip:
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA); Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD); Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL); Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ); Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD); Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT); Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)