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UN Conference on Climate Change

Contact: Dr. Joseph Chavady, 850-390-4837

MEDIA ADVISORY, Dec. 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- Last week I flew over Greenland. It was a sunny day and I was able to see much of the apparently pristine landscape. However, Greenland is changing. Greenland contains some of the principal stores of fresh water on earth preserved in the form of ice. As its ice sheets and those of Antarctica shrink, the seas could rise as much as 20 feet. The shrinkage of mountain glaciers will dry up rivers and alter landscapes. Rising seas could flood much of Florida, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands and displace millions of people in the process.

On his way to the UN conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit Punta Arenas, Chile and watch dozens of glaciers. Almost all of them are retreating and thinning. In many other parts of Chile the effects of global warming are obvious. One of the effects of the shrinking of glaciers will be a drop in the level of glacial runoff, reducing the supply of water to urban Chileans. A similar, and often more acute, challenge faces more than 1 billion city dwellers in other parts of the world that rely on glacial runoff for their water supply.

Mr. Ki-moon will also meet people affected by another environmental problem: the emergence of a hole in the ozone layer. In Punta Arenas, residents have are warned by radiation alerts when ozone depletion is so severe that it becomes highly dangerous to skin or eyes exposed to the sun.

The Bali Road Map is the new mechanism the world's governments have devised to begin to respond to global climate change. They plan to begin creating the Road Map during the UN's climate change conference in Bali.