U.S. secretary of state John Kerry braved the cold of Norway’s extreme north on Thursday on a trip to see the effects of climate change. He travelled on an Arctic research vessel to areas where climate change has melted ice and opened new sea lanes. Mr Kerry and Norway’s foreign minister headed from a research station in Ny-Alesund, the world’s northernmost civilian settlement, across the iceberg strewn Kongsifjorden (King’s Bay Fjord) to the Blomstrand Glacier. The glacier has receded significantly in the past 25 years to 30 years, with summer temperatures now 8C and 11C higher than they were.
It’s stunning. This is the center of change within the center of change
Mr Kerry has made the health of oceans and combating the effects of climate change a priority and will host an international conference on oceans in September. “We’re not on the pace we need to be” to reverse the effects of climate change, he said, calling for for renewed efforts to move away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. “Even where there is awareness, the steps that people are taking are not big enough fast enough,” he added. “We have a huge distance to travel.” Mr Kerry was to travel to Denmark later Thursday and stop at icecaps in Greenland on Friday.