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WWF hosted a visit by the UK Conservative Party to the Svalbard archipelago in the Barents Sea from April 19th to 21st.
Conservative Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, MP, and Greg Barker, MP, the Conservative's Climate Change Spokesman and Shadow Minister for the Environment, visited Longyearbyen and Ny Ålesund where they heard from scientists and WWF about the impact of climate change in the Arctic.
They also visited the Scott Turner Glacier by dog sled as part of the trip. The Scott Turner Glacier has lost nearly half its mass in the past 100 years as a result of climate warming.
Cameron said: “This has been an incredibly impressive visit and I am very grateful to WWF. Seeing the Scott Turner glacier first hand, which is being impacted by climate change, brings home the challenge of global warming.”
“It's very important to understand the impact of climate change on the Arctic, which is experiencing rapid temperature rises and ice melt - which will in turn have an impact around the globe.”
The Conservative team also heard from WWF about the record arctic sea ice 'lows' in recent years. Satellite imagery showed that this winter an area three times the size of the Svalbard archipelago was free of ice in January while record warm sea temperatures have also been recorded in the Barents Sea.
Cameron said: “Seeing this with ones own eyes brings home the importance of the problem and the need to redouble efforts to do something about it.”