Countryfile’s Tom Heaps to speak at Oban conference
THE UK’S leading Arctic scientists are due to gather in Oban this month to raise awareness of the increasing changes the polar region is experiencing, writes Kayley Cornelius.
SAMS (The Scottish Association for Marine Science) based at Dunstaffnage, just outside Oban, will host the biennial UK Arctic Science Conference on September 19-21.
Over the past few decades, the Arctic region has been hit hard by climate change. Ice is increasingly melting due to the rapid rise in global warming.
From 1979-2000, the daily average global temperature raised by 0.55 degrees Celsius, however, the Arctic temperature raised by 6.42 degrees Celsius in the same time frame.
The average Arctic sea ice cover for November 2016 set a record low, leading to suggestions that sea ice cover could be at a tipping point, from which the region may not recover.
Tom Heap, best known as a presenter on the BBC’s Countryfile, will be giving a public lecture on the topic.
The free-to-attend, event will take place in the Corran Halls from 7.30pm on Tuesday September 19. Speaking about the conference, Mr Heap said: ‘From explorers and whalers to eco-campaigners and meteorologists, the frozen north has fascinated our minds and affected our lives for centuries.
‘Today, the retreating ice is unlocking fresh narratives of the North as we contemplate a new Arctic geography.
‘The conference will be a great chance to catch up with top polar scientists and original thinkers on matters concerning the top of the world. It should be lively and a great resource for me as a journalist.’
Arctic scientist Dr Finlo Cottier from SAMS chairs the conference’s local organising committee, he said: ‘Oban is known to many as the Gateway to the Isles but for UK science it is really the Gateway to the Arctic and we are delighted to welcome the Arctic science community to Oban.
‘The environmental changes in that region are giving us a window into the pace and effects of climate change and SAMS is involved in many national and international arctic projects to help nations across the northern hemisphere prepare for the future.’
Countryfile presenter Tom Heaps will speak in Oban.