2025, the year of glaciers

Sometimes I would like to leave no trace of my passage on the snow, to disappear.

The passion I feel for the outdoors and my desire for adventure in polar environments are, without a doubt, the basis of my well-being. That said, over the years spent discovering and observing the changes that are taking place so quickly on the few glaciers I have visited, I wonder. Anchored to the earth, glaciers have a quiet force that extends to our feet. They have earned all my admiration in recent years.

It is in this perspective that I recently learned with joy that the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Tajikistan’s initiative to declare 2025 the International Year for Glacier Preservation.

My journey inspires me to want to know more about the layer of soot that covers the snow around me, black carbon.

It is an air pollutant that is produced by the improper combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels and biomass. Its main characteristic is its great capacity to absorb light. In recent decades, the scientific community has become more interested in this phenomenon and its impacts, particularly on glaciers. One of the most common sources of black carbon deposition is the accelerated increase in urban transportation.

Six years ago, I had an encounter that changed my life. Vincent Colliard, my partner whom I now have the pleasure of meeting in my everyday life, gave me a lot of knowledge about polar environments, his passion. He and Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland are both on a mission to cross the 20 largest ice sheets on the planet as part of their Ice Legacy project ⁠1. Beyond surpassing their own limits, their objective is to demonstrate the fragility of the ice and to document the acceleration of climate change in the polar regions.

Vincent and I are grateful for the incredible chance we had in the past to let our skis slide over cold, majestic and legendary territories. Before us stretched icy legacies, several millennia old. Against a rugged backdrop of white edging timidly towards blue, we had the impression of coming face to face with the antithesis of the human: a symbol of unshakable solidity. The grandeur and brute force of the glacier make me realize how small, fragile and fleeting I am.

Yet this ice giant is now vulnerable and faces a darker future. In addition to the Arctic and Antarctica, the numerous glaciers scattered around the world regulate the temperature of our planet.

But accelerating climate change is hitting them hard, and they are gradually turning into water. In the long term, this melting contributes to countless environmental impacts and affects all ecosystems.

Protect Antarctica

Antarctica, this continent on which I had the chance to set foot in 2023, I cherish it more than anything and I want to protect it. In 2041, the future of Antarctica will be decided. The treaty that protects it, signed in 1941, was designed to ensure that Antarctica remains unexploited and preserved as a land of peace and science. This treaty is due to be revised in 2041. Some countries may try to claim a piece of Antarctica for exploration, drilling and poaching.

To observe the remains of the passage of a glacier here in Quebec called theIslandsis Laurentide20,000 years ago, pass through the east of Baie-Comeau, where you can still see the effects of the last glaciation.

I personally believe that we can all take action regarding the preservation of glaciers even if we don’t always know where to start. It’s not up to others to make things happen, it’s our turn to change our approach. Glaciers are precious and guarantee an irreplaceable balance for our planet. It is now up to us all to ensure their sustainability for generations to come. Every gesture counts.

1. Visit the Ice Legacy project page

Visit the Protect our winters page

What do you think ? Participate in the dialogue

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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