CSIRO inviting Canberran to take a trip to the Arctic

Barcham 8 May 2013

Fancy knowing a bit more about the Arctic? Well Matthew Higgins is a “historian, writer and outdoors person” and would like to take you on a trip there, but not a real one. The kind where you go listen to a talk at the CSIRO Discovery Centre.

It’s happening on the 11th May at it sounds pretty awesome.

Mr Higgins has twice visited the Arctic in recent years. ‘Australians tend to know quite a bit about Antarctica, but relatively little about what’s at the other end of the globe’, he said.

His illustrated presentation will discuss Arctic Canada and western Greenland. ‘Climate is the primary theme, and through this lens I’ll be looking at plants, animals, a human history stretching back for millennia, exploration, and present day life in one of the Earth’s harshest environments.’

There’s an Australian connection too. Sir John Franklin, leader of one of the Arctic’s most tragic expeditions in search of the famed North-West Passage, was once governor of Tasmania.

‘People attending the talk will soon see lots of parallels between the Inuit of the Arctic and the Aborigines of Australia. They both came to terms with a very harsh environment, built a civilization, and have often suffered under European settlers’ governments’, said Mr Higgins.

Mr Higgins was in the Arctic last year during what came to be the smallest summer sea-ice area on record. ‘The impact of climate change is there for all to see. The changes are really rapid in the Arctic, with much concern about the Greenland Ice Cap.’

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