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UN Leader Witnesses Climate Change Effect in Antarctica

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that after seeing the effect of climate change on Antarctica, he believes the world is "on the verge of a catastrophe."

Mr. Ban flew to a Chilean Air Force base Friday for a briefing with scientists on the world's southernmost continent. He also took an aerial tour of the famous Collins Glaciers, and visited the Antarctic research bases of Uruguay and South Korea, his home country.

The secretary-general told reporters that the ice is melting faster than many realize and that the world must act together to address climate change.

Mr. Ban is the first U.N. leader to officially visit Antarctica. He has made climate change a priority of his five-year term. Scientists say glaciers and ice sheets in Antarctica are melting due to climate change.

Mr. Ban is expected to travel to Brazil to visit the Amazon River and see how the Brazilian government has been dealing with deforestation issues and balancing the development of biofuels with food security.

In December, the international community will gather in Indonesia for a climate change conference to work out a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

 

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