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Copenhagen Hopes Sail Towards Antarctic Icebergs

Posted Dec 07 2009 6:12am
Reuters' Pauline Askin, geared up in Antartic clothing, stands in front of the ice breaker L'Astrolabe in Hobart, Tasmania December 3, 2009, ahead of her departure on Friday for a two-month expedition to help restore Sir Douglas Mawson's huts in Commonwealth Bay in the Antarctic. REUTERS/Stringer

As Captain Benoit Hebert steers the icebreaker l’Astrolabe on Monday through a stormy Southern Ocean heading for Antarctica his thoughts will soon turn to the dangers of icebergs.

Large icebergs have recently been spotted floating hundreds of kilometers (miles) north of Antarctica — a sign of the accelerating melt of East Antarctica due to climate change.

But Hebert’s thoughts will also be on a gathering on the other side of the earth in Copenhagen, where he hopes world leaders will agree to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

“Like everyone else, I would like to see the big industrial countries like the U.S. reduce their C02 carbon emissions,” Hebert told Reuters from the bridge as he sailed his research ship toward Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica.

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