Nature and Us: Frozen

No sorry. I am not talking about The Disney film Frozen. If you were looking for that you’re going to be disappointed. But don’t leave yet! I want to chat about Ice caps.

What is an Ice cap? According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, it is a dome-like sheet of ice that covers the lands features and it can spread for kilometers in all directions.

Almost 10% of the worlds land mass is covered in frozen water in Glacier’s and ice caps. Why are they so important though, are they useful to the environment? and what is the effect climate change is having on them?

First of all, lets delve into why they are beneficial.

Useful or useless?

There is a paper written by Pal Prestrud for the International Climate and Environmental Research Centre in Oslo, Norway.

They spoke about the importance of snow and ice. Here is a quote from their paper:

The global significance of ice and snow is profound. Less ice, snow and permafrost may amplify global warming in various ways. Melting glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will raise the mean sea level. The retreating sea ice, in combination with increased supply of fresh water from melting glaciers and warmer ocean temperatures, could affect the strength of major ocean currents.

Pal Prestrud

This could spell disaster for many countries who depend on the slow melt from the glaciers, carried by rivers to support their agriculture and domestic water supplies. If their water source just disappears, the people who need this water will suffer greatly.

Animals in Greeenland

Polar bears, Humpback wales, Musk Oxen, Walruses, Reindeer and White,tailed eagles. They all live either on the land, sea or in the air surrounding Greenland.

A White-Tailed Eagle and A Musk Oxen.

I was amazed to find that Greenland has the worlds largest national park, and that actually, the animals have a larger domain than the islanders who live there. Because the park is so big, it means that the animals can roam undisturbed by unwanted human visitors. But despite the paradisiac wilderness, a significant part of the Greenland ice sheet is on the brink of a tipping point. What does this mean?

Melting its ice sheet completely would eventually raise global sea level by 7 metres. In the event this happens, the Netherlands would be completely wiped out. Denmark would become much smaller, the Polynesian islands would be submerged. Miami & Tokyo would be rendered uninhabitable.

As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level, another 6 million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet. On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to sea level rise.

Andrew Shepherd. NASA, scientist from university of Leeds. (Source)

So we have covered what they are, why they’re useful and what the affect climate change is having on the glaciers and icecaps. Now, we are going to discuss what can we do to help?

Do your part.

  • Speak up. You can take a stand in protecting the planet by writing to government officials to stop endangering our eco system. You can take action here: Actions | NRDC
  • Reduce water waste. So take shorter showers, turn off the tap if your’e not using it. (The EPA estimates that if just one out of every 100 American homes were fitted with water-efficient fixtures, about 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would be saved—avoiding 80,000 tons of global warming pollution.)
  • Eat the food you buy…eat less meat. Since livestock products are among the most resource-intensive to produce, eating meat-free meals can make a big difference, too. The amount of in-date food that goes into landfills in America each year could actually feed whole villages in 3rd world countries like India.
  • Walk or bike. Do not drive if you don’t have to. If your destination is 5 mins away in the car, use the opportunity to get the exercise and walk or cycle, if you are able to. You could even make use of public transport!

If you are interested in learning more, head on over to the NRDC website and have a look at the different articles available.

Thank you for listening.


If you would like to join in on this project, head on over to this page to learn more! I would love it if you joined in.

Nature and Us: Gold Finch

I put a tweet out on Twitter and the individual who uses the username @G0ldf1nch replied with their experience with nature. They said:


Although I no longer live by the sea, I grew up by it. It means so much to me.

When I’ve been away from it for a long time, I plunge my hands in the waves first chance I get.

Breaks my heart that we don’t care for it enough.

Originally tweeted by Gold Finch (@g0ldf1nch) on June 27, 2021.

Here is their Twitter: Gold Finch

Thank you for your submission!


To learn how you can join in, head on over to my Nature and Us page or email me at talithatullochsstravels@gmail.com.

Nature and Us: Bugs and Beetles

Apiphobia, mottephobia, spheksophobia. What do these three have in common? They are the names of the three main insect fears, fear of bees, moths and wasps. Why are so many people scared of insects, how important are insects to the eco system and how can we help them?

Why are people afraid of them?

Now it may be as simple as, they have had a bad experience with them. I think everyone has had a bug jump out at them when they least expect it, and yet not everyone will scream when they see another one at a different time. Maybe it’s learnt behaviour. Who knows?

Well according to The Cut, “Psychologists studying disgust, talk about something called the “rejection response” — the overwhelming feeling that you need to get this thing away from you, like, right now. The rejection response, like fear, is a mechanism designed to keep us safe. The presence of insects often indicates that something isn’t safe to consume or touch” and so overtime we have “come to associate the messenger with the threat itself .”

It is a very interesting article and if you’re not too weirded out, I would recommend giving it a good read! Here it is: Insects Are Scary Because Your Brain Confuses Disgust With Fear.

Important to the ecosystem?

The National Geographic has an interesting article and it lists ways they impact and play a part in the environment – They are providers, decomposers, pest controllers and pollinators.

  • Without them, “species that are higher up the food chain suffer population losses.”
  • We know that insects break down waste products, unlocking certain nutrients for other insects, so without them and those unlocked nutrients: “Waste and carrion would persist in ecosystems, impeding the flow of nutrients.”
  • “By feeding on crop-threatening pests, predatory insects perform the role of pesticides without chemicals”. Without them, “Pests proliferate, damaging crops and forests, spurring increased pesticide use.”
  • Did you know that “one out of every three bites of food humans eat relies on animal pollination in the production process.” Without bees and other pollinating insects, “humans and animals lose key food sources.”.

From the article: 5 Vital Roles Insects Play In Our Ecosystem

So how can we help them??

Fun ways for all the family or even just yourself to help can be found listed below. One massive one is STOP using chemicals that kill them!!! No matter how “careful” you may be, they will kill a wide range of insects, not including your intended target.

  • Dig a pond.
  • Plant Native Plants.
  • Make a nectar bar!
  • Compost your waste

Making a nectar bar means including plants in your garden that are rich in nectar. For example Buddleia is well known for attracting nectar feeding insects such as butterflies and hoverflies throughout the summer.

I would love to hear how you are helping our insects. Do you have a bug house in your garden? Do you have flowers? Let me know in the comments and do not be afraid to get involved. To learn how, head to the page : Nature and Us.