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John Hollenhorst ReportingA well-known Arctic explorer was in Utah today to talk about his discovery of a newly-revealed island on the coast of Greenland. It's drawing worldwide attention to Global Warming.
In his Arctic explorations, Dennis Schmitt has seen much evidence of climate change, but the most dramatic is a place now named Warming Island. "Our discovery of this new island was kind of a poster-child for all of this. It was something very visible that the average person could sink his teeth into to get an idea that something's really happening," Schmitt said.
A Utah team is producing a documentary. They accompanied Schmitt on his second expedition to Warming Island last year.
John Rudolf, co-director of "Warming Island," said, "The evidence of climate change in the arctic is among the most startling."
The island used to be a peninsula. As the Greenland ice-sheet has thawed and receded, a pitchfork-shaped landmass was exposed as an island, separated by open water from Greenland.
"A very visual, very graphic example of climate change. The best that exists in Greenland; maybe the best in the world at the moment," Schmitt said.
The discovery has drawn surprisingly wide attention. Utah documentary-maker John Rudolf says it's been reported in hundreds of newspapers and broadcast outlets in dozens of countries. "A great example is, I got an E-mail just the other day from a ten-year-old boy in Monaco who has turned Warming Island into his class science project," he said.
Schmitt says there's high interest now because of climate anomalies in Europe and a new U.N. report on the strengthening scientific consensus. Even President Bush says he wants to address Global Warming.
Schmitt says, "I think the fact that they're moving in this direction is, I think it's a sign of optimism."
Schmitt and the Utah documentary team are organizing a third expedition to Warming Island later this month.