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Reflection on Climate Change through the Antarctic Expedition

Reflection on Climate Change through the Antarctic Expedition

Cheung Kong Wai’s Story
Faculty of Science

Never have I thought I could go to Antarctica for a climate change expedition as a Hong Kong representative, exchanging ideas and brainstorming in climate solutions with 150 enthusiastic youth advocates, business leaders, academics and more from over 35 countries while witnessing the first-hand impact of climate change on the last great wilderness on earth. 

Photo of Cheung Kong Wai
After our trekking on the highest mountain throughout our expedition in the Antarctic Peninsula

Standing on the seventh continent and being swallowed by the surrounding (mountains, icebergs, silence, penguins…), I couldn’t help but realised how tiny we are, yet the extent of damage we are doing to our climate and environment, with impact going as far as Antarctica. Unable to grasp the full scale of Antarctica, the real-time climate change impact that happened during my 10-day stay in the South is a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of the global climatic system and that our actions matter, regardless of the scale. 

Photo of Cheung Kong Wai
The first continental landing in the expedition (the first day we stepped foot on the Antarctic continent)

With rainfall occurring in one morning (In Antarctica, it is supposed to be too cold for rainfall to occur), a partial East ice shelf the size of Rome dissolving in a few days, and another temperature measurement hitting a record high, they all happened within the time when I was in Antarctica. This expedition showed me the state of urgency we are in, the lack of ambitious actions in our society, businesses, government, and the need to advance local climate education and climate movement. 

Photo of Cheung Kong Wai
More Gentoo penguins were seen further inland in Antarctica due to ice sheet melting, causing them to recede inland for more habitable areas.

The memories of being in Antarctica and witnessing the alarming impact of our actions on the Southern region will remain engraved in my mind, serving as my motivation to make an impact at all levels related to climate change.

Written by:
Cheung Kong Wai
Year 3, Faculty of Science
September 2022

Reflection on Climate Change through the Antarctic Expedition