In Antarctica, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that more needs to be done to combat global warming. His comments appeared to be a jab at President-elect Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax.
Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a two-day visit to Antarctica that Americans may have to take to the streets to persuade the president-elect that global warming is real and poses an existential threat to the planet.
Trump has dismissed climate change as a hoax being perpetrated by China, and has said he would "cancel" the US commitment to the landmark Paris Agreement on global warming, which was signed by more than 190 countries last December.
"We need to get more of a movement going," Kerry said during comments to several hundred scientists and staff at an evening event at McMurdo Station, the large base which is the hub for US operations. "We need to get more people to engage."
Kerry, the highest-ranking US official to visit the continent, said there was a risk that much of Antarctica's ice will eventually melt into the sea, raising ocean levels around the world.
While the Paris Agreement calls for cutting carbon dioxide emissions, the primary driver of rising temperatures, "we haven't won the battle yet," Kerry said to the audience that included many young people involved in climate research.
Kerry's trip included a planned visit to the South Pole, but that was scrapped due to bad weather. Instead, Kerry and members of his entourage were taken on a helicopter tour of the Dry Valleys, one of the few parts of the continent that are largely free of ice year-round.
The secretary of state's aides have described the trip as a learning opportunity for Kerry. He has been receiving briefings from scientists who are trying to understand the effects of climate change on Antarctica.
Climate change has become a focal point of American diplomacy during Kerry's term. He previously spent decades working on the issue as a US senator.
Kerry is expected to fly to the Middle East next week for talks and then on to Morocco, where he will give a major speech at a climate change conference in Marrakesh.
bik/cmk (AP, dpa)