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Poles apart

To school children in Kent, global warming can mean sunny days at the beach. But they are about to learn the chilling downside.

Beginning this month, eight schools will be using the internet to open a window to the Arctic, by video-conferencing directly with Inuit pupils who are being dramatically affected by climate change.

In Kent, vineyards and olive plantations are replacing potato farms; in the Arctic, houses have fallen into the sea as the ice melts and waves erode the coast.

The project was devised by Glenn Morris, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, who will be kayaking 2,500 miles through the Arctic this summer to cement the links between the schools.

"The Arctic is the world's early-warning system," Mr Morris said.

"Time is running out for the Inuit, whose entire way of life could disappear in just a few years if nothing is done to stop climate change."

* www.arcticvoice.org

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