Cyclone Michaung wreaks havoc in Southern India

Cyclone Michaung wreaks havoc in Southern India as it intensifies into a severe storm. Warmer oceans are the primary reason for the storm which is closely linked to Arctic Sea ice... READ MORE

Confirmed: 2023 set to be the warmest year on record

The WMO provisional State of the Global Climate report confirms that 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record, regardless of the final two months of... READ MORE

Colossal Antarctic iceberg, five times larger than New York City, breaks free and drifts away from region

On November 24th, scientists from the Bristish Antarctic Survey (BAS) were astonished to observe an iceberg measuring around 4,000 square kilometers (more than twice the size of Greater London) drifting away from the... READ MORE

World surpasses critical warming threshold for the first time

On November 17th, global temperatures reached 2.07°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time on record.... READ MORE

Unexpected disintegration of ice shelves in North Greenland

Alarm bells ringing as rapid disintegration and weakening of ice shelves in North Greenland is observed!... READ MORE

COUNTDOWN

CO2 Budget Depletion

03 Mar 2023

Are trees a climate “time bomb”?

Trees: many of us plant them as a way of engaging in climate action; others purchase carbon ‘offsets’ in the form of protected forested areas. Whatever your relation to them, trees are a widespread symbol of a healthy planet. What happens, however, when they burn and release all the stored carbon that makes them such great carbon sinks?

Satellite images have shown that wildfires in boreal forests, those at high latitudes, have increased significantly over the past two decades. Wildfires in these regions have typically comprised 10% of the planet’s terrain fires, but in 2021 the number skyrocketed to 23%. Worryingly, these northern forests are also 10-20 times more carbon-dense than other ecosystems, This increase is largely kindled by other aspects of the climate crisis, including drought and heat waves that are ravaging the northern regions and priming conditions to burn. And burn they do. According to Steven Davis, a professor of earth sciences at UC Irvine, “Boreal forests could be a time bomb of carbon.”

With record emissions pumped into the atmosphere in 2022 despite pledges to the contrary and record temperatures this winter throughout much of the Arctic, this coming fire season is one to watch.

Check arcticrisk.org to understand how the northern regions are so sensitive to warming, and also why the rest of the world pays the price for Arctic fires. To know what you can do to change a future of these carbon time bombs, look at https://arcticrisk.org/solutions/

LATEST NEWS & ALERTS

ARCTIC RISK INDICATORS

The following gauges show up-to-date data regarding key indicators in the Arctic. These indicators clearly point to the crisis at hand.

Greenland rate of ice loss
13 million l/s
on average
13 million tonnes/s
on average
Arctic Sea Ice Extent
434,999 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 11-Apr-2024
167,953 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 11-Apr-2024
Arctic Amplification
4 times
faster than global average
Arctic 66N+ Wildfire emissions
0.00 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2024 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
3.12 microgram per cubic meter
on 12-Apr-2024
Global mean Sea Level
3.4mm/year
since 1993