Arctic Temperature Alarm

Air temperature in the Arctic was -19.25°C on 2023-03-23. This is 0.15°C higher than 90th percentile of climatology period... READ MORE

Arctic Temperature Alarm

Air temperature in the Arctic was -19.28°C on 2023-03-22. This is 0.27°C higher than 90th percentile of climatology period... READ MORE

It’s now or never – IPCC 6th Assessment Report released today

Today the final synthesis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 6th Assessment Report cycle was released. This synthesis report restates that it is "now or never" to act, and that we are well on... READ MORE

Arctic sea ice maximum extent likely 5th lowest on record

Arctic sea ice has likely reached its maximum extent for the year, at 14.62 million square kilometres (5.64 million square miles) on March 6, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at... READ MORE

Record-breaking cyclone brings further decimation to world’s #1 climate vulnerable country

Tropical cyclone Freddy is set to make more international records--including possibly one for the longest-lasting storm, later this... 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
4.5 hundred thousands l/s
on average in 1986-2015
4.5 tons per second
on average in 1986-2015
Worldwide number of disasters
265 disasters
more events in 2022 in comparison to 1970s
183 disasters
more events in 2022 in comparison to 1980s
100 disasters
more events in 2022 in comparison to 1990s
Arctic Sea Ice Extent
1,060,750 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 26-Mar-2023
409,555 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 26-Mar-2023
Arctic Amplification
2.81 times
faster than global average in last 30 years
2.59 times
faster than global average in last 50 years
2.49 times
faster than global average in last 70 years
Arctic Wildfire emissions
0.19 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
2.72 microgram per cubic meter
on 21-Mar-2023