The World Above 1.5°C: Flooding Disasters from Libya to Hong Kong

Global temperatures have slightly decreased after a  summer with 36 consecutive days above any previous record, a phenomenon not seen in at least 125,000 years. However, the two consecutive months above 1.5C provided a... READ MORE

Polar Tipping Points Hub in WEF Global Collaboration Village

This week, the Polar Tipping Points Hub was launched in the Global Collaboration Village, a metaverse built by the World Economic Forum in partnership with Accenture and Microsoft, with scientific support from Arctic... READ MORE

Arctic Basecamp Plays Significant Role in New Polar Metaverse by World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF) launched the Polar Tipping Points Hub, a groundbreaking virtual reality experience in collaboration with Accenture and Microsoft, yesterday at UN Climate Week in New York... READ MORE

Mind-blowing alarm bells need to be ringing: Antarctica’s ice remains well-below any previous record

“Almost mind-blowing.” That’s how Walter Meier of the NSIDC describes the records Antarctica has set this year.... READ MORE

A rare northern hurricane continues to make records

Hurricane Lee is preparing to slam into northern New England and the Canadian... READ MORE


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 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



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
2,161,499 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 20-Sep-2023
834,555 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 20-Sep-2023
Arctic Amplification
4 times
faster than global average
Arctic 66N+ Wildfire emissions
24,864.17 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
4.89 microgram per cubic meter
on 21-Sep-2023
Global mean Sea Level
since 1993