A “meteorological hammer” drops on the USA

Europe is already in the wrath of an Arctic blast, but a "meteorological hammer" is about to drop on the USA as well, gripping all but the westernmost regions in days or weeks of below-normal temperatures, supercell... READ MORE

Record temperatures in northern Alaska

The most northern town in Alaska, Utqiaġvik (71°N) reached 40°F/4.5°C on Monday, more than 37°F above the average high temperature for this time of year. Monday's temperature not only surpassed the previous... READ MORE

Temperatures in Europe have increased at more than twice the global average

Temperatures in Europe have increased at more than twice the global average over the past 30 years – the highest of any continent in the world. This includes the Arctic which is the fastest warming region on Earth.... READ MORE

Devastating floods in Nigeria claim over 600 lives

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Greenland 8°C warmer in September

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COUNTDOWN

CO2 Budget Depletion

A THAWING ARCTIC LANDSCAPE RELEASES MORE GREENHOUSE GAS

THE RISK

PERMAFROST THAW RELEASES SUNK CARBON. The Arctic’s permanently frozen ground - home to enormous amounts of trapped carbon - is warming quickly as the global climate changes. The thawing soil is expected to release about 18 billion tonnes of CO2 for every 1°C of warming into the future and has the potential to unleash vast amounts (200 Peta-tonnes) of methane directly into the atmosphere - a potent greenhouse gas that is currently frozen as clathrates within soil, wetlands and subglacially across the Arctic.

SEE THE DATA

A HOTTER, DRIER ARCTIC DRIVES POLLUTING WILDFIRES. The Arctic - now heating up three times faster than the world as a whole - has experienced two extreme summers of large-scale wildfires in recent years. Wildfires in Siberia burned six million hectares (about the size of Lithuania) and, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, released 800 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021, which is approximately equivalent to the yearly emissions of Germany.

SEE THE DATA

IPCC FINDINGS

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world’s most authoritative source on climate change. It reviews all published literature to provide comprehensive and objective scientific information.

AS PERMAFROST THAWS, A CARBON VAULT IS UNLOCKED

The Arctic’s permanently frozen ground is thawing quickly and, thanks to climate-affected warmer, dryer soil, is increasingly prone to fires, according to the UN’s latest special report on climate science. Half of all Arctic land (not including land under permanent ice sheets and glaciers) is frozen as permafrost, but, thanks to climate change, the frozen ground has warmed by more than a quarter of a degree Celsius every year between 2007 and 2016.

  • Temperatures in permanently frozen Arctic ground between 10 to 20 metres deep have reached record highs in recent decades.
  • The volume of frozen soil within the upper three meters of this permafrost ground is expected to decrease by about 25% for every 1°C of global warming into the future.
  • Thawing permafrost in mountainous areas is expected to make slopes less stable and rockslides more common.
  • Weather conditions favourable to wildfires are expected to occur more often in many regions of the world as the planet warms.
  • So-called low-probability “unprecedented extremes,” such as wildfires in parts of the Arctic, are expected to become less rare.

PERMAFROST THAW

Enormous areas of permanently frozen ground across the Arctic have warmed by more than a quarter of a degree Celsius every year between 2007 and 2016. These surface soil and pockets of deeper ground in these fast-thawing permafrost regions are among the largest storehouses of carbon in the world, holding between 1.4 and 1.6 trillion tonnes of the greenhouse gas—equivalent to up to 37 years of current total global emissions.

ARCTIC WILDFIRE EMISSIONS

DATA SOURCE

Charts best viewed in landscape mode, rotate your phone to explore this chart.

CO2 equivalent emissions in thousand tonnes caused by wild fires in different latitudnal regions . Dataset is based on Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) Global Fire Assimilation system.

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.

The Arctic (66°N+) Surface Temperature
10 % days
in 2023 are above 90th percentile of 1981-2010
2 days
in 2023 are above 90th percentile of 1981-2010
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
1,053,999 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 24-Jan-2023
406,949 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 24-Jan-2023
Arctic Wildfire emissions
-0.00 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
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
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
1.71 microgram per cubic meter
on 25-Jan-2023