Extreme heatwave in Siberia

A current extreme heatwave in Siberia is bringing new record temperatures daily. Heat records are being broken... READ MORE

UPDATE Greenland Heatwave

The early warning we issued on May 25th for the first heatwave in #Greenland has occurred on May 31st to June 1st with a temperature anomaly event and high ice melt... READ MORE

NEW – Near Real-time Pan-Arctic Alerts (ARP-PAAS)

The Arctic Risk Platform has a new Pan-Arctic Alert System (PAAS) using operational weather forecasting, satellite and ground observations to deliver updates of a real-time view of unfolding climate extremes. This is... READ MORE


The first moderate heatwave is forecast for Greenland around June 1,... READ MORE

One of Greenland’s largest glaciers is actively melting from beneath

Below the surface, the Petermann Glacier, one of Greenland's largest, is actively melting--from... READ MORE


CO2 Budget Depletion



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.

Research by Woodwell indicates that emissions from permafrost thaw this century could be on par with continued emissions by Japan or as high as continued emissions by the United States (Natali, Rogers, 2021). This means that permafrost thaw emissions could use up 25-40% of the remaining carbon budget to stay below 2°C (Natali, Rogers, 2021).


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.


THAWING PERMAFROST COULD EXPOSE TOXINS FROM CONTAMINATED LAND. Research by Langer et al (2023) has found a “serious environmental threat, which is exacerbated by climate change in the near future”. Thawing permafrost could expose between 13,000 and 20,000 contaminated sites in permafrost regions of the Arctic. As the permafrost thaws, as a result of  rapid Arctic warming, the risk of contamination and mobilisation of toxic substances increases. It is possible that approximately “1100 industrial sites and 3500 to 5200 contaminated sites located in regions of stable permafrost will start to thaw before the end of this century”. The study advises that climate change needs to be accounted for in long-term planning for contaminated sites in the Arctic.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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
605,499 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 04-Jun-2023
233,783 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 04-Jun-2023
Arctic Amplification
2.82 times
faster than global average in last 30 years
2.57 times
faster than global average in last 50 years
2.54 times
faster than global average in last 70 years
Arctic Wildfire emissions
0.60 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
5.50 microgram per cubic meter
on 05-Jun-2023