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

Intense floods like those inundating Nigeria in recent weeks are expected to become more frequent as the globe continues to warm under a thickening blanket of greenhouse gases.... READ MORE

Greenland 8°C warmer in September

In what would be the start to a series of anomalous temperature spikes in the autumnal shoulder season, the temperature at Greenland's highest point was above freezing on Sept 3--the first time ever recorded in... READ MORE

COUNTDOWN

CO2 Budget Depletion

UN SUSTAINABILITY DEVELOPMENT GOALS

SDG 11 - SUSTAINABLE CITIES & COMMUNITIES

 

Loss of Arctic sea ice and snow drives global heat stress, making already-hot parts of the world unbearable for living and working. Warming in the Arctic changes jet stream patterns, which in 2022, has led to extended heat stress throughout much of Europe and Asia. Elsewhere, by 2050, Southeast Asia could see a 16% reduction in labour productivity because of the rise in heat stress.

GLOBAL

The effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and more frequent and intense extreme weather, threaten cities’ (particularly coastal) and communities’ development. Arctic loss of ice and snow amplifies the risk of global heat stress, making cities and communities in already-hot parts of the world unbearably hot to live and work in. At 2°C global warming, it is estimated that the South Asian mean population’s exposure to unsafe air temperatures would double. By 2050, Southeast Asia could see a 16 percent reduction in labor productivity because of the rise in heat stress. Singapore would experience the most significant drop in productivity at 25 percent, followed by 24 percent in Malaysia and 21 percent in Indonesia. Sea level rise and extreme weather events like tropical cyclones also challenge the sustainability of built environments. This is especially true within coastal communities and some of the world’s biggest, most densely populated cities, including New York, Miami, Bangkok, Shanghai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Dhaka. Homes and workplaces throughout the world will require financial and technological modifications to adapt to new weather norms. Indonesia has decided to relocate its capital from Jakarta to Borneo because roughly 40 percent of Jakarta is already under water (Renaldi, 2022). 

Globally, approximately 600 million people reside in coastal areas where roughly US$1 trillion of global wealth is concentrated. These areas are increasingly threatened by sea level rise. 

ARCTIC

While Arctic communities, and particularly Indigenous Peoples, have generally contributed little to climate change, the eight Arctic nations (e.g., the U.S., Canada, and Russia) account for just over 20 percent of the world’s emissions (WWF Arctic, 2020). With the melting Arctic’s strategic location and vast amounts of undiscovered oil, gas and minerals, becoming sustainable remains a challenge for the Arctic.   

Considering itself a “near-Arctic” state and having become increasingly active in the region, China is planning a Polar Silk Road. This Polar Silk Road forms a network of shipping routes that connect Western Europe, North America and East Asia through the Arctic Ocean (Silk Road Briefing, 2021). However, increased Arctic shipping brings its own emissions and climate impacts from heavy diesel fuel, and the threat of oil spills that threaten sustainable development in the Arctic.

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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