Cyclone Michaung wreaks havoc in Southern India

Cyclone Michaung wreaks havoc in Southern India as it intensifies into a severe storm. Warmer oceans are the primary reason for the storm which is closely linked to Arctic Sea ice... READ MORE

Confirmed: 2023 set to be the warmest year on record

The WMO provisional State of the Global Climate report confirms that 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record, regardless of the final two months of... READ MORE

Colossal Antarctic iceberg, five times larger than New York City, breaks free and drifts away from region

On November 24th, scientists from the Bristish Antarctic Survey (BAS) were astonished to observe an iceberg measuring around 4,000 square kilometers (more than twice the size of Greater London) drifting away from the... READ MORE

World surpasses critical warming threshold for the first time

On November 17th, global temperatures reached 2.07°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time on record.... READ MORE

Unexpected disintegration of ice shelves in North Greenland

Alarm bells ringing as rapid disintegration and weakening of ice shelves in North Greenland is observed!... READ MORE

COUNTDOWN

CO2 Budget Depletion

UN SUSTAINABILITY DEVELOPMENT GOALS

SDG 12 - RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION

 

The melting Arctic is encouraging a race to gain access to emerging natural resources. The Arctic already supplies the world with roughly 10% of its oil and 25% of its natural gas. It is estimated to hold 22% of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and natural gas reserves. These reserves must remain untouched and banks cannot keep financing this. Historically, the Arctic has been treated as a wasteland for nuclear testing, leading to widespread radioactive contamination.  

GLOBAL

Worldwide consumption and production — driving forces of the global economy — rest on the use of the natural environment and resources. Arctic warming is destroying global climatic patterns necessary for maintaining some of these resources. To address climate change, businesses and governments must take the lead in cutting emissions and taking bold action. Today, not even one-tenth of the global economy is circular, meaning we are wasting most of our precious resources and living well beyond our planetary means (TRVST, 2021). 

ARCTIC

In the melting Arctic, countries, communities and businesses are racing to gain access to new natural resources. In Greenland, the towns of Qaqortoq, Nanortalik and Narsaq are facing increased mineral exploration as shipping opportunities and access to minerals improve (Hansen and Burkins, 2020). Surveys across Greenland reveal deposits of diamond, quartz, ruby, topaz, sapphire, amazonite, chromium, cobalt, niobium, and tungsten, making the island abundant with gemstones and minerals (Innovation News Network, 2022). To leverage their economic future and secure independence from Denmark, many residents and actors of Greenland claim to be in need of new and larger airports to, in part, facilitate commerce. Many climate activists have taken a stand against constructing new airports, highlighting conflicting interests between local economies and climate activists.  

To keep global warming below +1.5C, banks must stop financing fossil fuel development, especially in the Arctic. Currently, every major US bank has already joined the list of nearly 30 major banks worldwide that have committed not to fund oil and gas development in the Arctic. In the US, this includes Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Morgan Stanley. We must hold these banks to these pledges. Pressure on the oil industry is likely to increase thanks to growing regulation and shareholder pressure – like the Bank of America shareholder resolution asking for answers on financing Arctic exploration. 

Historically, the Arctic was seen as wasteland and nations dumped nuclear radiation and general rubbish. Cold waters and lack of infrastructure hamper the clean-up of the now-contaminated lands and waters, in part due to pollution from mining. This heavy metal pollution is creating toxic food chains (Discovering the Arctic, n.d.). It is likewise challenging to adequately address oil spills and general dumping from the increase in shipping across 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.

Greenland rate of ice loss
13 million l/s
on average
13 million tonnes/s
on average
Arctic Sea Ice Extent
434,999 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 11-Apr-2024
167,953 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 11-Apr-2024
Arctic Amplification
4 times
faster than global average
Arctic 66N+ Wildfire emissions
0.00 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2024 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
3.12 microgram per cubic meter
on 12-Apr-2024
Global mean Sea Level
3.4mm/year
since 1993