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 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.

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