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

Three Icebergs break off West Antarctica’s most Endangered Glacier

Images recently posted in the Arctic Sea Ice Forum reveal three significant breakups, or calving events, in mid-October on Pine Island Glacier’s floating ice shelf in West... READ MORE

COUNTDOWN

CO2 Budget Depletion

UN SUSTAINABILITY DEVELOPMENT GOALS

SDG 15 - LIFE ON LAND

 

The Arctic is warming 4 times faster than the rest of the planet. This record warming is altering ecosystems of land-based species globally, and it is increasing the prevalence of infectious diseases that threaten lives and livelihoods across the world. Melting permafrost unlocks greenhouse gases and increases the risk of wildfire. Together, these sources of emissions could contribute as much as 40% of the global carbon budget in achieving the Paris Agreements. 

GLOBAL

Climate change-induced events are altering ecosystems of land-based species globally. Some of these species are at risk of losing their habitats and foods. Human communities, in and outside of the Arctic, are also greatly affected by climate change. Arctic change drives extreme weather, drought, sea level rise and vector-borne disease beyond the Arctic, which threaten lives and livelihoods across the world. Without adequate vector control management and vaccine programs, regional warming of 4°C could increase vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and Lyme disease fivefold. In 2020 alone, there were 241 million cases of malaria across the world, and 627,000 malaria-related fatalities (WHO, 2022). Daily extreme weather around the world is estimated to take 115 lives and cause economic loss equivalent to US$202 million (WMO, 2021).

ARCTIC

As a critical part of the frozen planet, the Arctic helps cool the Earth. It is also storing more than twice the amount of carbon in its permafrost than that currently in our atmosphere. Keeping the Arctic cool is thus key to controlling positive feedback loops that speed up global climate change. 

Even with the vast size and complexity of the Arctic, pan-Arctic cooperation on data monitoring confirms that the region’s terrestrial biodiversity is changing rapidly. Arctic species at risk of losing their habitats include polar bears, reindeer, Arctic fox, lemmings, red knots, and muskox (WWF, n.d.). According to Mora Aronsson, changing seasons in the warming Arctic could bring devastating ecological effects as bird’s migratory patterns now mismatch the new vegetation seasons, affecting their food security (Arctic Council, 2021). Rangifer (e.g., reindeer, caribou) populations have declined since the 1990s (State of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Report, 2021). 

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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
1,445,999 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 02-Dec-2023
558,300 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 02-Dec-2023
Arctic Amplification
4 times
faster than global average
Arctic 66N+ Wildfire emissions
25,092.70 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
1.09 microgram per cubic meter
on 03-Dec-2023
Global mean Sea Level
3.4mm/year
since 1993