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 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.

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