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 16 - PEACE, JUSTICE & STRONG INSTITUTIONS

 

As it is warming 4 times faster than the global average, the Arctic is a new hotspot for geopolitical tension. Global nations are racing to claim the Arctic’s natural resources and territories as access increases due to melt. In this process, those who rely on the resources and lands, such as Sámi reindeer herders and Inuit hunters, are forced to look elsewhere for livelihoods. 

GLOBAL

Arctic change has global ripple effects that disproportionately affect climate-vulnerable regions across the tropics. One example is the melting Arctic glaciers that lead to sea level rise, threatening to permanently inundate Pacific Island nations such as Kiribati and Vanuatu (Earth.org, 2020). Communal and gender-based violence spikes when households and communities are confronted with conflicts caused by limited resources and displacement, both of which can result from climate change. 

ARCTIC

Arctic change amplifies existing conflict and drives geopolitical tension in the region, for example, through increasing competition over access to natural resources and new shipping routes. As the Arctic melts, nations – Arctic and non-Arctic alike – are racing to claim newly accessible natural resources, strategic geographic position, and unclaimed territories (Gross, 2020). Russia and China are deepening their collaboration by establishing a global transport corridor through the Northern Sea Route, which is estimated to be 40 percent faster than the passage via the Suez Canal (Defense News, 2020). The Arctic also contains roughly 13 percent of the world’s unexplored oil resources and 30 percent of its unconfirmed natural gas reserves – “the largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on earth”, according to Donald Gautier (Gautier et al., 2009; Ferris, 2022). 

Human rights of Arctic Indigenous communities are repeatedly violated, as rights, such as Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), are rarely applied or enforced when external actors engage in new developments on Sámi lands, such as tourism, deforestation, extraction of natural resources, and even renewable energy projects. Since 2013, Sámi in Swedish Sápmi have protested the prospective iron-ore mine in Gállok on the basis of the lands traditionally belonging to them and that mining will endanger their cultural practices and economic wellbeing. Despite repeated criticism from the UN regarding the threat of mining to reindeer migration and ecosystems, in 2022 the Swedish government granted Beowulf permission to mine (Persson, Harnesk and Islar, 2017; OHCHR, 2022). 

Indigenous peoples are bearing the brunt of rapid Arctic warming, while having done little historically and currently to create the climate crisis. This highlights a gross climate injustice. 

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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