Tropical Storm Ophelia takes on New York

Parts of New York City are underwater as record rains have led to life-threatening flooding. Brooklyn received more than a month's worth of rain within three hours. By nightfall on Friday 29 September, Queens recorded... READ MORE

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Declared

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has just announced that the 2023 minimum Arctic sea ice extent occurred on 19 September and is the 6th lowest on record.... READ MORE

The World Above 1.5°C: Flooding Disasters from Libya to Hong Kong

Global temperatures have slightly decreased after a  summer with 36 consecutive days above any previous record, a phenomenon not seen in at least 125,000 years. However, the two consecutive months above 1.5C provided a... READ MORE

Polar Tipping Points Hub in WEF Global Collaboration Village

This week, the Polar Tipping Points Hub was launched in the Global Collaboration Village, a metaverse built by the World Economic Forum in partnership with Accenture and Microsoft, with scientific support from Arctic... READ MORE

Arctic Basecamp Plays Significant Role in New Polar Metaverse by World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF) launched the Polar Tipping Points Hub, a groundbreaking virtual reality experience in collaboration with Accenture and Microsoft, yesterday at UN Climate Week in New York... READ MORE


CO2 Budget Depletion




Warming in the Arctic directly contributes to the hundreds of billions of USD per year in climate-related costs, which means that capital needed for industrialization is diverted toward recovery efforts following climate-related disasters. The Arctic contains an estimated 22% of the world’s untapped fossil fuel reserves and trillions of dollars of rare earth minerals. The melting ice has also opened shortened shipping routes to industry. However, the exploitation of both of these is offset by the global damage that Arctic warming poses globally, including risks for the agricultural, insurance and water-reliant sectors, as well as those with assets in coastal regions that are facing sea level rise and extreme weather, both of which damage roads, bridges and other infrastructure. 


Sustainable industrialisation, together with innovation and infrastructure, can unleash dynamic and competitive economic forces that generate employment and income. Arctic warming serves as a major obstacle to achieving this goal because of the risks it exposes. Arctic warming poses direct risks for the agricultural and insurance sectors, as well as those reliant on water or with assets in coastal regions that face sea level rise and extreme weather. A warming Arctic increases the likelihood of extreme weather events, which can destroy infrastructure and livelihoods at a current cost of hundreds of billions of USD per year. This means that capital needed for industrialisation is diverted toward recovery efforts following climate-related disasters. 


Arctic Indigenous traditional knowledge has a lot to offer in terms of innovation. For instance, areas with herds of reindeer, horses and bison stay 2°C colder than herd-free areas on average by stomping the snow to increase its density and preserve permafrost, meaning resettling herds of large herbivores can help preserve Arctic permafrost. In countering the risks of increasingly unpredictable sea ice, the SmartICE initiative combines Indigenous knowledge with modern technology to produce information about how to travel across the ice without getting in harm’s way.  


Arctic warming is creating a mineral boom as countries, communities and businesses race to gain access to opening natural resources. The Arctic contains an estimated 10% of the world’s oil, 25% of its natural gas, and 22% of its undiscovered fossil fuel reserves, as well as trillions of USD in minerals. On the southwest coast of Greenland, Kvanefjeld is the world’s second largest deposit of rare earth oxides and the sixth largest for uranium. It is developed by Greenland Minerals, a company part-owned by the Chinese Shenghe Resources (Hall, 2020). Similarly, in the Norwegian Kvalsund, a new copper mine was recently given green light for construction (Pulitzer Center, 2021). In addition to China, states like Bangladesh and Singapore have also asserted themselves as “near-Arctic states” in order to have access to opening resources–in their cases, trans-Arctic shipping opportunities. This wide-spread activity is changing the geopolitical landscape and increasing tension in the North. 


Arctic permafrost thaw threatens infrastructure, affecting communities, businesses and defense industries, as buildings sink and roads crack. Coastal erosion also creates massive infrastructure challenges, such as causing buildings to collapse into the sea and forcing entire villages on the Alaskan Barrier Islands to relocate (Finnsson, 2022). Similarly, roughly 300 meters of the Kangerlussuaq airstrip, Greenland’s biggest international airport, has been severely damaged by the thawing permafrost (Finnsson, 2022). Built on permafrost, over 10 percent of buildings in the Arctic Russian city of Norilsk are now considered uninhabitable (Finnsson, 2022). In the Canadian Arctic, some of the most significant Inuvialuit archaeological sites are facing high risk of permafrost thaw-induced damage (Bowling, 2021; Coggins et al., 2021). 


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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
2,379,999 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 29-Sep-2023
918,917 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 29-Sep-2023
Arctic Amplification
4 times
faster than global average
Arctic 66N+ Wildfire emissions
24,916.64 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2023 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
4.33 microgram per cubic meter
on 30-Sep-2023
Global mean Sea Level
since 1993