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Hooked on the Arctic

This blog post was written for Arctic Relations , a website devoted to “Arctic scholarship and stories”, led by Hannes Hansen-Magnusson, a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Cardiff, and coordinated by Charlotte Gehrke from the same University. There is a wonderful network of Arctic experts and enthusiasts around the planet. Thanks …

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Arctic conferencing in times of corona

With much of the world in lockdown and the potentially lethal corona virus dominating the agenda, it is easy to become distracted from other important issues – such as climate change in the Arctic. There is a trend - which I consider unfortunate and counter-productive - especially in the social media to discuss how the …

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A warm breeze coming up from the pole? What’s going on in Antarctica?

Scientists find ancient Antarctic ice melt could happen again, raising sea levels by three metres. During my first trip to Australia back in 1990, in the days when we had no mobiles and travellers had to queue up outside a telephone box, a breath of chilly air (by Australian winter standards) prompted a local next …

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2020 – Crunch time – or squelch time – for the Arctic?

I would love to be looking forward to the 2020s as the decade when the Arctic as we have known it will be saved; climate change decisively halted; emissions will peak; fossil fuels become true fossils; sustainable living will be the 'in' -thing. The Arctic will not become ice-free in summer after all. And Fridays …

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COP25 and the Arctic: stakes high, expectations low as tipping points tumble

Another year, another COP... What's a year in the history of a planet? And as we head for 2020 – the start of a new decade - what's ten years in the evolution of the earth? The UNFCCC tells us COP25 serves to “build ambition ahead of 2020, the year in which countries have committed …

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Arctic sea ice record low. Can we communicate our way out of climate paralysis?

The latest figures from the NSIDC do not make happy reading. The Arctic sea ice extent averaged for October 2019 was 5.66 million square kilometers (2.19 million square miles), the lowest in the 41-year continuous satellite record. The experts tell us this was 230,000 square kilometers (88,800 square miles) below that observed in 2012—the previous …

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Polar bear pictures and the climate emergency

Recently, the picture editor of the Guardian, Fiona Shields, published a piece explaining "why we are going to be using fewer polar bears and more people to illustrate our coverage of the climate emergency". She writes: "At the Guardian we want to ensure that the images we publish accurately and appropriately convey the climate crisis …

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Warming Arctic, warming world: the chilling truth

When the latest IPCC report on climate change and the ocean and cryosphere was published last month, I wrote this commentary for Deutsche Welle. It is so directly related to the Ice Blog brief that it seems right to publish it again here. I am especially encouraged by the reactions of some of my young …

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Ice Blog reloaded

Melting ever-faster: the Greenland ice sheet (Pic: Irene Quaile) Changing Arctic, Changing World This is a continuation of the Ice Blog. My fascination with the Arctic started back in 2007, when I was invited to join an international radio project to cover the International Polar Year. It was the beginning of a love affair and …

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