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Can we make peace with nature in a rapidly changing Arctic?

The United Nations Environment Programme is calling for bold action to “make peace with nature” by cutting greenhouse gases and restoring biodiversity as the world emerges from the COVID pandemic. “Innovation and investment only in activities that protect both people and nature”, is the motto. What does this mean for the rapidly changing Arctic and the Indigenous peoples living there?

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When the Arctic ice won’t freeze

Imagine you head for the North Pole to test your brand-new  giant, state-of-the-art icebreaker – and you can’t find any ice thick enough to smash.  That must have been a frustrating anti-climax for the crew and operators of the Russian Arktika. When I read the story by Thomas Nilsen on the Independent Barents Observer, I …

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Zackenberg revisited –Greenland climate research station under threat from permafrost thaw

Zackenberg station from the air (I.Quaile) In the remote, high Arctic region of north-eastern Greenland, at 74° North, a scattered group of blue and white buildings and tent-like structures perches above a river which starts to swell with melting ice, in a broad valley amongst green and brown hills, dotted with snow. For almost 25 …

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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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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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