Climate change is impacting the frozen regions of our planet faster and more seriously than expected. The naming of two ice scientists as amongst the world's most influential people shows growing recognition of the key role played by the cryosphere and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect it.
Earth’s temperature rises as geopolitical climate cools
It's now one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. There’s no sign of any end to the conflict. And we are not looking at a regional dispute. This war has become a major clash between systems, with repercussions for the whole planet. Putin’s invasion has plunged us into a time of multiple crises – war, an …
Continue reading Earth’s temperature rises as geopolitical climate cools
Moving North – Arctic Frontiers in a changing world
Tromso is living up to its image as Norway's Arctic capital, as I step off the plane into a flurry of snowflakes and a landscape of white. I first came up here to to the Arctic Frontiers gathering in 2007 to research and make contacts for a series of documentaries to mark the International Polar …
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In search of consensus in troubled times: Students in Scotland run model Arctic Council
Students in the Scottish coastal town of Oban are staging the country's first Model Arctic Council. The pro-independence government is keen to extend links with its northern neighbours. It's an interesting time to hold SCOTMAC, when the Arctic Council's work has been paused over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Thawing permafrost: Arctic future on shaky ground bodes ill for the global climate
Arctic permafrost is thawing, threatening northern communities and speeding up the climate change that is thawing it in the first place. Only rapid and substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions can help avert catastrophe.
COP26 – A Glasgow fairytale
The situation for planet earth was looking bleak. There was more of those dangerous heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere than ever before (and the records could go back way beyond the bounds of human history, looking into the earth, the oceans and the ice.) The planet had become a hothouse. The ice at the poles …
1.5°C is way too high: thoughts from a flood-stricken German valley
We are fine and glad to live up a hill, but in shock, with the region around us devastated by the heaviest and longest lasting rain I have ever experienced and unprecedented floods. At least 160 people are dead here, more in neighbouring Belgium, and many more missing. This is in Germany, one of the …
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Tipping points: can a leaked report tip the scales to climate action?
I was working through my Twitter feed, fretting about the incredible temperatures in the high north and researching my next blog post. Could geoengineering be the way to cool the Arctic and the planet? Should it? And was the current hype about it not distracting too much attention from the need for immediate and drastic …
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Hot times ahead as oil-fuelled Russia chairs the Arctic Council and polar warming picks up pace
The bi-annual Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Reykjavik, Iceland, on May 20th attracted a lot of media interest – not least because the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was attending, alongside Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This is one arena where the two rivals and Cold War adversaries come together as …
Continue reading Hot times ahead as oil-fuelled Russia chairs the Arctic Council and polar warming picks up pace
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?