Advertisement

Catastrophic Temperature Rise In the Arctic Is 'Locked In,' UN Report Says

“What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.”

Mar 14 2019, 3:09pmSnap

Rising temperatures in the Arctic are on an unsteerable course, even if drastic measures to curb climate change are undertaken, a United Nations report has found.

The new environmental report projects that winter temperatures in the Arctic will increase 3 to 5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, and a subsequent 5 to 9 degrees Celsius by 2080, changes that are “locked in,” even if nations collectively meet Paris Agreement goals.

Advertisement

The report was released at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi on Wednesday, and adds to other recent, dire predictions for the Arctic—one of the places on Earth where global warming will trigger catastrophic outcomes due to the snowballing effects of melting permafrost.

“What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic,” Joyce Msuya, acting executive director of the United Nations Environment, said in a statement.

“We have the science,” Msuya said, “now more urgent climate action is needed to steer away from tipping points that could be even worse for our planet than we first thought.”

These temperature spikes would see massive permafrost melt—characterized as waking a “sleeping giant” in the report—releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere which could “derail efforts” to meet goals set by the Paris Agreement. Four million people, especially indigenous communities in the Arctic, and 70 percent of the region’s infrastructure will be threatened by thawing permafrost by 2050.

The research warns that many changes are already set in motion for the Arctic. Even if Paris Agreement goals are achieved (and note that President Trump withdrew the United States from this effort), Arctic permafrost is predicted to shrink by 45 percent below current levels.

The report is yet another startling wakeup call, and it intends to instigate global action to avoid these snowball effects.

Last year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a landmark study on the devastating effects of 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. Wednesday’s report is different in that it details the consequences of “tipping points” or “positive feedback.”

“The urgency to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement is clearly manifested in the Arctic,” Kimmo Tiilikainen, the Finnish Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing, said in a statement. “It is one of the most vulnerable and rapidly changing regions in the world.”

Tagged:

Tech, Motherboard, GLOBAL WARMING, ARCTIC, UN, report, paris agreement, permafrost melt, temperature rise

More
like this
Buongiorno. It Was Really Hot in Europe This Winter.
Scientists Deliver, Once Again, a Horrifying Report About How Hot Earth Is Getting
The Planet Is Probably in Worse Shape Than We Can Even Predict
Climate Change Predictions Have Suddenly Gone Catastrophic. This Is Why
The U.K.’s Busiest Airport Can’t Build a New Runway Because of Climate Change
The Architect of the Paris Agreement Wants Us to Forgive… Oil Executives?
Russia Is Building an Autonomous Arctic Base to Develop Futuristic Tech
A Super-Potent Greenhouse Gas Has Been Leaking Into the Atmosphere, and No One Knows Where It's Coming From​