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How the State of the Arctic Impacts Upon Global Efforts to Limit Climate Change

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Publication date31/05/2021
Host publicationWorld Scientific Encyclopedia of Climate Change: Volume 3 Case Studies of Climate Risk, Action, and Opportunity
EditorsJan Dash
PublisherWorld Scientific
Number of pages9
ISBN (electronic)9789811213939
ISBN (print)9789811209291
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Relatively few people have visited the Earth’s icy cap, the Arctic. Cold and inhospitable, and dark for several months of the year, the region has been home to Inuit, Saami and other indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Adapting to the harsh conditions required plenty of ingenuity and persistence. Yet, the Arctic region is changing, and changing rapidly. The sea ice covering most of the Arctic Ocean, the vast Greenland ice sheet, the snow cover on land and the large area of frozen ground called permafrost, are all melting away. Why? Scientists are unanimous in the verdict: climate change caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases (Pachauri et al., 2014). The Arctic has been warming twice faster that the global average as a result (Overland et al., 2015), causing the extensive melting documented by several decades of satellite records and measurements on the ground (Stroeve et al., 2012; Mouginot et al., 2019; Chadburn et al., 2017). It is no wonder that the Arctic is sometimes called the barometer of global risk from climate change