Climate-Altering Technologies and the Arctic
The Arctic region plays a key role in the global climate system acting as a carbon sink and a virtual mirror reflecting solar radiation back out into space. The rate of climate change is now significantly greater in the Arctic, which has warmed 2.4 times faster than the rest of the planet over the past 40 years.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, an Arctic ‘climate tipping point’, or threshold that, when exceeded, leads to permanent changes in the Arctic system – and thus, over time, globally – may have already been reached. This creates a vicious circle in which ice loss reduces the amount of sunlight that is reflected into space, which in turn leads to warming and further ice loss, and accelerates permafrost melting. As a result, large stores of methane, which is almost 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas, are irreversibly released. If climate-altering technologies were, as is suggested by theoretical research and modelling, capable of slowing or reversing this vicious circle, it makes the region an area of special interest for those considering such climate-altering technologies to cool not only the Arctic but the entire global climate.
The policy brief is also available in
The C2G Evidence Brief: Governing Climate-Altering Technologies in the Arctic is coming soon.
Guest post by Maria Hammershøy, Secretary-General of Caritas Denmark
by Celine Novenario and Cynthia Scharf
Scientists and engineers around the world are trying to come up with ideas to cool the planet and stop the ice from melting. In this episode of People Fixing the World: Saving the world's ice, C2G's Cynthia Scharf highlights the need to govern climate-altering...
Prominent scientist, Sir David King – former chief scientific adviser to the UK government from 2013-2017 – talks to C2G about how research on climate-altering technologies in the Arctic might be governed. Sir David King joined two sessions hosted by C2G on October...
Maria Krabbe Hammershøy is the Secretary General of Caritas Denmark, and a board member of Justice and Peace Europe. Maria joined a session on "Saving the Arctic: Ethics, Values and the Next Generation" hosted by C2G on October 10th at the 2019 Arctic Circle...