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The White House Office of the Press Secretary has just issued a statement announcing the release of a National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The strategy includes significant attention to the role climate change plays in regional security and cooperation. Specifically, the strategy outlines the “lines of effort” as: 1. Advance United States Security Interests, 2. Pursue Responsible Arctic Region Stewardship, 3. Strengthen International Cooperation. Attention to climate change risks is strewn throughout the document. Here are some notable excerpts: (more…)
A conference this week we thought our readers might be interested in. It is being hosted by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, in partnership with the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, The Inuit Knowledge Centre, St. Jerome’s University and the Centre for Contemporary International History. The conference will focus on engaging “decision-makers and the academic community in a conversation about how to better integrate the needs and wants of northern residents into the broader Arctic security debate.”
It is sold out, but there will be a live webcast on both days.
(Neven Acropolis with Kevin McKinney and Joe Romm provide an excellent post on this topic in Climate Progress. This post is a brief summary of the associated risks highlighted in their post).
Since the earliest humans were walking the earth, the Arctic sea-ice existed in a fairly stable pattern of freezing and melting. Over the last several decades, those melting and freezing patterns have rapidly shifted. This week, the extent of sea-ice melt reached an all time record minimum, and there is still a month of continued melting ahead. Several studies suggest that the Arctic could be seasonally sea-ice free by 2040, for the first time in human history. (more…)
Methane, an extreme, short-lived climate forcer (it is 70 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, but breaks down far quicker in the atmosphere) is usually found under the ice on frozen landmasses, or at the bottom of shallow Siberian seas. However, scientists flying over cracks in melting Arctic sea ice in the deep ocean have recently found high levels of methane emerging – a highly unexpected finding. This is particularly worrying, as any warming in the Arctic is bound to lock into feedback loops that further accelerate warming. (more…)