A new study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), released today, says that the effects of warming in the Arctic are “dire… far worse than previous projections.” Dr Martin Sommerkorn, senior climate change advisor for WWF’s Arctic program (who works on this stuff everyday) says: “What they found was a truly sobering picture.”
The report released by WWF today, Arctic Climate Feedbacks: Global Implications, is an “unprecedented peer-reviewed report.” It was created by a variety of the world’s top climate scientists. It shows that the results of climate change in the Arctic are actually expected to be much worse than the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in 2007. WWF says: “numerous arctic climate feedbacks – negative effects prompted by the impacts of warming — will make global climate change more severe than indicated by other recent projections, including those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 assessment.”
Dr Sommerkorn says: “What this report says is that a warming Arctic is much more than a local problem, it’s a global problem. Simply put, if we do not keep the Arctic cold enough, people across the world will suffer the effects.”
One major finding is that sea-level is actually anticipated to rise by more than one meter by 2100 (more than twice what the IPCC predicted in 2007). This would directly affect more than ¼ of the world’s population! Indirectly, I’m sure it will affect everyone.
Another major point is that the Arctic is warming at about twice the rate of the rest of the world and the Arctic’s frozen soils and wetlands “store twice as much carbon as is held in the atmosphere“. This means that if the Arctic isn’t kept cool, the multiplying effects of global warming will jump drastically. The global warming cycle will be out of our hands soon if we don’t act now and keep the Arctic cool.
The WWF says we need to act now. And Copenhagen in December is a key!
WWF has worked with others to create a “model climate treaty” that could be used by all the world leaders who will be meeting in Copenhagen to decide the world’s future on climate change (and everything). James Leape, director general of WWF International, says: “We need to listen now to these signals from the Arctic, and take the necessary action in Copenhagen this December to get a deal that quickly and effectively limits greenhouse gas emissions.”
For more information on negotiations regarding climate change, read:
1) The US is Driving Other National Positions Leading into Copenhagen
2) Future of Global Cooperation on Climate Change: From the US to India and Back
3) US-China Memorandum on Climate Change a Positive Sign for Copenhagen Talks
For more on the current world leaders of greenhouse gas emissions, read:
1) Ice Cap to Ice Cap, Which Countries Lead the World in Global Warming Emissions?
2) Global Warming Effects and Causes: A Top 10 List
3) Top Global Warming Causes — Natural or Human?
Image Credit 1: aussiegall via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 2: azrainman via flickr under a Creative Commons license