Climate Change | Scientists call for ‘refreezing’ of the Arctic after several ‘never before’ events

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Sky News

Victoria Seabrook

Climate reporter @SeabrookClimate

Thursday 29 July 2021

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CCAG researchers call for urgent research on refreezing the Arctic, and say many other solutions already exist.

The Arctic is now experiencing several “never before” events, with dramatic, human impacts on the planet’s ecosystem, according to a new report.

While the Arctic is supposed to be a climate-regulating system, the analysis warns that over the last 30 years it has warmed three times faster (at a rate of 0.81C per decade) than the global average (0.23C).

The new report from the Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG) calls the Arctic a “ground zero” for “cascading climate impacts across the planet”, warning that the rapid warming and melting there is likely a “major trigger” for disastrous changes to our weather systems.

This has been borne out in recent extreme events such as extremely severe heatwaves in the USA and Canada and flooding in Germany and China.

It was published on the day the US climate envoy John Kerry warned that “this is not the last chance for survival, but it is the last chance to minimise the damages and the changes on planet Earth”.

Speaking at a Science Museum webinar along with the former UK prime minister Tony Blair, Mr Kerry said “we have to ramp up, Tony”.

“But I am confident that we’re going to have breakthroughs that are going to help facilitate this effort,” he added.

British scientist Sir David King is chair of the CCAG, which is a new group of climate-related experts aiming to provide the science and guidance towards climate repair.

“We can manage this,” he told Sky News. “I believe we’ve got five years to set in train a whole series of a programme of work. And if we do all of that, we will have a safe future for mankind going well into the next century.”

Otherwise “we are looking at a situation in the near future that is really to too grim to to contemplate,” he said.

One of the ways to manage it involves attempting to refreeze the Arctic. Sir David along with many others are exploring the possibility of creating white cloud cover that will come over the Arctic Sea during the three months of the polar summer.

They hope this would reflect sunlight away so that the growth of ice over the Arctic sea during the previous winter is retained through the summer.

“And if we could just repeat that every year for the coming 20 or 30 years, then we might manage to create the ice cover that is needed to protect the Arctic Sea,” he told Sky News.

The report says this is just one of many solutions needed – but much of the technology needed to implement its recommended solutions already exists, but requires a “rapid political and collective response”.

 

It identifies a number of the Arctic’s “made in the region” solutions that work, including the observational capacity of indigenous peoples with their knowledge, adaptation solutions that “fit the shoe” and the rewilding capacity of carbon sinks.

It says the most important solution is to preserve and maintain the still existing poles of cold and habitats such as the large intact forests and tundra ecosystems, as long as possible.



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