Protecting Life in the Arctic

Arctic Science

Arctic treasure

The Pew Charitable Trusts releases: Arctic Treasure: Global Assets Melting Away – a summary of a report that for the first time quantifies the global cost of losing the Arctic’s climate cooling services.

CTV interview

International Director Scott Highleyman discusses the report on CTV's Business News Network  Watch

Excerpts from the report

"We estimate that on an annual basis in 2010, albedo changes from loss of sea ice and snow cover, along with accelerating methane emissions, are heating the planet at a rate equivalent to approximately 3 billion metric tons of CO2. This is comparable to about 42 percent of US global warming emissions. This heating from the melting Arctic will grow significantly over the coming decades, projected to more than double by 2100 when expressed in CO2equivalents."

"In economic terms, estimated costs in 2010 from the decline in albedo and increase in methane emissions range from $61 billion to $371 billion. By 2050, this number rises to a cumulative range of $2.4 trillion to $24.1 trillion. Over the remainder of the century, cumulative costs to society could range from $4.9 trillion to $91.2 trillion."

"In particular, we recognize the value that the frozen Arctic has for the people who live there and the range of ecosystem services that the Arctic environment provides for them. We do not attempt here to describe or quantify those values and services, in part because a way of life cannot be captured in monetary value and in part simply to emphasize an often-overlooked aspect of the frozen Arctic: the services that it provides to the Earth’s climate system."

"If protecting the climate function of the frozen Arctic also means preserving the habitat and homeland of Arctic peoples and their environment, then humans benefit doubly. Conversely, if the frozen Arctic disappears, climate services are only one part of what will be lost to humanity and the Earth."