On June 9, 2015 a UNFCCC side event arranged by ICCI focused on recent findings of “irreversible” feedbacks to the global climate system from cryosphere – regions of snow and ice – especially from permafrost, “hot spots” of melting on Antarctica, and progressive disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice. Researchers in all three of these topics presented on this publicly little-understood aspect of climate dynamics that lend even greater urgency to the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or run the risk of even greater increases in temperature, higher rates of sea-level rise and a very different overall climate system compared to today. Following these presentations, two former chairs of the KP and ADP negotiating platforms led a science-policy discussion on how the Paris agreement might respond with provisions that address growing awareness of this reality, for example through regular opportunities to strengthen INDCs (reduction commitments) though five-year reviews.
Dr. Ricarda Winkelmann, Potsdam Centre for Climate Research; Dr. Dirk Notz, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology; and Dr. Susan Natali, Woods Hole Research Center presented on this research (links to their presentations, along with links to other materials, are below). Ambassador Adrian Macey (New Zealand, former KP chair) and Harald Dovland (Norway, former KP chair and co-chair, and ADP co-chair) led the science-policy portion, and ICCI’s Director Pam Pearson moderated.