The Ambition on Melting Ice High-level Group on Sea-level Rise and Mountain Water Resources and the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative are pleased to host a high-level event on “The Road to COP28: Melting Ice, Rising Seas and Why 2°C is Too High”. This event is invitation-only, but will be livestreamed and accessible online.

High-level Event
Friday, September 22, 15:00-16:30
The Explorers Club
46 E 70th Street, NY, NY 10021

COP28 represents a key moment in the climate crisis, with our window to avoid the worst consequences of global warming rapidly closing and some leaders claiming that reaching or even exceeding 2°C – the formal Paris Agreement “upper limit” from 2015 – is entirely acceptable. This lack of urgency stands in stark contrast to the most recent findings of cryosphere science – research into the future of Earth frozen polar and mountain regions.

Rapidly-evolving observations and projections now make strikingly clear that the Paris Agreement Goal of 2°C is Too High and would cause highly destructive, centuries-long global loss and damage from the irreversible melting of planetary ice – all set in play by our failure to turn the tide on fossil fuel emissions in this key decade.

At this event, five scientists will join ministers from the new Ambition on Melting Ice (AMI) High-level Group on Sea-level Rise and Mountain Water Resources to explain why this is the difficult, but undisputed conclusion from the most recent cutting-edge research – much of it published even since the most recent IPCC reports – that the cryosphere response in a 2°C world is beyond the limits of adaptation for billions of people alive today, as well as many future generations. Science increasingly points to losses earlier and at greater scale than previously thought, with heightening risks of crossing irreversible cryosphere thresholds for each fraction of a degree’s overshoot of the “lower” Paris 1.5°C goal. Some will be near-immediate (such as total loss of summer sea ice and polar ocean acidification); others slow to manifest, but unstoppable if triggered (sea-level rise from the slow, but inevitable collapse of polar ice sheets). All will jeopardize the lives and livelihoods of many future generations.

In other words, if we knew in 2015 what we know today about global cryosphere, 2°C would have been off the table as a viable temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. We now have a narrow window to rectify this, “keeping 1.5°C alive” as an exclusive focus, not simply an option. Join us for this high-level Climate Week event to hear from leading global policymakers and scientists, including IPCC authors, who will share key messages on the urgency of mitigation securing 1.5°C based on rapidly-evolving cryosphere science. Together, we will chart a course toward a better future for all – starting with COP28.

Watch Livestream Press Release Media Center

Please RSVP to the AMI Secretariat at by September 15.


15:00 Seating & Welcome

15:15 Opening Address
       Minister Dr. Majsa Rojas, Chile and AMI Co-Chair
       Minister Espen Barth-Eide, Norway, founding member of AMI

15:30 “5×5”: Five Cryosphere Dynamics by Five Leading Crysophere Scientists: Why 2°C Should Be Removed as the Upper Paris Limit at COP28
       Dr. Robert DeConto | IPCC SROCC
          Polar Ice Sheets: Overshoot at 2°C Means 6-20+ Meters Irreversible Sea-level Rise
       Dr. Twila Moon | NSIDC
            Polar Sea Ice: A 1.5°-1.7°C Threshold
       Dr. Christina Schaedel | Woodwell Climate Research Center
            Permafrost: Centuries of Committed Carbon Emissions Even at 1.1°C
       Dr. Sian Henley | University of Edinburgh (TBC)
            Polar Oceans: Long-tailed Legacy of Acidification, Warming and Freshening
       Mira Khadka | PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University and Nepal
            Mountain Glaciers & Snow: 2°C Means Centuries of Impacts on Water Resources

16:00 Science-Policy Panel
       Ambassador Kuban Kabaev, Kyrgyz Republic
       Camila Zepeda, Director General of Global Affairs, Mexico
       Ambassador Carlos Fuller, Belize

16:20 Closing

Ambition on Melting Ice

Background Information

Ambition on Melting Ice

At last year’s UN Climate Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 20 government ministers formed the Ambition on Melting Ice (AMI) high-level group on Sea-level Rise and Mountain Water Resources. AMI aims to ensure that the irreversible and devastating global impacts of cryosphere loss are understood by political leaders and the public alike, across the planet. In the founding Declaration, the partners write: “protecting the cryosphere through vigorous climate action is not a matter for mountain and polar nations alone: it is a matter of urgent global concern, because the greatest impacts on human communities lie well outside these regions.“ The group includes not only countries with ice and snow regions or mountains, but others far distant, which will be disastrously affected by sea-level rise, such as Vanuatu or Liberia.

Founding countries: Chile (Co-chair), Iceland (Co-chair), Peru, Czech Republic, Nepal, Finland, Senegal, Kyrgyz Republic, Samoa, Monaco, Georgia, Liberia, Switzerland, Tanzania, New Zealand, Sweden, Vanuatu, Norway, Austria, and Mexico.