Sundown on the Arctic

September 22, at 15:30CEST/ 9:30AMEDT marks the autumn equinox, when the sun finally will go down on an Arctic summer like none before. Multiple heat waves broke records across the region, from Alaska to Greenland to Siberia, where the city of Verkhoyansk reached 100.4°F (38°C), the highest temperature ever recorded within the Arctic Circle.  Svalbard […]

Burning the High Arctic: 2020 Spring and Summer Fire Season in Sakha Republic. A Precursor of Fire Seasons to Come?

2020 has been an exceptionally hot year for the Arctic, especially in High Arctic Russia. Beginning in January, an extended and persistent heat wave has smashed records, peaking at 38°C (100.4°F) in June. Since then, the extreme heat has continued. For example, the Russian town of Verkhoyansk in Siberia has seen over 11 days of […]

How the Polar Vortex Works (and Why Record Cold is Yes, Part of Global Warming)

Note:  ICCI often gets questions about the unusually cold weather that occasionally has begun to hit sub-Arctic Europe and North America.  Below in brief is an explanation and direction to other resources and articles: The so-called “polar vortex” is a regular upper-atmosphere phenomenon that normally, stays centered over the North Pole.  It comprises very high-level […]

May 2017

May IceBlog: Anything But Pro Forma Note:  Statements at Arctic Council ministerial meetings are often very pro-forma.  The May 11 statement in Fairbanks by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström was anything but — instead it was a call to science-based, and economics-based, action: Excellencies, colleagues, Arctic friends, it is truly a great pleasure to be […]

January 2017

ICCI’s hallmark is a deep belief in the power of solid science to convince policymakers and decision makers to change course before climate change overtakes us all.  Not all leaders, and not all at once — but enough to make a difference.  We have been spreading the increasingly-clear message from the cryosphere (snow and ice) […]

November 2015

“These people know nothing!  Nothing!” This outburst from an eminent Antarctic researcher was as unexpected for me as it was emphatic.  It came just outside a seminar during one of the climate negotiating sessions before Copenhagen, where I thought the negotiators present (many former colleagues, known from my own years in diplomacy) had asked intelligent […]

September 2015

Fire in the Fields – “Burning” the Cryosphere “Open burning” refers to a common agricultural practice found today throughout the world: the regular and periodic burning of lands, supposedly cheaply and quickly to remove excess vegetation.  This may be crop residue such as straw, weeds, lands to be cleared, or in forestry understory prior to […]

August 2015

What Happens in the Arctic…. As world leaders, including President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and a number of foreign ministers, head to Alaska this weekend to discuss the threat of climate change in the Arctic (and ICCI will be there, with our European Director Dr. Svante Bodin addressing the ministers on black carbon), […]

July 2015

Explaining Climate:  What Rockström Said! Sometimes in the struggle to convey the seriousness and, above all, the immediacy of the threat of climate change, one runs across a speaker or writer that simply causes the reaction, “what he said!” This was definitely the case for me on July 12 in Sweden when Johan Rockström,  former […]

May 2015

The “Road to Paris” Goes through Cryosphere With the Bonn UNFCCC climate negotiations taking place next month, the phrase “road to Paris” is the theme of countless policy forums and media coverage.  For ICCI, that “road” focuses on cryosphere – but increasingly, science is telling us that any path towards a new climate agreement in […]

March 2015

Summer Forecast: Hot, with Frequent Fires Sometimes ICCI gets the question of how open field and forest burning, seeming quite far from the Arctic or other regions, can have such an impact at higher latitudes (or in the Himalayas, Andes or other mountain regions, on mountain glaciers and snowpack).  One explanation, of course, is the […]

February 2015

Conservation Agriculture: Conserving Cryosphere “The soil does not belong to me, it belongs to every living thing on this planet.”  Conservation agriculture pioneer and author Carlos Crovetto, Chequen Farm, in the Andean foothills of the Concepción region of Chile. I recently have become a lurker at agricultural conferences, examining direct-seed farm equipment, cover crop opportunities […]

December 2014

The below remarks are taken from the opening remarks by ICCI Director and Founder Pam Pearson at ICCI’s December 11 UNFCCC side event at COP-20 in Lima, Peru. Cryosphere.  ICCI sometimes gets a hard time from colleagues wondering why in the world we have a word that no one understands as the name of our […]

November 2014

Lima:  Just a Start The annual Framework Climate Convention negotiations will take place from December 1-12 in Lima, Peru.  ICCI as always will be there to make certain that delegates hear the latest on cryosphere developments, with a presence that includes an information booth as well as a UNFCCC side event on December 11 (welcome!). […]

September 2014

Track Zero:  Making Two (Cryosphere: Five!) Degrees Real In Copenhagen in 2009, one of the few victories was a commitment by global leaders to the “two degree goal”: holding the rise in temperature to 2°C (3.8°F) or less globally.  A major principle: yet ever since, governments and their climate negotiators have tried unsuccessfully to put […]