Cryosphere Pavilion Focus Day Schedule

Find recordings of all COP27 Cryosphere Pavilion side events on our YouTube channel:

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Week 1

James Kirkham is working on his PhD in Antarctic Studies at the University of Cambridge and British Antarctic Survey. His research explores why we need to understand the past to predict the future of ice sheets.

Arthi Ramachandran is a PhD Candidate at Concordia University, and she currently works as a Policy Analyst at the Office of the Chief Scientists, Natural Resources Canada. Her research focuses on changes to Arctic Ocean microbial communities linked to environmental changes.

Bimochan Niraula is a PhD Candidate at the Alfred Wegener Institute through the University of Bremen, Germany. His research helps improve sea-ice predictions at seasonal to sub-seasonal timescales as well as the development of real-time forecast of sea-ice edge.

Ella Gilbert currently works as a Regional Climate Modeller with the British Antarctic Survey and explores future and historical climate changes in the polar regions.

A special cultural event with the Government and Members of Parliament of Switzerland, scientists, visual artist Aya Tarek, and trombonist Simon Petermann.

Visitors to the COP25 and COP26 Cryosphere Pavilions will recall a fifth “totem” on Arctic sea ice. Based on the conclusions of the IPCC Sixth Assessment, and in close consultation with sea ice scientists, we have chosen at COP27 to show this totem fallen on its side, symbolic of the first “lost” cryosphere threshold. This is because the IPCC noted that even with very low emissions, summer loss of Arctic sea ice – defined as sea ice extent falling below one million km2 – will occur at least once before 2050. Although we cannot now prevent the loss of the cryosphere dynamic of summer Arctic sea ice, emission reductions consistent with the 1.5°C Paris limit is the only means available to decrease the risk of passing remaining Cryosphere thresholds as well.

Organized by the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative.

Following up on the conceptual introduction of the Mountains of Opportunity Investment Framework (MOIF) during COP26 in 2021, the event aims to address the need for climate and sustainability investments and discuss the current challenges and opportunities around investment in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region to support the development of a framework bringing together an alliance of knowledge, development and investor partners working in and for the HKH.

Organized by ICIMOD.

Climate change hazards in mountains have been compounding with detrimental effects on both local and downstream ecosystems and billions of people worldwide. This event provides an overview of these risks based on the latest IPCC assessment and diverse experiences in responding to them, followed by a discussion on engaging scientific insights and practical knowledge with policy action in mountains. The panel is followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Organized by Adaptation at Altitude programme.

The world’s mountain regions are facing similar challenges in terms of accelerated climate change and impacts, and there is a need to shift the understanding of mountain realities from the periphery towards the center of global climate and environmental discourse. This session aims to share lessons learned around regional and inter-regional collaboration for sustainable mountain development.

Organized by ICIMOD, Adaptation at Altitude, UNEP, Alpine Convention, Carpathian Convention, Andean Mountain Initiative.

This session aims to bring together decision-makers from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan to share the achievements in the brick sector across the countries and discuss the future scope for cleaner brick production, building on the strategy policy paper developed on cleaner brick production under the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

Organized by ICIMOD.

Being at the top of the world, changes happen in the HKH region before they happen anywhere else, and the beat of this place vibrates across the globe. The forces of climate change and globalization are wreaking havoc on this fragile asset, wiping out resources, communities and cultures that have existed for centuries. This session highlights challenges and opportunities around the impacts of climate change in the HKH region with the screening of short visual stories.

Organized by ICIMOD.

In summer 2022, the team of The Climate Route undertook an expedition from Italy to Georgia in order to gather evidence of the glaciers melting process and produced a documentary movie accordingly. The event aims to present the project and share insights on the journey that brought the team to the Marmolada peak, Rila national park, and Mount Kazbek.

Organized by The Climate Route APS.

Today’s world is home to the largest generation of young people in history (1.8 billion) between the ages of 10-24. Youth in the mountains face the challenge of access to knowledge and information, and lack of opportunities for skilled employment. This session will bring together youth leaders from the region and beyond and discuss the need for strengthened youth engagement to produce global ambassadors communicating the need for climate action in and for the mountains.

Organized by ICIMOD.

In Earth’s past at temperatures similar to today’s, sea levels were around 3 meters higher; at 1.5°C, 6-9 meters higher; and at 2°C, sometimes 20 meters and above.  Come learn how research into Earth’s past is combining with improved modeling of physical ice sheet dynamics to better understand the potential for such extreme sea-level rise – and why it might occur faster and earlier than previously understood, sharpening the need to prevent overshoot of Paris Agreement goals.

Organized by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).

Mountain regions, including those of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), face significant challenges due to the impacts of global warming. The risks resulting from these impacts are cascading in nature – an impact from climate change in one country can cascade across one or more national boarder to affect people's lives and livelihoods in another country. This session aims at providing better understanding of the cascading climate risks, and a platform to discuss challenges and solutions.

Organized by ICIMOD and Adaptation Without Borders (AWB).

ICIMOD and the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) have partnered to strengthen water cooperation between Australia and the HKH countries on river basin governance. This session aims to highlight the importance of transboundary river management, and will also launch the focused basin summary reports for Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra.

Organized by ICIMOD and Australian Water Partnership.

The complexity of the environmental, cultural, and economic challenges standing in the way of cryosphere and mountain sustainable development requires a paradigm shift and a change of perspective. Public administration, the private sector, the scientific community, and local stakeholders need to work together to find innovative ways to better understand and address global trends and local realities. This event will be focused on how to build interdisciplinary and interinstitutional environments to co-develop and implement solutions for tackling challenges related to climate change in mountain regions, and the adoption of innovation, new technologies and change management in cryosphere and mountain regions.

Organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat.


We will show footage and films from the polar expedition on skis and 70 kg pulks, traveling from the Northernmost edge of Svalbard to reach Longyearbyen. A small team of adventurers and scientists tried to follow the paths of A.E. Nordenskiöld 150 years after his expedition in 1872. We will share our extraordinary findings at the COP27 Cryosphere Pavilion.

Organized by the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

About 476 million people in more than 90 countries self-identify as Indigenous Peoples, with unique traditional knowledge offering rich opportunities for food security, nutrition and biodiversity conservation. In Finland's Arctic region, the Inari Sámi people food system generates 75% of the protein they consume through fishing, hunting and herding. Today these systems are at high risk from climate change and the expansion of various industrial and commercial activities. This event explores the game changer solutions that Arctic Indigenous and Nomadic Peoples can share with the world, and underscores the urgent need for intercultural policies to protect and promote their food systems.

Organized by FAO Indigenous Peoples Unit. Mariana Estrada Elena Aguayo and Yon Fernandez-Larrinoa and Anne Brunel.

The Arctic and Southern Oceans are crucial components of the Earth system. Their unique ecosystems are under serious threat from warming, acidification, freshening and ice loss. Polar oceans already experience changes in chemistry, and continued warming is leading to range shifts, changes in food webs, ecosystems, fisheries, and climate regulation. This session highlights the latest scientific and discusses the wider societal and political impacts, while emphasising the need to raise ambition for reducing emissions.

Organized by Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Helen Findlay.

This event will host ministerial-level participants and feature a discussion panel incorporating youth and early career scientists.

Organized by BAS, ICCI and the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation.

This event will address the urgency conveyed by the latest IPCC reports, to reduce emissions of short-lived climate forcers such as black carbon, and greenhouse gasses emitted by the shipping sector. It will consider the perspective of Indigenous people and communities from low-lying island States, and propose immediate actions to kick-start reductions in ships’ emissions that impact the Arctic.

Organized by Clean Arctic Alliance. Sian Prior.

Southern Ocean ecosystems are critically important in underpinning regional biodiversity, global food security and ocean health, through nutrient supply and animal migrations. These ecosystems are under severe threat from climate change and direct human impacts. This side event brings together key scientific and policy organizations working in the Southern Ocean to discuss the major priorities for understanding and protecting this region and its global role, and to highlight the urgent need to raise ambition for reducing emissions to safeguard this and many other ocean regions.

Organized by the Southern Ocean Observing System, MEASO Steering Committee, SCAR, and BEPSII. Sian Henley and Andrew Constable.

The Arctic is warming three times faster than the global average. This rapid warming threatens the world’s largest vulnerable carbon pool – permafrost. Understanding the global implications of permafrost thaw is of vital importance, yet critical questions remain unanswered. Here we explore the very latest developments in permafrost science and what they mean for global climate policy.

Organized by the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Thawed permafrost begins to release carbon – and will continue to do so for centuries. This means that every fraction of a degree increase in global average temperature commits future generations to an ever-increasing burden of permafrost emissions – and an ever-increasing demand for carbon drawdown. Here we address the scale of this intergenerational and geographic climate justice issue.

Organized by the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Changes across the permafrost region risk accelerating climate change, but do they also increase the likelihood of crossing thresholds that signal abrupt, even irreversible, change? Can we predict where those thresholds may lie, and what should the policy responses be? In this cross-cutting session we examine current knowledge and policy implications regarding tipping points.

Organized by the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Permafrost stores more than twice as much carbon as every tree on the planet combined. Warming is already causing this frozen ground to thaw, threatening the vast store of carbon found there. On our current warming trajectory, permafrost emissions may rival those of major economies in just a few decades – yet no nation is counting these emissions. What does this mean for the Paris Agreement goals? 

Organized by the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Indigenous Peoples of the circumpolar North have maintained their connection to culture and traditional ways of life for over 10,000 years. As climate change presents new challenges across virtually all areas of life, Indigenous communities continue to demonstrate deep resilience and self-reliance. Arctic residents share experiences and address how the international community can provide support.

Organized by the Woodwell Climate Research Center, and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Coastal communities are threatened by sea level rise due to the climate change-induced melting of the cryosphere. Nature-based solutions, such as oyster reefs, can provide living coastal defenses while honoring local coastal heritage. Our project brings together academics, policy makers, businesses and local people to build with nature for climate adaptation and mitigation in Colchester, Essex.

Organized by the University of Essex in partnership with the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt, Japan University for Science and Technology (EJUST) in Alexandria, Egypt, and Colchester Borough Council, United Kingdom.

What are the benefits and environmental dangers of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology?  How can we prevent fossil fuel companies from co-opting CCS to perpetuate harmful emissions practices? This talk will answer these questions and examine the current state of CCS, discuss the historical role of CCS in greenwashing campaigns, and introduce several promising new CCS projects.

Organized by Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS). Ryan O'Hara.

The pandemic has revealed and widened disparities along racial and economic lines. The climate emergency has become increasingly apparent as we experience wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and other supercharged extreme events. During periods of crisis, windows of opportunity may open to allow for transformational political and social changes, though such changes are far from guaranteed. The panel will focus mainly on the United States while also drawing on research and experience from the international context.

Organized by Bloom Energy. Carlos Garcia.

Sweden's glaciers are melting faster and faster. In the last 100 years, more than a third of the surface of glaciers has thawed. At least 30 glaciers have already disappeared, and more are at risk. We will show a 20 min film by movie maker and adventurer Anders Klapp about our attempt to save the southernmost Swedish glacier from melting away.  This is the first time in Sweden that an attempt is being made to reduce the melting of a glacier by covering a part of the glacier with a wool/PLA cloth. The project is both a scientific experiment and a symbolic act for the climate.

Organized by the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Many have asserted that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted weaknesses in our food, energy, and relief systems. What are these, and how can we best use lessons learned to work toward just and equitable systems that are less susceptible to shocks locally, nationally, and internationally? Panelists have engaged with community leaders, business equity partners, and practitioners working towards system justice to explore what a just recovery would look like if it were centered on care, access, dignity, reclamation, relations, and intergenerational justice.

Organized by Bloom Energy. Carlos Garcia.

Week 2

Each week, four early career researchers volunteer at the COP27 Cryosphere Pavilion to greet visitors, answer questions, observe negotiations and help moderate side events.  Meet the Week 2 ECS volunteers, from Chile, China/Australia, Nepal/U.S. and France/Norway; and hear about the focus of their work and what brought them to cryosphere science.

Organized by ICCI.

Antarctic ice-associated marine species & ecosystems face an uncertain future.  Emperors are threatened by climate driven loss of sea ice. Abundance may decline by 99% under an RCP 8.5 scenario. In contrast, under a Paris 1.5°C scenario, it may only decline by 37% of its 2009 population. Only ambitious global climate & environmental policy can help to safeguard the future of these icons on ice - their fate rests in our hands

Organized by WWF-UK.

Attribution is a powerful mechanism for quantifying the impacts of climate change on communities worldwide. Using scientific advances that enable attribution of daily local temperatures, the Climate Shift Index communicates this information through a numerical index and interactive map. The project was launched for the continental US in June 2022 and is being expanded globally. This presentation will present the global Climate Shift Index with an emphasis on Africa. Next, Ugo Nanni — one of the Early Career Scientists at the Cryosphere Pavilion — will give an overview of his current research related to the instability of glaciers in the High Arctic and the European Alps. Together, this session combines visual and audio techniques to communicate the urgency of reducing emissions to protect vulnerable communities on a global scale.

Organized by Climate Central and the University of Oslo.

Knowledge-based governance and innovation require comprehensive data coverage, competencies, and effective knowledge brokering between data providers and multisectoral end-users. We will showcase successful examples of climate data used by government, consulting services, the media and in education. An interactive session will follow to co-design best practices between data providers and end users.

Organized by Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC), University of Helsinki.

The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report noted that even with very low emissions, summer loss of Arctic sea ice – defined as sea ice extent falling below one million km2 – will occur at least once before 2050. Although we cannot now prevent the loss of summer Arctic sea ice, emission reductions consistent with the 1.5°C Paris limit, with minimal overshoot, are they only way to decrease the risk of passing other cryosphere-related thresholds.  Come learn more about these and other conclusions from the 2022 State of the Cryosphere Report, released at COP27.

Organized by ICCI and University College London

A Pinch of Light is an art exhibition where science, photography and poetry meet. Photographs of the Antarctic, Patagonia and the Arctic will be displayed, highlighting the minimalistic beauty of polar and sub-polar regions uncovered by light. The eye of the beholder, Mexican glaciologist and doctoral student Ximena Aguilar, University of Stirling, aims to provoke a reflection on our experience as virtual and non-virtual visitors of glaciated landscapes. Poetry, another element of the exhibit, talks the universal language of the soul.

Organized by the University of Stirling. Ximena Aguilar Vega.

This session will bring together speakers from a range of topics to discuss the implications of cryosphere loss on Egypt, whose low-lying coastal regions remain particularly vulnerable to the consequences of ice sheet retreat and global sea level rise. What are the projections for the Nile Delta, what adaptation measures are possible, and when might this breadbasket of Egypt reach its limits of adaptation if today’s emissions continue?

Organized by SCAR and ICCI.

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is the world’s largest ice mass, containing 52 meters of sea level rise. The ice sheet is currently in balance, but there are worrying signs of mass loss from some regions. Targeted at policymakers, this event summarizes the latest science and shows why we must satisfy the Paris Agreement to avoid several meters of sea level rise from the cryosphere’s ‘sleeping giant’.

Organized by Durham University, United Kingdom. Chris Stokes and Adam Holden.

Climate Central will demonstrate its free, newly enhanced mapping tools and newly released visual library with 1000+ science-based, photorealistic images and videos of nearly 200 coastal locations worldwide. These images and maps vividly illustrate the long-term sea level rise outcomes of climate actions taken – or not taken – in the coming decades.  The tools are based on Climate Central's state-of-the-art elevation data and incorporate sea level projections from the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR6), featuring maps and images for temperatures ranging from 1.5 to 4 degrees Celsius.

Organized by Climate Central. Karen Florini.

This event will explore the differences and connections between these two polar ice sheets, and their implications for future sea level rise.

Organized by Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Durham University, and SCAR.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is 3 kilometers thick and has the potential to raise global sea levels by 7 meters if it completely melted. This side event explores the tipping point of Greenland (the point at which near-complete loss is unavoidable) and underscores the importance of remaining within the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement.

Organized by Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

How are climate solutions in the Arctic supporting African and Pacific communities' mitigative and adaptive capacity and how might climate action in Africa and the Pacific support the cryosphere? Now, more than ever, cross-regional collaborations are critical to build resilience and youth are already stepping up to collaborate, innovate, and lead solutions that have global impact. The panel seeks to highlight and create opportunities to build synergy and collectively work towards climate justice.

Organized by Youth Climate Lab.

Reducing black carbon and methane emissions impacting Arctic climate and air pollution requires local, national and international actions. The EU-funded ABC-iCAP project will contribute to reducing these emissions from specific source sectors e.g., wildfires, shipping and oil and gas, by promoting international collaboration, raising awareness, sharing knowledge and performing expert analysis.

Organized by EU-funded project: Arctic Black Carbon impacting on Climate and Air Pollution (ABC-iCAP).

Mountain communities face an increasing risk of snow avalanches due to climate change.  The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat will share a successful model combining hazard mapping, weather monitoring, avalanche forecasting, and community participation to mitigate this threat. We will discuss how these solutions can be adapted to other areas and explore policy implications for scaling up community-led adaptation and connecting scientific and community-based approaches.

Organized by the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat.

This session emphasizes the importance of the cryosphere in the climate system and discusses key messages prepared during the symposium Cryosphere 2022, held in Reykjavík on 21-27 August 2022. Speakers will focus on pathways that would help prevent global impacts resulting from the melting of glaciers and ice caps, ice-sheet instability, and feedbacks due to reduction in Arctic sea ice cover. The panel discussion will provide insights into policy and reflect on the challenges facing society due to changes in the cryosphere.

Organized by the Icelandic Meteorological Office, WMO, Icelandic Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate and participants from Cryosphere 2022.

The Arctic is currently warming three to four times faster than the rest of the world. Melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, rapidly retreating land ice and intensifying wildfires are already impacting Arctic ecosystems, and Arctic local and indigenous populations, and these changes will also impact the lives and livelihoods of billions of people beyond the Arctic circle.

Organized by the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative.

The Climate Fresk workshop is a socially contagious climate education game based on IPCC reports. The event will display its highly scalable model, which enabled 525,000 people to experience the workshop in less than 4 years. Join the event to experience the Climate Fresk Quiz and discuss innovative pedagogical tools with our team of trainers and Country Coordinators from Egypt and abroad.

Organized by Climate Fresk.

The Nile arises from some of Africa’s last remaining glaciers, the Rwenzori; and few nations have such an arresting vulnerability to even moderate levels of sea level rise. Most people do not associate Africa with cryosphere regions, yet the East African Highlands may have contained glaciers since the last glacier maximum 11,000 years ago. The only existing African glaciers today are on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, and three glacier systems in the Rwenzori between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  These glaciers likely covered around 25 km2 in total in the early 1900s; today they cover well under 4 km2. What do we know of their past, and what is their future?

Organized by the University of Innsbruck

This past summer, Svalbard was the fastest-warming place on Earth; and many of its glaciers showed large rates of loss, as well as “surges” – glaciers that suddenly speed up to extremely high rates.  This event will focus on the changing and increasingly threatened glaciers of this northernmost community in the world, which is showing rapid changes due to Arctic amplification of global warming.

Organized by the University of Oslo

This session features a documentary film screening and a presentation by Dr. Fabien Maussion on high-mountain glaciers. Climate warming increases melting in the Himalayas and accelerates glacier ice loss, unseasonal rain, landslides and floods that have devastating impacts for vulnerable communities across the world. Regardless of emissions scenario, steep losses will continue in many mountain regions through at least the end of this century.  How can science inform adaptation efforts?  This event will look at examples of different adaptation approaches to support mountain and downstream communities, drawing from experiences ranging from High Mountain Asia to the Alps to the Andes.

Organized by the University of Innsbruck and the Sathsathai Foundation.

Glaciers are melting at an accelerated pace, with consequences for sea level rise, infrastructure and especially freshwater resources vital to many downstream communities. In this side event, we demonstrate that each kilogram of CO2 that stays in the ground can save up to 16 kilograms of glacier ice worldwide by 2300, and that limiting warming to 1.5°C is critical to ensure that glaciers will remain in our mountains as water towers in the future.

Organized by the University of Innsbruck

Welcome to a meditative evening providing tranquility and peace in the midst of COP27. We will create a restorative moment with music, images, inspirational cards and guided meditation. With collective thoughts of hope and positivity, we will reach out to nature and the world. Introduction by Prof. Mark Lawrence, Scientific Director IASS, Potsdam. Meditations by Maureen Goodman and Golo Pilz, Brahma Kumaris.

Organized by Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative.

Irreversible impacts and changes in the cryosphere are already visible today due to increasing global warming. Crossing thresholds in the cryosphere has far-reaching impacts across the world. With countries falling short of the necessary climate action to fulfill the Paris Agreement, the risk of overshooting the 1.5°C temperature goal increases. In this side event we present the latest science showing that limiting warming to 1.5°C without overshoot is critical to avoid crossing the most catastrophic thresholds.

Organized by ICCI, the University of Innsbruck, Climate Analytics, and the EU H2020 project PROVIDE.