State of the Cryosphere Report 2023

Two Degrees is Too High

The State of the Cryosphere 2023 – Two Degrees is Too High report shows that all of the Earth’s frozen parts will experience irreversible damage at 2°C of global warming, with disastrous consequences for millions of people, societies, and nature. Confirming that just 2°C of global warming will trigger irreversible loss to Earth’s ice sheets, mountain glaciers and snow, sea ice, permafrost, and polar oceans, it updates the latest science and highlights the global impacts from cryosphere loss.

Reviewed and supported by over 60 leading cryosphere scientists, this is the latest report in the State of the Cryosphere series, which takes the pulse of the cryosphere on an annual basis. The cryosphere is the name given to Earth’s snow and ice regions and ranges from ice sheets, glaciers, snow and permafrost to sea ice and the polar oceans – which are acidifying far more rapidly than warmer waters. The Report describes how a combination of melting polar ice sheets, vanishing glaciers, and thawing permafrost will have rapid, irreversible, and disastrous impacts worldwide.

Excerpt from the Preface by President Gabriel Boric (Chile) and Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Iceland), the Founders and Co-Chairs of the Ambition on Melting Ice (AMI) High-level Group on Sea-level Rise and Mountain Water Resources:

“At COP28, we need a frank Global Stocktake, and fresh urgency especially due to what we have learned about Cryosphere feedbacks, worsening for each additional tenth of a degree in temperature rise. We need tangible results, and a clear message about the urgency to phase out fossil fuels and for more robust financial mechanisms to finance climate action.

We have time, but not much time. Past alerts are today’s shocking facts. Present warning will be tomorrow‘s cascading disasters, both within and from the global Cryosphere, if we do not accelerate climate action and implement systemic change.

Change is hard, but change we must. Because of the Cryosphere, climate inaction is unacceptable.”

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Citation: ICCI, 2023. State of the Cryosphere 2023 – Two Degrees is Too High. International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI), Stockholm, Sweden. 62 pp.

Published: 16 November 2023