How to protect the Arctic as melting ice opens new shipping routes

Increased maritime traffic raises the risks of oil spills in the Arctic.

by Gareth Willmer Early this year, the Eduard Toll set a record: laden with liquefied natural gas, the tanker was the first commercial vessel to cross the Arctic in winter without an icebreaker. This milestone in shipping may be a sign of things to come, with maritime activity expected to climb as global warming melts the region’s sea ice – declining … Read more

Arctic permafrost might contain ‘sleeping giant’ of world’s carbon emissions

Image credit - Prof. Igor Semiletov.

As temperatures rise in the Arctic, permafrost, or frozen ground, is thawing. As it does, greenhouse gases trapped within it are being released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide and methane, leading to previously underestimated problems with ocean acidification and potential mercury poisoning. About one quarter of the region is covered in permafrost, which … Read more

Why we may be able to save the Greenland ice sheet

Dr Teodóra Pados

Studies of ice melt in the Arctic suggest that world may have a fighting chance of preventing huge sea level changes that would result from the dramatic collapse of the vast ice sheets that cover Greenland, but that more work is needed to understand the wider effects. Greenland has more than two trillion tonnes of … Read more

The Arctic faces substantial changes even if we meet climate targets – Marianne Kroglun

Image credit - Christine Zenino

Melting sea ice, plastic waste, biodiversity loss – the Arctic is facing unprecedented environmental pressure and will continue to change until 2050 even if we meet targets to limit global warming, according to Marianne Kroglund from the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum addressing the challenges faced by Arctic governments and indigenous peoples. Sea ice in … Read more

‘Internet of electricity’ and zero-carbon molecules will help decarbonise Europe – report

The EU should cut greenhouse gases by 80% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, according to the European Commission's low-carbon economy roadmap.

An ‘internet of electricity’, zero-carbon cities and turning European soils into carbon sinks are among a slew of ambitious ideas to decarbonise our society and slash greenhouse gas emissions proposed by environmental experts in a reportpublished on 28 November. ‘The message in our report is that this decarbonisation business is potentially a huge economic opportunity,’ said Professor … Read more

Waste CO2 to be turned into ingredients for fuel, plastics and even food

Image Credit - Carbon Recycling International

Scientists are ramping up efforts to turn waste CO2 from industry into chemicals such as methanol in a bid to reduce emissions and provide a new source of raw materials for use in fuel, cement and food production. It’s part of a strategy to halt global warming by cutting down the amount of CO2 we … Read more