Global Linkages

Climate change

Further warming may also surpass tipping points for the stability of the Greenland ice sheet (AMAP, 2017a). The melting of ice on Greenland, Antarctica and other glaciers and ice caps each account for one-third of the land-based contribution to global sea level rise (Bamber et al., 2018). This will affect coastal communities and low-lying islands and ecosystems throughout the world (Noël et al., 2017), causing coastal flooding, erosion, damage to buildings and infrastructure, changes in ecosystems and seawater contamination of sources of drinking water. Less Arctic sea ice means a prolonged period of open water that may in turn result in the expansion of economic activities, such as fisheries, oil and gas exploration and mining, in addition to more regular use of polar shipping routes. Furthermore, the freshening – and warming – of the Arctic Ocean from melting glaciers, sea ice and increased river flows affects ocean

circulation by decreasing the formation of cold, dense, deep water, which may in turn weaken the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, with further implications for global weather systems. Climate induced changes to habitats andwildlife are increasing food insecurity for many Arctic peoples. Other effects include worsening travel conditions due to thawing of tundra and less time to use ice roads on frozen rivers in spring and autumn due to the lack of thick ice. This limits access to hunting and reindeer herding areas and affects the transportation of food from southern regions to northern communities. In addition to the threats they pose to food sources, declines in some species will also have cultural impacts. Within the Arctic, the integrity of ecosystems and the sustainability of communities are being challenged, affecting people’s lives and livelihoods (AMAP, 2018).


Global Linkages

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