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Time, tide and sea level rise wait for no one ... so are we ready? Photo: clappstar via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No planet for optimists: coastal flooding may come sooner and bigger than we think

Pete Dolack

8th April 2016

Of all the impacts of climate change, one stands out for its inexorable menace, writes Pete Dolack: rising oceans. And it's not just for distant future generations to deal with: new scientific studies show that people alive today may face 6-9 metres of sea level rise flooding well over a million sq.km including many of the world's biggest cities. So where's the emergency response? more...
Polar bear adrift in the Arctic Ocean. Photo: Gerard Van der Leun via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Shocking reality of climate change kicks in - but who's listening?

James Dyke, University of Southampton

18th March 2016

Last month must go down as one of the worst ever in the annals of climate change, writes James Dyke, with parts of the Arctic 16C hotter than usual and the 'safe' warming level of 2C breached across the Northern hemisphere. But even worse is the near-total lack of reaction from business, politicians and media. more...
The Denesuline have long suffered and protested against the treatment of their people from industrial organisations causing damage to their territories and the environment. Photo: ItzaFineDay via Flickr (CC BY)

Sacred land, unholy uranium: Canada's mining industry in conflict with First Nations

Committee for Future Generations

30th March 2016

For Saskatchewan, uranium is an important part of the economy, but for the province's indigenous peoples, the land is everything. It is filled with relationships between beings who dwell together in an interconnected web. Their traditional ecological knowledge is not just a set of terms or data, but a deep, broadly-viewed reality which contains systematic respect for all creation. more...
A Mélange of Ice ... a glacier pours from the Greenland ice sheet between two mountain peaks into a narrow valley on its journey to the sea. Photo: NASA's Earth Observatory via Flickr (CC BY).

Greenland's darkening ice is melting faster

Tim Radford

15th March 2016

A dusty film of pollution is muting the reflective whiteness of Greenland's pristine icecap and making it vulnerable to accelerated melting rates, writes Tim Radford. And as warming continues, the declining reflectivity of the ice is accelerating the process. more...
Fishing trawler making its way across the Arctic ice. Photo: tpsdave via Pixabay (CC0 1.0)

Arctic warming opens pristine ocean to predatory trawling

Joe Sandler Clarke / Greenpeace Energydesk

3rd March 2016

Ice melt in the Arctic Ocean is opening up previously untouched areas to industrial fishing fleets using ecologically risky bottom trawling methods, writes Joe Sandler Clarke. Ecosystems supporting walruses, polar bears, puffins and other sea birds could be stripped bare. more...
The tranquil beauty of Lofoten could be threatened with the prospect of off-shore drilling. Photo: Sören Schaper via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Why Norway may open up its spectacular Lofoten archipelago to oil and gas firms

Joseph Dutton, University of Exeter

12th February 2016

The Lofoten peninsula Norway’s Arctic North is not just stunningly beautiful. It's also home to the world’s largest deep water coral reef and full of wildlife. So why is the government saying it will have to be opened up to the oil and gas industry? Never mind the country's warm words on environment and climate change, writes Joseph Dutton. It's fossil fuels that rule the roost. more...
Hot is good - up to a point! On the beach at Magnan, Nice in France's Cote d'Azur. Photo: Juska Wendland via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Europe's summers hottest for 2,000 years - and you ain't seen nothing yet!

Alex Kirby

29th January 2016

The last 30 years of European summers have been the hottest in thousands of years, writes Alex Kirby, and we had better start getting used to it - most of all in the Mediterranean and the Arctic, where a 1.5C global temperature rise could be amplified to 3.4C and 6C respectively. more...
Qooroq Fjord in South Greenland, August 2015. Photo: joxeankoret via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Greenland glaciers melt rate hits 9,500 year record

Tim Radford

9th December 2015

As Arctic Peoples at COP21 in Paris appeal for unity to halt global warming, writes Tim Radford, scientists report that Greenland's glaciers are now melting at a speed not seen since the last Ice Age almost 10,000 years ago. more...
Ice may be breaking off the Antarctic's sea shores, but in its vast centre, ice mass is growing three times faster. Photo: Glacier in Penola Strait, Antarctica, by Liam Quinn (CC BY-SA).

NASA: mass gains of Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses

Maria-José Viñas / NASA

4th November 2015

Antarctic glaciers are famously losing ice around the margins of the continent, writes Maria-José Viñas. But a new study from NASA shows that those losses are offset three times over by ice thickening in central Antarctica, causing sea levels to drop. However the net ice gain may run of steam in coming decades. more...
Proposed rig for Statoil's Aasta Hansteen gas field in the Arctic waters of the Norwegian Sea. A pipeline to Norway's coast is now under construction. Photo: Statoil Image Bank / ASA.

Norway's dash for Arctic oil violates its own Constitution

Aleksander Melli, Pål W. Lorentzen, Mari Seilskjær, Hans Morten Haugen &...

16th October 2015

Large-scale oil extraction in the Arctic is irreconcilable with the 2C global warming limit, write Aleksander Melli, Pål W. Lorentzen, Mari Seilskjær, Hans Morten Haugen & Truls Gulowsen. And that puts Norway's dash to develop Arctic oil into direct conflict with its Constitution, which requires the state to try and secure climate stability for its citizens, present and future. A lawsuit is imminent. more...
sHellNo! Flotilla Departure Blockade in Seattle's Elliott Bay, 15th June 2015. Photo: Jeff Dunnicliff / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Shell's retreat from the Arctic - what tipped the scales?

Louise Rouse / Greenpeace Energydesk

30th September 2014

When Shell decided to quit its Arctic oil exploration it cited 'insufficient quantities' of oil and gas, writes Louise Rouse. But that was not the whole story: what tipped the balance was a combination of investor discontent, reputational damage and public opposition on an unprecedented scale. more...
Yes we did! Shell no Kayak Flotilla climate stabilization demo in April 2015. Photo: Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Victory! Shell quits Arctic

Terry Macalister / the Guardian Environment

28th September 2015

Shell's US president says the oil giant's unpopular drilling operations in Alaska's Chukchi Sea will stop for the 'foreseeable future' as exploratory drilling finds little oil and gas to justify its $7 billion investment. more...

arctic: 1/25 of 126
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There's a mammoth surprise lurking in the permafrost: 1,700 billion tonnes of frozen carbon. Let that go and the world's climate may never be the same. BC Museum Photo: Tyler Ingram via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Mammoth Arctic carbon thaw would cost us $43 trillion

Tim Radford

23rd September 2015

Something scary is lurking in the melting Arctic permafrost, write Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell: 1,700 Gt of carbon. That's 53 years worth of current emissions, and if we let it melt the impact would cost the world $43 tn. Or act now, and we could preserve the Arctic ice for a seventh as much. more...
Burn all our fossil fuels, and all the ice in Antarctica will melt, causing sea levels to rise 58m. The Ellsworth Range in Antarctica as seen from the IceBridge DC-8, 22nd October 2012. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC BY).

Let fossil fuels rip for an ice-free Antarctica

Tim Radford

18th September 2015

Scientists warn that burning up the planet's remaining fossil fuel would cause all Antarctic ice to melt and lead to 58m of sea level rise over 10,000 years, writes Tim Radford. But devastating impacts would strike much sooner, with oceans rising by 3m a century for the next millennium. more...
President Obama in the American Arctic, Alaska, in from of a fast-retreating glacier, 4th September 2015. Photo: Still from White House video by Hope Hall (see video embed).

Arctic charade: Obama's Alaskan tour and the climate change 'puzzle'

Timothy Clark

15th September 2015

President Obama's whistlestop Alaskan tour highlighted his unique ability to believe in two completely contradictory ideas at once, writes Timothy Clark. On the one hand, the importance of climate change and the urgency of preventing dangerous warming. On the other, the importance of the Arctic's fossil energy and the urgent need to exploit it as rapidly and completely as possible. more...
The Gerlache strait, Andvord Bay, Antarctica. Photo: Rita Willaert via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The world is already committed to a six meter sea level rise

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

24th July 2015

The climate change discourse rarely looks beyond 2100, writes Pete Dolack. Maybe that's because even at current levels of CO2, we are committed to thousands of years of warming and polar ice melt that will raise sea levels by at least six meters. However the implacable imperatives of capitalism mean there's little prospect of change for a long time to come. more...
The icebreaker MSV Fennica, which now has a metre-long gash in its hull below the waterline. Photo: Marcusroos vis Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

On the rocks: hull gash disables Shell Arctic icebreaker

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

13th July 2015

Shell's Arctic drilling expedition is literally on the rocks after its icebreaker MSV Fennica suffering a metre-long gash to its hull below the waterline, writes Zachary Davies Boren. more...
The 'sHellNo!' Flotilla Departure Blockade, 15th June 2015. Photo: Jeff Dunnicliff / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Government hides fears over Shell's Arctic spill safety

Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk

19th June 2015

As Shell's Polar Pioneer drilling rig sails from Seattle into the north Pacific, Christine Ottery discovers that US federal regulators had serious concerns about the company's safety equipment designed to contain any oil spill. more...
The recent 100,000 gallon oil spill in Santa Barbara shows that accidents are always waiting to happen - and all the more so in a hazardous environment like the Arctic. But Shell says it's fine to drill for oil there - while refusing to release its 'indep

Shell's Arctic safety audit kept secret, may never see full light of day

Joe Sandler Clarke / Greenpeace Energydesk

27th May 2015

Shell claims a third party audit into its plans to drill for Arctic oil and gas has found 'no issues of significance', writes Joe Sandler Clarke. But the audit remains under wraps, and may never be released in full. Now Obama pledges his support for the project - just as it turns out that Shell selected the 'independent' auditor. more...
The melting on the southern Antarctic peninsula has been so sudden, that even the scientific expedition's supply ship seems to have been caught out. Photo: J Bamber,

Once-stable Antarctic glaciers have suddenly started melting

Bert Wouters

23rd May 2015

A dramatic shift has taken place in the glaciers of the southern Antarctic peninsula, writes Bert Wouters. Six years ago these previously stable bodies suddenly stated shedding 60 cubic kilometres of ice per year into the ocean. A stark warning of further surprises to come? more...
Scientists had thought that Arctic rivers like the Kolyma in Siberia carry dissolved carbon from melting permafrost to the oceans. They were wrong - it's all emitted to the atmosphere as CO2. Photo: Магадан via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Thawing Arctic carbon threatens 'runaway' global warming

Tim Radford

14th May 2015

Arctic warming is releasing ancient organic matter that's been deep-frozen for millennia, writes Tim Radford. And now scientists have discovered its fate: within weeks it's all digested by bacteria and released to the atmosphere as CO2 - with potentially catastrophic impacts on climate. more...
A Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. Photo: chris buelow via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time to 'Get Oil Out!' from sea to shining sea

Ralph Nader & David Helvarg

4th July 2015

Faced with the double crisis of global warming and the decimation of marine wildlife, what does the Obama administration do? Open up the US's Atlantic and Arctic Ocean seafronts to oil and gas drilling, write Ralph Nader & David Helvarg. But this assault on our climate and cetaceans can be stopped, as a 'Sea Party Rebellion' prepares to fight it all the way in forthcoming Presidential elections. more...
The 'Polar Pioneer' - made unwelcome on its arrival at the Port of Los Angeles on 17th April 2015 by Kayaktivists from the sHellNo! Action Council. Photo: Charles Conatzer & the sHellNo! Action Council / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Shell's Arctic oil setback - unlawful use of Seattle Port

Oliver Tickell

5th May 2015

The Port of Seattle is violating its shoreline permit in allowing Shell to set up a 'home port' for its Arctic oil drilling fleet, according to Seattle officials. The finding could nix Shell's oil drilling plans for the 2015 season. more...
A polar bear keeps close to her young along the Beaufort Sea coast in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Susanne Miller / USFWS via Flickr (CC BY).

Polar bears at risk from pollution as well as warmth

Tim Radford

24th April 2015

As if melting ice in Polar bears' Arctic habitat was not enough, Norwegian scientists have found that organic pollutants such as pesticide residues are disrupting their thyroid and endocrine systems, adding a further threat to the species' survival. more...
Greenpeace volunteers on board Shell's 'Polar Explorer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Miriam Friedrich / Greenpeace.

Greenpeace occupies Shell rig after Arctic drilling go-ahead

Christine Ottery & Oliver Tickell

7th April 2015

Days after Shell received US Government backing for its plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea in the Alaskan Arctic, volunteers from Greenpeace have occupied its 'Polar Pioneer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean to demand a halt to all Arctic oil exploration. more...

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