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Here's Why the Melting Arctic Should Matter to Us All | DAVOS 2020

Sanna Marin
Prime Minister of Finland at Office of the Prime Minister of Finland
+ 5 speakers
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World Economic Forum 2020
January 22, 2020, Davos, Switzerland
World Economic Forum 2020
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Here's Why the Melting Arctic Should Matter to Us All | DAVOS 2020
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About speakers

Sanna Marin
Prime Minister of Finland at Office of the Prime Minister of Finland
Scott Minerd
Managing Partner, Chairman of Guggenheim Investments and Global Chief Investment Officer at Guggenheim Partners
Gabriel O'Donnell
Principal Research Programmer at Carnegie Mellon University at Carnegie Mellon University
Gail Whiteman
Director at Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)
Elena Cherney
Editor at News Features and Special Projects, The Wall Street Journal
Al Gore
Chairman and Co-Founder at Generation Investment Management LLP

Youngest Prime Minister of Finland. Former Minister of Transport and Communications. Deputy Party Leader of Finland’s Social Democratic Party. Held first political post at the age of 27. Former Head of the City Council in Tampere, Finland.

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Founder, Arctic Basecamp at Davos (2017-2020); Rubin Chair in Sustainability and Director, Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, Lancaster University. Research uses organization theory on knowledge to analyse how a range of actors (companies, civil society, and local communities) make sense of ecological change and global risk, and how these actors transform and build resilience across scales given environmental pressures and social inequities. Professor-in-Residence, World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Ecology & Society, and Nature, etc. Co-Author of two Nature articles on the need to bend the global emissions curve (2017 and 2018). Contributor to the Club of Rome's Planetary Emergency Declaration and Action Plan (2019). Research aims to help organizations deal more effectively with sustainability challenges. Has led or is leading a number of large research grants related to sustainability and climate change, including the ICE-ARC research grant coordinated by the British Antarctic Survey. Also active in innovative business sustainability training and education and was the organizer of the Engaged Business Leaders’ Forum 2011.

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Studies in English and history, Yale University. Formerly: reported for papers including the Peterborough Examiner and The Gazette in Montreal; 2000-07, with the Wall Street Journal as Canada Correspondent; Managing Editor and Editor, Report on Business, The Globe and Mail. Currently, Canada Bureau Chief and Global Resources Editor, Wall Street Journal.

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1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982, elected to the US House of Representatives; 1984 and 1990, elected to the US Senate. 20 January 1993, inaugurated as the 45th Vice-President of the United States, and served eight years. Co-Founder and Chairman, Generation Investment Management. Senior Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Member of the Board of Directors, Apple. Spends majority of time as Chairman, Climate Reality Project, a non-profit devoted to solving the climate crisis. Member of the Board of Trustees, World Economic Forum. Author of "Earth in the Balance", "An Inconvenient Truth", "The Assault on Reason", "Our Choice: A Plan To Solve the Climate Crisis", "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change" and "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”. Subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, and a new film which premiered in July 2017, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”. Co-Recipient, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change".

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About the talk

Ice is melting at a record rate in the Arctic, losing 20,000 square kilometres of cover per day. As emissions continue to drive the climate crisis and we begin deregulating protected areas, the Arctic region is at higher risk than ever before. What would it take to restore our planet's climate regulator?

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The Arctic is an incredibly important system in the global climate system. So just like the Amazon are the lungs of the world. The Artic is like our circulation system season to Global Climate Change everywhere that the Arctic is in crisis. We know based on observational data. We have lost 50% of Arctic Ice. In about 50 years. So just when the world economic Forum with starting the Arctic was very white and over that time. It is increasingly blue know,

why would we care but we can't because of the Albedo effect and that is a thing in climate science where if something is white, it bounces off sunlight back out into the atmosphere and it doesn't absorb as the Arctic Ocean and in the glaciers of melted we see that dark blue is absorbing more and more heat which is feeding through the rest of the system. We also know that the Earth is at the Arctic Ice is fracturing is Getting Thinner. I said we've lost 50% of it. But in terms of old ice we've lost close to 95% the vast majority of it that is a huge concern for Arctic

science in terms of sea ice volume. The picture is even worse since the 1970s. We have lost 75% of the volume of Arctic summer sea ice if you think of that is the insurance policy for the rest of the world to prevent catastrophic runaway climate change. We are in trouble. And we can see hear the loss to today. Now we got Google Earth Day. We're showing for the first time today, which is observational data of various places in the Artic which uses satellite data for 30 years

and shows where we were in 1984 and where we are in 2009. This isn't Alaska. This is another one in Alaska and we can see that we are massiv massively changing the Topography of the Arctic. It is no longer white is increasingly green and it is absorbing heat and CO2 emissions of course are rising clovelly. So this is a game in Alaska in the USA. And as we approach 2019 the picture is dark. if we look like green lands, which is a huge Glacier, of course in the Arctic Glacier Ice Sheet we can see a game in 1984 three white

We can see as we progress through the 1990s and approach the two thousands and approach the current decade we can see it's not so I anymore and that's a physical change is observational data. That is very Stark and concerning Glacier melt. We can see that it is it is tremendous. The art of the glaciers sheet in Greenland has lost 4 trillion metric tons in 2002 in one day alone in night in 2019, August 1st. We lost enough melt in the glacier to to fill 4.4 million olympic size swimming pools

tremendous change happening in Greenland. We also see though that the Arctic is white. It's raining and then we can see that the permafrost is Dick is is is thawing the permafrost of course releases methane which of the concentrated CO2 gas and it all the permafrost in the Arctic is released that is like adding and the CO2 emissions of all EU countries. It's a sobering sobering thought. Again, how we can see here is that is that the Arctic is warming the anomalies of the temperature are severe and we can see how it's happening. So

it's CO2 emissions are rising around the world. We can see the. Coming back. If you are too can we can see how that is affecting us. Now we're all affected by images of polar bears. We can see the polar bear looking for ice looking for a place to rest and indeed of the Arctic changes. The situation is dire for many arctic speed today's communities, of course, but Earth system science tells us that actually we are the polar bear to why is that that's because the Arctic is feeding into the global climate system. Is

protecting through the Albedo effect and that is decreasing rapidly. We also see how the Arctic is building extreme weather events globally. So if the Arctic sea ice goes data and research suggests that we will actually accelerate global warming by 25 to 40% on top of that if we take a look at extreme weather we can see that the Arctic play the key point. They certainly the Arctic Cat its own fires. We saw that in Siberia, we see that in various part, but on top of that because of the way the Arts affects the jet stream it affects crazy

weather all three of the mid-latitudes. So if you remember the Sonoma fires of last year that is related to the Arctic change because of how it affects the jet stream if we take a look at Australia does not have a direct correlation with those fires but indirectly because we are driving global climate change because of the loss of the Albedo effect. That will affect things like severe weather and fires everywhere. It's not just fires. It's also the Hurricanes. It's the polar vortex coming up in North America on top of that can see that with the Greenland ice sheet. We are accelerating

sea level rise and this is Jane is data looking at what are the projections if we get to a 2 degree warmer world we can see from some of the major cities around the world including Tokyo in New York that they will indeed be flooded. If we stay at the 1.5 Paris aspirational Target, we will save the Arctic summer sea ice and prevent images like this happening when we get to 2 degrees 2 degree 1.5 definitely is silver my scientific perspective from my perspective. The Arctic is a barometer of

global risk. What happens in the Arctic does not stay there. And what's at stake is not a geopolitical a question alone or the short-term economic benefits from shipping or extraction. What's at stake in? The Arctic is actually the future of humanity itself. Thank you.

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