How will the melting of the Arctic affect YOU? | A New Climate

the Arctic is warming twice as fast as

anywhere else a fragile ecosystem is

being lost and the effects are

reverberating around the whole planet

whatever you think you know about

climate change in the frozen north the

reality is far worse what's happening to

the Arctic matters to us all it is the

Arctic as he would imagine it to be

ice stretching to the horizon remote and

rugged but look closer and the glass

ears are pockmarked with ponds of blue


small bird halfway between mainland

Norway and the North Pole is thawing and

it's happening within a human lifetime

I've come to Nielson the most northerly

research base on earth joining

scientists in a fast-changing natural

laboratory there is no better place to

understand the impact of global warming

every iceberg tells a story and Jack

Cola can read it we can really see the

the grooves on the top of this Berg that

show what it looks like at the bottom of

the glacier he grew up in Philadelphia

but the ador of ice drew him to the

Arctic and drifting through chunks that

have tumbled from the towering wall

never loses its thrill glass ears are

constantly on the move rivers of ice

flowing downhill and where they meet

water they carve it's essentially dead

ice and so this is just being eaten away

and and of course it is the the warm

water and the few word that is

responsible to a large degree for this

increase in calving jack has been coming

here since the 90s and watched the

glacier shrink and starting in the early

2000s we have a very rapid retreat

averaging around two and a half

kilometers across the entire front level

the sea level rise will continue and it

will accelerate in the future that is

the problem with Arctic ice loss and

that won't offend people a long way away

from me all over the world

don't buy oceanfront property

a hundred years ago this moon skate was

covered by a glacier now the ice is a 40

minute walk uphill we follow the

meltwater a soup of sediment scoured

from the rocks Jack's taking me to its

source this is all surface water that is

running on the surface and then forming

deep channels that become so deep that

there in the end turned it to tunnels up

on the surface channels crisscross the

glacier it's melting quite literally

before our eyes Jack uses a pole he

planted in the ice five months ago to

keep track when we installed this stake

in spring the ice surface was at the top

this much ice has disappeared since

April when we put the stake in and in

addition there was also snow on top of

that ice which also disappeared so the

ice level was there and now we're

standing on the ice obviously so that's

2 meters 37 oh I see yeah goodness me

there are 14,000 square miles of ice on

Svalbard all melting this amount is

unprecedented and that is sea level rise

around the world what happens in the

Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic the

ice isn't just melting on land is

melting at sea the Lord used to freeze

over every winter but it hasn't done so

in more than a decade

far out to see the ice is proving harder

to find every year scientists from the

Norwegian polar Institute sail hundreds

of miles from spar bar to Greenland

Laura Doster is just back and it's not

good news


open areas of ocean which is then warmed

up by the by the zone and we could reach

Greenland's almost without being in the

sea ice it's the reason why the Arctic

is warming so fast white sea ice

reflects most of the sun's heat the dark

ocean absorbs it melts more ice and then

warms faster it's a vicious circle so

now the sea ice gets attacked from both

sides from the atmosphere as well as

from the ocean how soon do you think we

will see an ice-free Arctic depends a

little bit of course while the actions

are of you were humanity what we are

doing in the next 10 20 years

but if we continue like this it's maybe

not unrealistic to say 20 to 30 years

path catastrophic for species that

depend on the ice

belugas use it to hide from killer

whales now they're increasingly exposed

and polar bears use it to hunt migrate

and play

in some parts of the Arctic they're

starving and numbers are falling the

polar bear is charismatic a symbol for

an entire ecosystem that is in trouble

we see changes in the plankton in the

fjord we see changes in which fish we

have here we see changes and plants on

land and the birds around us him has

been monitoring small birds changing

climate for 30 years he warns the

effects are now rippling across the

whole planet disrupting weather systems

thousands of miles away the

Mediterranean will become drier than

northern Scandinavia will become wetter

but it can also have as far-reaching

influences as on the monsoon of India it

has to do with food security of the

planet so we will all be affected we

will all be affected

Svalbard climate is also changing fast

the average winter temperature has risen

by 10 degrees in 30 years there's now

more rain even in what should be the

coldest months of the year and this is

just 800 miles from the North Pole no

one knows more about Svalbard wild

reindeer than a salon Vic Peterson she

spends weeks tracking animals across the

tundra always armed in case of polar

bears the new climate has improved

grazing in the warmer summers the rain

in winter can spell trouble it can be

quite heavy and it can be sustained for

several days and once we've done again

freezes it will make the ice over the

over the plants so and that will make

plants inaccessible they can't use the

hooves to get through these nice know

that often that ice is too thick and

they can't think through for some

reindeer particularly the young and the

old the ice can prove fatal this

reindeer had probably starved to death

so it died quite early this winter we

can see that because it's still having

yeah it has the antlers on it has really

white winter fur the high mortality

rates this year correspondent probably

with some really bad winter rain that we

had before Christmas that could have

locked up much of the grazing grounds

the rain is also a threat to people

who've made spa barred their home

Longyearbyen is the only major town

squeezed between steep mountains in thei

birth guard with coming down the hill

the permafrost ground frozen for

thousands of years is thawing and acting

as a sponge for rain in 2016 the

saturated soil high up on the slope tore

down hill just missing the cemetery we

want this to be a safe place both for

the living who come here to visit the

graves of the dear ones but also of

course for the graves and selves you do

not want it to kind of well will the

grave still be there in a few years so

will it kind of be washed away by a

landslide the Arctic's permafrost can be

hundreds of meters deep just the surface

thor's each summer but the warming is

penetrating deeper underground and

there's a hidden threat scientists are

trying to understand then you can see

that there's some very brown organics

the river has exposed dead plant matter

from 4000 years ago that has been

preserved in the frozen ground as the

temperature increases the plants start

to rot and release greenhouse gases

permafrost is an invisible thing because

of its just a temperature condition in

the ground but what it consists of is

the really important thing in order to

understand how can interact and affect

the atmosphere across the Arctic there

are billions of tons of carbon locked

away underground if it's released

suddenly it could be a tipping point for

the climate a carbon bomb that rapidly

increases global temperatures

hey but you don't need to be a scientist

in Svalbard to notice the changing


hey Alden Salter has more than a hundred

Alsatian Huskies bred for their

long-distance running in the cold now

it's getting too warm doesn't matter

where you go in the Arctic where they

use dogs probably on sea ice is a

natural thing that's gonna be hard when

the ice goes away Aldens dogs

increasingly have to pull buggies rather

than traditional sleds as the snow

season gets shorter it's not nice being

the generation that will be remembered

in history as the idiots that didn't do

anything before it was too late

scientists have peered into the Arctic's

future and it's not good

glaciers will retreat to higher ground

the last of the summer sea ice will be

confined to a small patch of ocean north

of Canada and Greenland and the longer

we delay cuts to greenhouse gases the

more of the Arctic will be lost this

frozen landscape is part of the planets

cooling system many will never see it

but if it does disappear we will all

feel it it is relentless there's no

going back it's not over until it's over

we can still save some of the Arctic the

faster we do it the less hardship the

less costs and the less loss of

ecosystems it is urgent we must do

everything we can today