Climate researchers plan to request political representation in the form of an “Arctic Ambassador” to remind other members of the Council that the melting Arctic is not just an opportunity for all resources.
A brave request as climate change is ravaging the Arctic
December 23, 2020, 9:47 a.m. EST
According to the Arctic Report Card 2020 published by NOAA in December, things are pretty bad. The report, an annual compilation of peer-reviewed science (not Twitter or editorial opinions), is produced by over 120 scholars from 15 countries. Important highlights (or "lowlights"):
- The average annual land surface air temperature in the Arctic was the second warmest since the beginning of the Record Era in 1900.
- 90% of the past 10 years had air temperatures at least 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1981-2010 mean.
- Record deep snow expansion in June in the Eurasian Arctic.
- The second lowest Arctic minimum sea ice extent in the satellite age.
- Warnings of extreme forest fires in the Arctic.
An open letter is being written by scientists calling for an Arctic ambassador be appointed to the Arctic Council with a climatic background. Dr. Twila Moon is a climate expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. In an email to a list server called Cryolist, she said, "We believe that this will raise the profile of Arctic research in the global climate change talksand generally increase US engagement in international Arctic climate problems. “According to Moon, since the departure of Admiral Robert J. Papp at the end of the Obama administration, the United States has not been represented on the council at the end of the Obama administration.
Moon also said: "The appointment of an Arctic Ambassador to the Arctic Council will counter a dangerous narrative that the Arctic is merely a region of future struggles for resources in a world that has lost the battle against runaway global warming. “While she acknowledged that critics might be concerned about a political appointment that could result in a bad apple or have issues with maintaining longevity and standing, she doesn't think this is a show stopper. She also believes the Arctic Council ministerial conference in May 2021 is an early opportunity for the U.S. to signal both a renewed commitment to the climate and reintegration into Arctic partners. According to a tweet from Moon, 193 American scientists have already signed the letter.
Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2020/12/23/a-bold-request-as-climate-change-ravages-the-arctic/
The Arctic Council was established so that representatives of large groups of people could resolve their differences through dialogue rather than military action.
There doesn't seem to be much real support for climate action in the Arctic Council. For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to think Western fears of global warming are a joke, except, perhaps, when he feels it, to look like he cares. Many Russian scientists believe that the world is not experiencing dangerous global warming. Even so, Russia could vote to add a climate ambassador to see the entertainment value of having the climate awaken the members of the Council.