Climate change: Personal Arctic sea-ice loss measured due to global warming

Climate change: Personal Arctic sea-ice loss measured due to global warming

For each ton of carbon dioxide emitted, an extra three square metres of Arctic summer sea-ice is lost.

The impact of individuals’ carbon emissions on the loss of Arctic summer sea-ice has been calculated for the first time. For every ton of carbon dioxide that people emit, the summer sea-ice in the Arctic is 3sq m smaller than it would have been otherwise.

For the average UK person with a footprint of about 8 tons of carbon dioxide – although estimates of average footprint vary – this translates to about 24sq m of Arctic sea-ice.

The study finds that another 1,000 gigatons of anthropogenic carbon dioxide will be enough to entirely melt the Arctic summer sea-ice. The findings are published in the journal Science.

“So far, climate change has often felt like a rather abstract notion. Our results allow us to overcome this perception,” says study co-author Julienne Stroeve of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre. “For example, it is now straightforward to calculate that the carbon dioxide emissions for each seat on a return flight from, say, London to San Francisco causes about 5sq m of Arctic sea ice to disappear.”

 

Source: Climate change: Personal Arctic sea-ice loss measured due to global warming