Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

A mom and her cubs
US Geological Survey/Flickr
Environment

The Arctic Just Had Its Warmest Winter Ever

The Arctic just completed its warmest winter on record and the signs of this catastrophe are everywhere.

Polar bears are starving to death. Sea ice twice the size of Texas has melted. Thriving vegetation. “Zombie pathogens” trapped inside Arctic permafrost are escaping as snow and ice melts.

The weather station closest to the North Pole rose above freezing for more than 60 hours this winter — almost as much time as during the last 30 years combined.

And now, even scientists who have devoted their lives to studying climate change and the Arctic say they are stunned by recent heat waves.

“It’s just crazy, crazy stuff,” Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado told the Associated Press. “These heat waves – I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Take Action: Stand Up for the Arctic

“The extended warmth really has staggered all of us,” added climate scientist Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute.

The rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic Circle may be a sign of the North Pole’s new normal. Or, as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration put it, evidence of the “New Arctic.” According to a recent report by the organization, the “Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades.”

Global Citizen campaigns on fighting climate change and protecting the Arctic. You can take action here.

Read More: 3 Reasons Climate Change Is Real, Even Though It's Cold

My entire @Sea_Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear. It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy. This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death. When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner. There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear. The simple truth is this—if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment. But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth—our home—first. Please join us at @sea_legacy as we search for and implement solutions for the oceans and the animals that rely on them—including us humans. Thank you your support in keeping my @sea_legacy team in the field. With @CristinaMittermeier #turningthetide with @Sea_Legacy #bethechange #nature #naturelovers This video is exclusively managed by Caters News. To license or use in a commercial player please contact info@catersnews.com or call +44 121 616 1100 / +1 646 380 1615”

A post shared by Paul Nicklen (@paulnicklen) on

Read More: Devastating Video of Starving Polar Bear Holds a Much Bigger Story

In 2018, Arctic temperatures have remained about 10 degrees warmer than average. Climate scientists from around the world agree that climate change is responsible for the disastrous “heat wave” disrupting life and melting ice in the Arctic.

“A warm event like the one of this year would have been extremely unlikely in the climate of a century ago,” Climate Central reported. “[The] results suggest that it is extremely unlikely this event would occur in the absence of human-induced climate change.”