Scientists Cry out for UN Cryosphere Dialogue

Felix Von Geyer – Glasgow

The UN climate process needs to address the urgency of the earth’s snow and ice regions, cryosphere scientists said in a press release Tuesday.

At the Madrid UN Climate Change Conference (*COP25), cryosphere scientists told that damage to the cryosphere was already “so bad” at 1.1 degrees Celsius that “we don’t want to even reach 1.5 degrees,” said one scientists.

This theme was underlined in Glasgow on Tuesday in a press release and again by glacial geologist, Professor Julie Brigham-Grette of University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In a press release issued by the Cryosphere Pavilion at COP26 Glasgow, scientists specifically called for a Cryosphere Dialogue within the UNFCCC process to focus attention on melting mountain glaciers.

“This science is so clear, yet complex; and the changes so drastic and permanent that more dialogue is essential,” said Pam Pearson, Director of the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative. “This issue needs more than a fifteen minute presentation,” added Pearson.

The Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Professor Dame Jane Francis, described polar regions as a new driver of climate change rather than an early warming signal for climate change. “This needs to be understood,” she concluded.

Thawing Arctic permafrost made it “critical that international mitigation policies address this catastrophic regional and global hazard,” added Dr Rachel Treharne from Woodwell Climate Research Centre.

Describing a “cryosphere crisis” Dr Martin Sommerkorn, IPCC SROCC author of the WWF Arctic Programme declared that the “UNFCCC must urgently create space for Parties and stakeholders to discuss actions to be taken in response to this cryosphere crisis,”

“Negotiators may think they know about melting ice caps but they don’t realize the impacts are essentially permanent human timescales catastrophic for humanity,”according to Dr Robert DeConto from thew scientific Committee for Antarctic Research.

The permanent nature of melting glaciers and snowpack loss was highlighted b y Dr Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, Nepal. “These losses of water will be irreversible.

A European Space Agency exhibition at COP26 demonstrates that over a trillion tonnes of ice are lost per year.à

“Antarctica is the elephant in the room of sea level rise,” said Brigham-Grette explaining how ten per cent of the continental shelf is draining ninety per cent of the Anatarctic ice melt.

While it is difficult to know if the marine ice cliff instability experienced has happened before, where a 90-metre high shelf has ice for 800 metres below making them prone to carving. “Has this happened before?” she asked rhetorically. “It is difficult to model,” she concluded.

Sea level rise from Antarctic ice is anticipated to increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius by 8 centimetres and at 3 degrees by 15 centimetres. Total sea level rise since the industrial revolution is estimated at 20 centimetres.

Where the IPCC recent report said that there was only minimal signs of anthropogenically caused melting in the Arctic, Pearson said that this was only because historical records went back not even two decades. However, according to Brigham-Grette, the Thwaites Pine Island glacier is retreating quite rapidly and in the past decade eight out of ten ice shelves have collapsed in the past decade, she said.. Can CDR (carbon dioxide reduction) stop the process. Attenbourough – it all comes down to one number 280. 2100 34 cams at 8.5 2200 5.33 metres

“Ideally we need to go back down to 1 degree warming,” said Brigham-Grette.