The Arctic Highlights Our Failure to Act in a Rapidly Changing World

Peter Schlosser, Hajo Eicken, Vera Metcalf, Stephanie Pfirman, Maribeth S. Murray, Clea Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this perspective on the future of the Arctic, we explore actions taken to mitigate warming and adapt to change since the Paris agreement on the temperature threshold that should not be exceeded in order to avoid dangerous interference with the climate system. Although 5 years may seem too short a time for implementation of major interventions, it actually is a considerable time span given the urgency at which we must act if we want to avoid crossing the 1.5 to <2 C global warming threshold. Actions required include co-production of research exploring possible futures; supporting Indigenous rights holders’ and stakeholders’ discourse on desired futures; monitoring Arctic change; funding strategic, regional adaptation; and, deep decarbonization through transformation of the energy system coupled with negative carbon emissions. We are now in the decisive decade concerning the future we leave behind for the next generations. The Arctic’s future depends on global action, and in turn, the Arctic plays a critical role in the global future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1882
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Adaptation
  • Arctic
  • COVID-19
  • Climate change
  • Co-production
  • Decarbonization
  • Desired futures
  • Indigenous rights
  • Mitigation
  • Rapid change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


Dive into the research topics of 'The Arctic Highlights Our Failure to Act in a Rapidly Changing World'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this