Item Link: Access the Resource
Media Type: Article - Foundational
Date of Publication: May 17
Year of Publication: 2021
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Author(s): Susan M. Natali, John P. Holdren, Brendan M. Rogers et. al.
Volume: 118 (21)
Categories: Climate change
Rapid Arctic warming has intensified northern wildfires and is thawing carbon-rich permafrost. Carbon emissions from permafrost thaw and Arctic wildfires, which are not fully accounted for in global emissions budgets, will greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that humans can emit to remain below 1.5 °C or 2 °C. The Paris Agreement provides ongoing opportunities to increase ambition to reduce society’s greenhouse gas emissions, which will also reduce emissions from thawing permafrost.
In December 2020, more than 70 countries announced more ambitious nationally determined contributions as part of their Paris Agreement commitments; however, the carbon budgets that informed these commitments were incomplete, as they do not fully account for Arctic feedbacks. There is an urgent need to incorporate the latest science on carbon emissions from permafrost thaw and northern wildfires into international consideration of how much more aggressively societal emissions must be reduced to address the global climate crisis.
Read the full paper here or download it from the link above.