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Arctic environmental change: global opportunities and threats (joint EGU-AGU Great Debate)
Conveners: Jonathan Bamber , Hans Thybo  | Co-Conveners: Yevgeny Aksenov , Denis-Didier Rousseau 
Thu, 27 Apr, 08:30–10:00 / Room E2
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The Arctic is currently warming at twice the global average resulting in possibly the clearest and most dramatic signs of climate change seen in the observational record. An ice-free Arctic ocean in summer is imminent, permafrost thawing is taking place with impacts on coastal erosion, the built environment, ecosystems, and potentially dangerous climate feedbacks. Alterations to ocean circulation as consequence of Arctic environmental change may have wide scale climate impacts. These changes, however, also offer new opportunities for resource exploration, exploitation and employment. New shipping routes create opportunities to Arctic nations but also threats from pollution and introduction of foreign marine species.

What will be the new Arctic environments? What future for the Arctic populations? How will changes in the Arctic affect the rest of the planet? Is exploitation of natural resources a benefit or threat to local populations? What does sustainable and responsible resource exploitation mean? This debate will address these challenging questions. It will discuss how best to manage future opportunities in a sustainable and responsible way for the benefit of Arctic nations, and the rest of the planet and what the global impacts of climate change in the Arctic might be over the next century.
Public information:Confirmed panelists are: Christiana Figueres: Executive Secretary, UNFCC 2010-2016; Founder Mission2020. Aslak Holmberg: Saami Council. Nalan Koc: Research Director, Nowegian Polar Institute. Erling Kvadsheim: Director, industry policy. Norwegian Oil & Gas. Julienne Stroeve: Prof. of Polar Science, University College London. Gail Whiteman : Prof. of Sustainability in Business, Lancaster University.