Introduction: Melting Point (02:58)
In northern Siberia, a heatwave erupts and spreads from Canada through Greenland. An iceberg breaks away from the Larsen-B Ice Shelf. Greenland begins to thaw.
Polar Regions (04:27)
Roald Amundsen explores the region. Countries that are part of the Arctic circle include Canada, United States, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Greenland, Denmark, and Norway. Antarctica is surrounded by ocean and has high elevations.
Climate Change Vulnerability (03:11)
The Arctic experiences the fastest effects of global warming. The region loses 5-10% of its ice cover each decade. Endangered species must migrate further for food.
Temperature Fluctuations (02:08)
Ocean and air currents bring heat to the Arctic Circle. The jet stream weakens and creates paths with meandering shapes. Seasons disappear in the middle latitudes.
Worldwide Consequences (02:35)
Extreme weather events will become more frequent and intense. Rising sea levels threaten coastal areas around the world; the ocean is undergoing acidification. The World Meteorological Organization alerts the world to the climate change crisis.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (03:50)
The subdivision of the United Nations provides the international community with quality-controlled reviewed data. The global mean temperature is expected to rise. The United States refuses to sign the Paris Accord; scientists ask for a further commitment from nations.
Amplification Effect (02:45)
Climate change causes extreme weather changes, virus mutations, and rising sea levels. Polar melt has worldwide consequences. Recent Arctic winters have been warm and the sea ice cycle is collapsing.
Global Mean Temperature Evolution (03:47)
Temperatures in the polar regions have risen twice that of the rest of the world. Antarctica glaciers are breaking apart. An iceberg breaks away from the Larsen-B Ice Shelf; the western area of Antarctica is more sensitive to climate change than previously thought.
Rising Sea Levels (03:35)
Fertile areas for farming will disappear; most cities are built on the coast. A small rise in sea levels will have catastrophic consequences for natural habitats. Melting glaciers and water molecule expansion causes rising levels.
Paris Accord (03:01)
The international community is trying to stop the temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius, but there is no consensus on how to cut emissions. If Greenland and the Antarctic thaw, it would cause over a 30-foot increase in sea levels.
Polar Ecosystems (03:11)
Species are adapted to a specific climate. Climate change influences the temperature of the water, ice cover, and the amount of snow cover. Extreme weather events will become more frequent and violent; temperature differences between the Arctic and middle regions are shrinking.
Ocean Acidification (02:15)
Releasing large amounts of methane causes oxidation and the release of carbon dioxide on ocean floors. Coral reefs will eventually disappear. The food supply chain will change.
Permafrost Thawing (03:00)
Methane gas is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide; it is located in the ocean floor and in permafrost. If released, it will accelerate climate change.
Gulf Stream (04:39)
The North Atlantic Current originates in the Gulf of Mexico and warms Europe. If the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, the currents will decelerate, modifying the climate of Europe.
Maritime Impact (02:09)
Increased melting has opened the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage. A longer summer season results in less fuel to transport goods. The Eduard Toll carries natural gas from South Korea to Sabetta without using ice breakers.
Natural Resources (05:34)
The Arctic could become a disputed area for exploitation. Forest productivity has increased in some areas; arable land will also improve. The IPCC predicts that the polar regions will undergo a large change.
Credits: Melting Point (01:17)
Credits: Melting Point
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