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Climate Change and Planet Earth: A View from the Poles

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Daniel Lim.

Despite being remote to many of the major population centres of the planet, the polar regions are critical components of the Earth System. They are central to the planetary-scale ocean circulation, they strongly govern and modulate our climate, they are home to the last remaining ice sheets, and coupled processes here exert huge influence on global ocean productivity. The polar oceans are disproportionately threatened by climate change: they are warming rapidly, sea ice is retreating, and acidification is advancing strongly. These changes have potential to disrupt the marine ecosystem, with consequences for food security and sustainable livelihoods, both for local and Indigenous populations and beyond. Further rapid transformations are predicted throughout this century, though the severity of their impacts will depend strongly on action taken now to mitigate climate change. This talk will provide an overview of the changing polar regions and their importance to Planet Earth and its inhabitants, drawing on findings from recent and ongoing research programmes and assessments, including the recent IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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