Climate change and the world’s three poles (Video)

In 2022, the Royal Meteorological Society hosted an online event that explored the impact of climate change at the world’s three poles: the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Himalaya, in partnership with the Grantham Institute.

Watch the online event here:


Climate change is having rapid and dramatic impacts on glacier ice and snow at three of the World’s poles: the North Pole, the South Pole, and the world’s highest point, the glaciers of the Himalaya. In the Arctic, the Greenland Ice Sheet is experiencing increased summer melt, and we are witnessing a great increase in ice discharged into the ocean. The Arctic sea ice extent is decreasing, exposing more dark ocean water which absorbs heat and amplifies warming. In the Antarctic, we are seeing rapid changes in the floating ice shelves that surround the continent, which are thinning and have increased surface melt. The great outlet glaciers that drain the Antarctic Ice Sheet are also shrinking, driving global sea level rise. In the Himalaya, hundreds of millions of people depend on glaciers for water, for irrigation, industry and domestic consumption. As the glaciers here shrink, they will provide less water for downstream populations, providing more tension in an already water-stressed region. Himalayan glaciers are frequently covered in rock debris, making their response to climatic changes highly non-linear and difficult to predict. Working at high-elevation is challenging but if models projecting future glacier change in the region are to be considered robust, the collection of field data is essential. This event brought together experts in ice at the Earth’s three poles for three exciting talks and an engaging panel discussion in order to explore climate change at the world’s highest, most northern and most southerly points.

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