The direct and indirect effects of global emissions of black carbon (BC) on the evolution of Arctic climate has been well documented. The significance of within-Arctic emissions of BC is less certain. In light of this, an ensemble of scenarios are developed that simulate the hypothetical diversion of 75% of current and projected shipping traffic from the Suez Canal to the Northern Sea Route (NSR). This experiment shows that BC from ships results in a small change in climate forcing that does not influence the Arctic-wide trajectory of change. However, the shift in forcing from the Suez route to the NSR not only influences regional evolution of sea ice cover, but also results in regional feedbacks that in some locations amplify (e.g. Greenland Sea) and in other locations damp (e.g. Labrador Sea) the sea ice retreat under anthropogenic climate change. The primary mechanism underlying these regional effects is a shift in circulation rather than direct thermodynamic forcing. The most significant impacts are distal from the emissions sources, which is likely to have policy implications as the expansion of industrial and transportation activities into the Arctic is considered.
Commentary A New Way to Manage the Growing Global Refugee Situation As of 2020, a full 1 percent of humanity is living in displacement—as refugees, internally displaced persons, or asylum-seekers—because of conflict or persecution. The world’s existing strategies for managing the displaced are no longer sufficient, but the next U.S. administration has an opportunity to […]
The prospect of using geoengineering to address the accelerating effects of climate change is becoming more likely, and many of the potential technologies have negative externalities on the global to regional scale. In this Perspective, the authors review the state of different geoengineering technologies, highlighting differences in technological development stage, price, time scales, and potential […]
Space debris threatens human safety in space and puts at risk critical space-based infrastructure that supports services such as the internet, global navigation and climate monitoring. A new project from the EPFL International Risk Governance Center (IRGC), in collaboration with the EPFL Space Center (eSpace) and Space Innovation, is studying the governance of risks related to space debris and […]