Man in front of projected bar graphs titled 'additional economic impacts due to Arctic feedbacks'

Global ecosystem risks

Arctic ice melt could potentially trigger significant changes in global and regional economies, as well as having a drastic effect on the global climate.

This research theme examines the complex ecological and systemic foundations of sustainability and identifying global risk.

Recent activity:

  • Dr Paul Young was a panel member and co-author for two World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports, focussing on the scientific assessment of ozone depletion and the environmental impacts of ozone depletion. These major 4-yearly reports are mandated by the Montreal Protocol in order that the world better understands the current and future healing of the ozone layer, as well as the impacts of ozone depletion.
  • Dr Young also co-authored a Nature Sustainability paper about the success of the Montreal Protocol in protecting life on Earth.
  • Dr Dmitry Yumashev, Prof Gail Whiteman and Dr Young co-authored a ground-breaking paper for Nature Communications, examining global climatic and economic impacts of the major climate feedbacks associated with the loss of Arctic permafrost, sea ice and land snow. This paper was one of the outcomes of the now-complete ICE-ARC project, received global media attention, and was cited in the declaration of a Climate Emergency by the UK Parliament.

  • Dr Yumashev presented oral evidence on the science, economic impacts and policy implications of the rapid warming in the Arctic region to the Environmental Audit Committee at UK Parliament as part of “The Changing Arctic” inquiry.

Key researchers: