Climate Change and Security in the Arctic
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Across the world, climate change already poses severe threats to the natural and human systems on which security depends. These changes are of acute concern in the High North, the geography of land, sea, and ice that lies above the Arctic Circle. The temperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than any other area on earth, causing permafrost thaw, ice melt, rising sea levels, and more frequent and extreme weather. As a result, there is increased interest in how these changes will affect the security situation in the Arctic. This report identifies key climate trends and their security implications by the year 2030, from the Norwegian perspective. Our analysis relies on two different scenarios of global climate change to compare these effects: one in which humans substantially curb climate-change causing emissions (Curbed Warming) and one in which they do not (Uncurbed Warming). These two scenarios do not diverge substantially in terms of the direct climate change impacts faced in the Arctic in the next few years. However by 2030, it will be increasingly clear which future climate trajectory is more likely, allowing for planning for two significantly different Arctic climate security realities in the decades to follow.