Product type: Science Brief
Categories: Cross-Cutting Topics
- Dee Williams, U.S. Geological Survey
Because the Arctic is warming much faster than the global average, Arctic nations have a special interest to understand climate responses to hypothetical reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to know whether aggressive mitigation efforts now make good economic sense.
Why it matters
Climate warming threatens a wide variety of essential ecosystem services on a global scale, with notable high rates of change in the Arctic. But how would the climate respond to reduced GHG emissions, and how well do scientists know that reduced emissions can eventually stabilize the climate or forestall worsening impacts? Government decision-makers and the public at large need to understand the degree to which mitigation efforts (actions to limit the magnitude or rate of long-term change) might still reduce the threat of global warming so they can make rational choices and best evaluate the relative cost-beneDit of policy and regulatory options.