How is Climate Change affecting the Arctic?

Amanda and John sponsor Sonia Evans to join an Arctic Expedition measuring how the changing climate is affecting the Arctic and the species that rely on this environment.

In January 2023, Sonia Evans will be going to Svalbard, the Arctic, with the Ice Warrior project. She will be collecting vital scientific data – furthering our understanding of Arctic processes and the way the Arctic Ocean is responding to the changing climate – which will help enable us to protect it and the species which rely on it. John and Amanda at CiS wanted to sponsor Sonia and this expedition as they are passionate about protecting the environment and vulnerable communities around the world from the effects of Climate Change – and protection comes from knowledge.

The Arctic’s average temperature has already risen at a rate of almost three times the global average, warming faster than any other region on earth. This not only affects the species which live in the Arctic – with Sea ice melt driving global ocean processes and therefore affecting global weather patterns – it also affects the planet. It is therefore incredibly important to understand this Ocean better, so we can help protect it in the future.

Travelling through the arctic with skis

Whilst processes in the Arctic aren’t currently fully understood, satellite data has shown us that Arctic Sea ice is shrinking by 12.6% per decade, and has almost halved since records began (1979). The practicality of conducting research in this harsh and remote environment may be the reason there are still so many unknowns surrounding Arctic science, and may be partly why there isn’t more being done to prevent the loss of Arctic sea ice.

We can’t change the past, but the Ice Warrior Project aims to conduct the most comprehensive research possible with the resources available. In January 2023, the Expedition team will be heading to Svalbard, the Arctic, to do just this. It’s a unique place, and for the month that they are there it’ll be dark 24 hours a day, they will carry firearms for the unlikely case of a polar bear attack, and they will experience temperatures similar to that of a freezer!

Scientific experiments in the ice

The Ice Warrior Arctic expedition has 3 main aims:

  1. To help understand better the abundance and spatial distribution of polar bear populations. There are 19 populations of polar bears, of which 8 do not have sufficient data to identify whether their populations are increasing or decreasing, so we are working with the Norwegian Polar Institute to better understand this.
  2. To help calibrate models for predicting future Arctic warming. As evident by the dramatically reducing sea ice extent, the climate is changing. We have a broad understanding of how the Arctic Circle is warming, however, models are yet to be properly calibrated and so predictions aren’t as accurate as needed. We will be working with the Met Office to do this.
  3. To raise public awareness of how the Arctic is changing (due to climate change) and the effects this has using media, public talks, and evidence.

Sonia’s Story:

The equipment used to keep warm

I’m a 20-year-old Oceanography and Marine Biology student at Plymouth University. I have always loved the ocean and challenging environments; I enjoy dinghy and yacht sailing, wild camping, sea swimming and exploring! I am truly concerned about Climate Change and want to measure its effects and communicate the status so that all stakeholders can grasp the enormity of the situation and make the required changes with urgency.

To follow expedition updates on Instagram, see: @icewarrior_sonia
If you would like to donate see:

I am extremely grateful to Amanda and John at CiS Ltd for their generous sponsorship so that I can contribute in person in the Arctic to this scientific study. I look forward to sharing more on my return.


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