Climate Change

Must Read

CRS: Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Author: Ronald O'Rourke

Many observers have noted that the loss of Arctic ice is already leading to stepped-up human activity in the high north, particularly in the form of increasing commercial traffic and development. This trend has brought forth a range of issues on the geopolitical front, from environmental protection to search-and-rescue capabilities to the delineation of national boundaries—which will determine access to natural resources. These concerns are being addressed cooperatively in both bilateral and multilateral fashion, especially under the aegis of the Arctic Council and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

See more in Arctic; Climate Change; Environmental Policy

Ask CFR Experts

What is the impact of the economic crisis on the climate change debate?

Asked by Soumaya Maghnouj, from Sciences-Po
Author: Daniel P. Ahn

The global economic crisis and the subsequent attention to economic and budgetary issues have monopolized the political debate. With the aftermath of the crisis still being felt, there is not much political will for policies that may create short-term economic pain for long-term benefits. These include policies to combat or adapt to climate change.

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Must Read

Lloyd's: Arctic Opening: Opportunity and Risk in the High North

Authors: Charles Emmerson and Glada Lahn

The Arctic region is undergoing unprecedented and disruptive change. Its climate is changing more rapidly than anywhere else on earth. Rising temperatures are causing a retreat of sea ice and changes to seasonal length, weather patterns and ecosystems. These changes have prompted a reassessment of economic and development potential in the Arctic and are giving rise to a set of far-reaching political developments.

See more in Economic Development; Climate Change; Arctic

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What should the United States and others do to mitigate or address the health consequences of climate change?

Asked by Lindsey Wahlstrom, from Columbia University

Climate change has both direct and indirect health consequences. Direct consequences include those resulting from high temperatures and severe weather events; while indirect ones arise from changing air and water quality and ecological shifts that favor tropical diseases and parasites.

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See more in United States; Climate Change; Health

Foreign Affairs Article

A Light in the Forest

Author: Jeff Tollefson

Since 1988, Brazilians have cleared more than 153,000 square miles of Amazonian rain forest, devastating the environment and driving global climate change forward ever faster. Recently, however, Brazil has changed its course, reducing the rate of deforestation by 83 percent since 2004. At the same time, it has become a test case for a controversial international climate-change prevention strategy that places a monetary value on the carbon stored in forests.

See more in Brazil; Climate Change; Forests and Land Management

Expert Roundup

The Doha Climate Debate

Authors: Susanne Droege, Yu Hongyuan, Artur Gradziuk, Simon Dalby, and Navroz K. Dubash

With the UN climate meeting in Doha under way, five experts discuss what needs to happen to advance a comprehensive global climate policy.

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