The rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic is one of the most striking manifestations of climate change. As sea ice melts, more open water is exposed to solar radiation, absorbing heat and generating a sea-ice–albedo feedback that reinforces Arctic warming. Recent studies stress the significance of this feedback mechanism and suggest that ice-free summer conditions in the Arctic Ocean may occur faster than previously expected, even under low-emissions pathways.
Global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak soon and be reduced practically to zero in the second half of this century in order to not exceed the climate targets adopted in the Paris Agreement. However, there are currently numerous coal-fired power stations around the world at different stages of construction and planning that could be completed in the next decade. If all these plants are actually built, their expected future emissions will make it very difficult to reach these targets, even in an optimistic scenario with the deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies. Policy makers around the world need to react quickly and help to redirect investment plans for new coal-fired power stations towards low-carbon technologies
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