The rapid loss of sea ice is contributing to major alterations in habitat loss, animal migration and is a factor in changes to the native culture and economy. Globally, sea ice loss is reducing albedo, a measure of reflectance of a surface. The resulting increase of energy absorption is accelerating the warming of the planet and creating a positive feedback loop, which in turn is accelerating sea ice degradation.
The Arctic has warmed 3.5 times more than the rest of the planet, causing this region to be at greater risk of environmental impact. Outside of the Arctic sea ice loss isn’t perceived as a threat because it isn’t affecting people directly. I would organize environmental groups to partner with local governments in creating interactive information sessions to engage the local communities and specifically their younger populations. Sessions might include Arctic anecdotes of observed environmental alterations, short videos incorporating simple scientific data as well as photos. These sessions would provide people with simple and effective ways to fashionably modify their lifestyles: increased bike, skateboard and public transportation use, increasing local purchasing and creating awareness around utility use. Arctic people need to feel like we’re willing to change and want make a difference.