Stockholm university

Researcher: ”Arctic climate change is a supreme issue of planetary significance”

”As you know, we hit a record low Arctic sea-ice minimum this year, so unfortunately the stakes are even higher in many ways”, professor Miyase Christensen, Stockholm University, told IMS website on Monday. Yesterday she addressed the power politics that threatens the future of the region, as the Arctic Circle Mission Council gathered virtually this year.

PUBLISHED: November 11, 2020
UPDATED: November 12, 2020

On Monday, Professor Christensen stated that Arctic climate change ”is a supreme issue of planetary significance”. And she expressed concerns about the current Arctic sea-ice levels.

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”In September this year, the month when the summer sea-ice is measured in the Arctic annually, we hit a record low sea-ice minimum. The first big low was in 2007 and a lower was hit in 2012. 2020’s Arctic sea-ice minimum is significant. And, for the first time since observations started, Artic sea-ice hasn’t re-formed as of late October this year”, she said.

Adding that: ”the Arctic climate change is not a remote problem which we can put aside as we focus on other issues that we perceive as “more near and urgent”. It is a “NOW” issue that we were supposed to take care of many yesterdays ago”.

Arctic landscape, arctic tundra and ice of the Arctic Ocean. Photo: Avstraliavasin/Mostphotos
Professor Miyase Christensen said she was deeply concerned about the fact that "we hit a record low Arctic sea-ice minimum this year". Photo: Avstraliavasin/Mostphotos

Earlier this week Miyase Christensen promised that she would ”be addressing issues related with mediation and communication on regional and global scales vis-à-vis geopolitics and political agendas” in her speech on ’Power politics and the public sphere’ during the virtual meeting on November 11. 

According to the Stockholm University professor, the main threats to the Arctic are "loss of biodioversity, rising temperatures and the wellbeing and livelihoods of local communities. Tension fields among states and corporate entities in relation to political and commercial interests in the region are worrying as well."

Professor Christensen said that ”all the Arctic states as well as other nation-states and corporate and civic entities with interests and raised stakes” are involved in the power games surrounding the Arctic region.

By Svante Emanuelli


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Along with eight other colleagues from various disciplines Miyase Christensen, was invited in 2019 by Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the former president of Iceland and current chair of the Arctic Circle Assembly, and Professor Lassi Heininen to join the newly formed Arctic Circle Mission Council on the Global Arctic”. 

Miyase Christensen is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University and Affiliated Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden. And she is also Director of The Leading Research Environment in Global Media Studies and Politics of Mediated Communication at the Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University.

The nonprofit and nonpartisan organization the Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic and was founded in 2013. 

(Sources: and professor Miyase Christensen)