Kreutz co-authors ‘Stories from the Ice’ in Shared Voices

Karl Kreutz co-wrote “Stories from the Ice” in Shared Voices, the UArctic Magazine. The professor with the Climate Change Institute and School of Earth and Climate Sciences co-authored the article with Cameron Wake, research professor at the University of New Hampshire; Erich Osterberg, associate professor at Dartmouth College; and Alison Criscitiello, director of the Canadian Ice Core Lab at the University of Alberta. “The clear retreat of glaciers and loss of sea ice provide stark and iconic examples of climate change that are impossible to ignore,” the article begins. “The implications are profound for Earth’s climate, ecosystems, socioeconomics, security, northern communities, as well as the unique beauty of Arctic landscapes.” The authors note the emissions history of pollutants with health and environmental impacts, including lead, mercury and others, “can be precisely reconstructed and evaluated in the ice core record.” While there is abundant reason to be concerned about the ongoing impact of these pollutants on northern communities, the authors indicate the ice core record provides an important positive message: “When the use of leaded gasoline was phased out in the 1970s, and clean air legislation reduced the emission of sulfates in the 1980s, the levels of lead and sulfate in Greenland dramatically decreased. Focused effort through prudent emissions reductions and political action can make a difference.” The authors say that going forward, co-producing knowledge with northern communities is important. “A new approach, with a detailed understanding of Arctic climate based on state-of-the-art observations, models, and traditional environmental knowledge of northern communities, can guide ice core research to directly address northern needs and priorities.”