The Arctic

An iceberg floats in the ocean with landmass seen behind it.

The Issue

Protecting the Arctic is a critical part of maintaining the delicate balance of Earth’s climate system. The extremely cold temperatures and snow and ice cover in this region affect the movement of air and water around the globe which maintains the seasonal patterns that sustain life on this planet. Changes to these fragile systems can have a drastic impact on weather all around the world. Continual monitoring and research of this region is needed to track the changes taking place, protect local communities, and anticipate and mitigate the impact of Arctic warming on the rest of the planet.

CHI Research & Action

Members of CHI are researching the climate and communities of the Arctic through multiple projects. One recent study uncovered links between urban development in northern Russia with resource extraction and climate change. Another study is currently exploring the impact of Arctic wildfires on the electrical power grid. This research will analyze groups that are vulnerable, explore potential interruptions to medical care, and suggest methods to minimize the impact. CHI experts also serve on intergovernmental bodies, such as the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, and contribute to assessment reports on climate, air pollution and health in the Arctic.

Our Experts

Robert Orttung
Associate Research Professor of International Affairs
GW Elliott School of International Affairs

Hana Akselrod
Assistant Professor of Medicine
GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Susan Anenberg
Director, Climate & Health Institute
Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health and of Global Health
GW Milken Institute School of Public Health