"REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- As the inaugural Arctic Circle conference got officially underway here Saturday, a specter loomed over the proceedings. The conference, which brings together policymakers, business leaders, researchers from across the world to discuss issues important to the Arctic, convened with messages from dignitaries of Iceland, Greenland, the United States, United Nations, Canada and Russia, and all of them shared a concern -- the outsized impact of climate change in the Arctic and what it means for far northern populations going forward."
"UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, speaking in a video message, called climate change “the greatest long-term threat to our survival.” Moments later, Greenland Premier Aleqa Hammond said her country “strongly support(s)” the UN’s stance on climate change. One by one, officials from various Arctic countries -- including Alaska’s U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- asserted their concerns over melting sea ice, ocean acidification and the possibility of methane release that could exponentially increase the rate of global warming.
Some, though, worry that it may already be too late. The morning’s discussions were dominated by climate change, with presentations from NGOs and scientists who all said much the same thing: it’s real, and it’s happening now."