Why MAPS now
For millions of years, since long before humans ever walked on Earth, the Arctic Ocean has been covered with ice and kept our planet cool.
Today, the ice is melting.
You have the right to know that this is a global emergency.
All life is at risk.
The Arctic Ocean has always been a natural sanctuary,
one our whole world needs now more than ever.
What most people don’t know is that the polar ice is our planet’s air conditioning system.
It balances weather patterns globally so that we have the food and resources we need to survive.
Polar ice reflects half of the sun’s heat away from our planet. But today, there is 75% less Arctic sea ice in the summer than there was just 50 years ago.
Exposed Arctic water now absorbs 90% of the sun’s heat. Parts of the Arctic Ocean are 4C/7F too hot.
As the ice melts, the world’s weather patterns become unstable. Floods and droughts are on the rise, hitting hardest in vulnerable areas.
A heating planet means water and hunger crises.
Loss of polar ice is contributing to sea level rise.
At least 275 million people live in cities that are vulnerable to rising sea levels.
If we don’t act now, sea level rise will redraw the map of the world and displace billions.
(Image credit: Kham/Reuters)
Business activity in the Arctic Ocean compromises the integrity of the sea ice.
It’s not just about oil and gas under the seabed, which scientists warn is off limits if we want to keep the world from heating up more than 2C.
Commercial fishing vessels are starting to trawl there, damaging the seabed.
And shipping companies are looking for routes through the Arctic now that the ice is melting.
Large ships break up the ice, and their dirty fuel turns the ice dark so that it can’t reflect the sun’s heat, further accelerating the thaw.
Because of these threats to the Arctic Ocean, we need all nations in the world to make peace and conservation a priority.
But instead, boundaries in the Arctic Ocean are under dispute, as countries go after natural resources and shipping routes.
Leading biologists say we must protect 50% of our planet immediately in order to prevent mass extinction.
But in a place where it matters most, only the small colored areas on the map on the left are protected.
The ice is melting. Animals are dying. People are suffering. The state of the Arctic Ocean is a global emergency.
That’s why MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, protects the entire area in white on the map on the right: the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle.
We must act now, while there is still time.
MAPS stops all activity in the Arctic Ocean that harms the melting polar ice.
It safeguards the fragile Arctic Ocean ecosystem, which supports life everywhere and is home to many endangered species.
It helps prevent natural disasters such as forest fires, floods and droughts. And it’s key to the future of the Earth’s food and water supply.
At the same time, MAPS compels a global shift away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. It brings the world together around the truth that long-term collective good outweighs short-term individual gain.