Protect the Planet from Global Ice Loss Due to Climate Change

Target: António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Goal: Mitigate climate change impacts on the cryosphere and prevent catastrophic consequences for the planet.

Recent findings in the State of the Cryosphere 2023 report reveal alarming trends in global ice loss and temperature rises. It’s reported that if global temperatures increase by 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, most glaciers, including those in tropical and mid-latitude regions, will vanish. Specifically, the Himalayas might lose half of their current ice mass. Current warming, already at 1.2°C, is causing rapid glacier retreat in regions like the northern Andes, East Africa, and Indonesia.

The cryosphere, encompassing all of Earth’s frozen water, stands as ground zero in the climate crisis. This year, climate disasters have underlined the urgency of this matter, with Swiss glaciers losing 10% of their ice and Antarctic sea ice reaching record lows. Furthermore, atmospheric CO2 levels are now 50% above pre-industrial levels.

These developments pose serious threats, including sea-level rise and permafrost thawing, which can release vast quantities of CO2 and methane. As the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) approaches, there is a critical need for decisive action.


Dear Secretary-General António Guterres,

We are writing to express grave concern over the dire findings in the State of the Cryosphere 2023 report. This document highlights an urgent need for global intervention to mitigate the effects of climate change on the cryosphere. It reveals that even a 2°C rise in global temperatures could lead to catastrophic consequences, including the disappearance of most glaciers and severe impacts on sea levels and permafrost.

We urge the United Nations to take a proactive role in addressing this crisis. The upcoming COP28 presents a pivotal opportunity to galvanize international commitment to preserving the cryosphere. It is vital that the UN leads in endorsing a global strategy focused on limiting temperature rises to below 1.5°C. This goal is not just preferable but essential to prevent irreversible damage to our planet’s frozen regions and ecosystems.

As Secretary-General, your influence and leadership are crucial in this matter. We implore you to advocate for and facilitate stringent, actionable policies among member states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in sustainable, eco-friendly technologies.

The time for decisive action is now. The fate of our planet’s ice sheets, glaciers, and permafrost – and by extension, the global climate and ecosystems – rests on the decisions made at this juncture. We trust that under your guidance, the United Nations will spearhead efforts to safeguard our cryosphere for current and future generations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Anders Jildén

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