The report said the Arctic was undergoing 19 “regime shifts” or major, hard-to-predict tipping points.
Among the shifts, some of which have already happened, was sea-ice free summers and the collapse of various fish stocks.
And when these tipping points combine, according to the report’s co-chair Johan Rockström, the results are “potentially catastrophic”.
Mr Rockström, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, said people in the Arctic would be effected, but the wider world also.
“We expect some of those changes will destabilise the regional and global climate, with potentially major impacts,” he said.
The report’s co-editor, Marcus Carson of the Stockholm Environment Institute, said the past year had been a warning.
“There are a lot more warning bells ringing about the Arctic and what spill-back effects it might have”, he told Thomson Reuters.
“Because the Arctic is so connected to the rest of the planet’s climate… the change that we”re sending there is likely to be amplified and come back to us.”
The report urged the world to stop burning fossil fuels, saying it and activities like oil and gas extraction fundamentally threatened the Arctic.