Previous studies have concluded that the Arctic is warming two to three times faster than the global average.
in New study Researchers in Norway and Finland used four sets of temperature data over several decades as a basis. The numbers go back to 1979, when satellite data became available.
They concluded that the temperature in the Arctic increased by 0.75 degrees Celsius per decade, which is four times faster than the rest of the world.
Even faster around Svalbard
The study, published in Nature Journal Communications Earth & Environment on Thursday, shows that there are large regional differences in how quickly warming occurs north of the Arctic Circle.
In the areas around Svalbard and Novaya Semlya, the temperature has risen by as much as 1.25 degrees per decade. This is seven times the global average.
This suggests that even the most accurate climate models may be underestimating the rate of warming in the Arctic. They estimate the warming to be about a third less than what the observed temperatures show.
It’s common in the literature for the Arctic to warm at twice the rate of the globe, so it was a little surprising that our number could be much higher, says co-author Antti Liponen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
– Perhaps the next step is to look at the models. I’d be very interested to know why the models don’t reproduce what we’re seeing in the observations and what that means for future climate predictions, says Lebonine.
Climate Minister worried
Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide (AP) is aware of the findings in the Climate Report. He worries about what that means for the future in the North.
These are dramatic characters. Eddy says in an email to NTB that the study is another serious warning about how quickly climate change can occur.
He was himself in Svalbard last week and was able to experience the climate changes up close.
The ice is melting at record speed, the water is getting warmer, the permafrost is thawing, and life on land as well as at sea is changing, says Eddy and adds:
Parts of Svalbard are in the process of shifting from an arctic to an Atlantic climate.
In 2019, the United Nations wrote in a special report that the Arctic is warming faster due to a process known as Arctic inflation.
It occurs when snow and ice, which reflect sunlight, melt and flow into the ocean, which absorbs the same light.
In addition to the massive impact on the local communities, nature, and wildlife that depend on sea ice to find food, rapid warming in the Arctic will have consequences for the entire world.
The Greenland ice sheet contains enough fresh water to raise the world’s sea level by about six metres.
– As the Arctic warms, the glaciers there will melt, and this will affect sea levels around the world. Something’s going on in the Arctic, and it’s affecting all of us, says Lebonin, who contends that humans are causing climate change.
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