The Arctic is warming even faster than scientists realized

The Arctic is heating up at a breakneck speed compared with the rest of Earth. And new analyses show that the region is warming even faster than scientists thought. Over the last four decades, the average Arctic temperature increased nearly four times as fast as the global average, researchers report August 11 in Communications Earth & Environment.

And that’s just on average. Some parts of the Arctic Ocean, such as the Barents Sea between Russia and Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, are warming as much as seven times as fast, meteorologist Mika Rantanen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki and colleagues found. Previous studies have tended to say that the Arctic’s average temperature is increasing two to three times as fast as elsewhere, as humans continue causing the climate to change.

To calculate the true pace of the accelerated warming, a phenomenon called Arctic amplification, the researchers averaged four sets of satellite data from 1979 to 2021 (SN: 7/1/20). Globally, the average temperature increase over that time was about 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. But the Arctic was warming by about 0.75 degrees C per decade.

Even the best climate models are not doing a great job of reproducing that warming, Rantanen and colleagues say. The inability of the models to realistically simulate past Arctic amplification calls into question how well the models can project future changes there.

It’s not clear where the problem lies. One issue may be that the models are struggling with correctly simulating the sensitivity of Arctic temperatures to the loss of sea ice. Vanishing snow and ice, particularly sea ice, are one big reason why Arctic warming is on hyperspeed. The bright white snow and ice create a reflective shield that bounces incoming radiation from the sun back into space. But open ocean waters or bare rocks absorb that heat, raising the temperature.

Source link

Latest

Hurricane Ian Live Updates: Damaging winds and rain lash Florida; ‘two nasty days ahead’, says Governor DeSantis

More than 2.5 million people were under mandatory evacuation...

Looking at how betting markets see the 2022-23 NHL season

Let’s clear all the necessary caveats up front: I...

Scottish ferries contract hit by fresh delay

Ferguson Marine Engineering says one of the vessels being...

Hailey Bieber: Speaking to Selena after Justin marriage “brought me peace”

Hailey Bieber revealed she has talked to Justin Bieber's...

Lego ISS, Saturn V, and Star Wars Star Destroyer among kits that are retiring soon

All good things must come to an end, and in this case five Lego sets are due to retire in the near future. In...

SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission will carry Native American woman to orbit for 1st time

A NASA astronaut will make soon make a giant leap for diversity.Nicole Mann will become the first Native American woman to fly in space...

Lunar eclipses 2022: When, where & how to see them

This year Earth will experience two total lunar eclipses. The first total lunar eclipse of 2022 occurred on May 15-16 and was visible in...