The Arctic is warming an average of 0.75 degrees per decade, according to a study by scientists from Norway and Finland published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment on Thursday. Previous climate models assumed a much slower rise in temperature.
Warming is rapidly increasing
For example, a 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report stated that warming is progressing about twice as fast as the global average. This is due to a phenomenon known as “Arctic amplification”. When ice and snow, which normally reflect sunlight, melt into seawater, there is an amplifying effect, as dark water absorbs heat from sunlight.
Scientists from Norway and Finland have now examined four sets of temperature data that have been collected by satellite in the Arctic since 1979. They have found that warming is progressing faster than previously thought. The results were “somewhat surprising” because they were much larger than previous data, said co-author Antti Lipponen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. He spoke out in favor of testing climate models.
The strong warming of the Arctic has global consequences. In particular, scientists warn of a melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which could result in sea levels rising by about six meters. “Climate change is man-made,” Lipponen said. “Something is happening in the Arctic and it will affect us all.”