The research team from Norway and Finland found that the Arctic is warming 3.7 to 4.1 times faster than the rest of the planet and even seven times faster in some parts of the Arctic Ocean.
New York, NY (WS News Publisher) – The State of the Global Climate in 2021 shows that four key indicators of climate change have broken records in 2021, including greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean warming, and ocean acidification. In August, scientists found that the Arctic is warming faster than previously estimated, data showing the severity of climate change.
A team of researchers from Norway and Finland analyzed satellite-related data from 1979 to 2021 and found that the rate of Arctic warming is accelerating. While scientists have long known that the Arctic is warming faster than other regions, the new findings are much faster than previous estimates by 2 to 3 times, suggesting that global warming is worse or that the Arctic is vastly underestimated the rate of warming. The research was published in Communications Earth & Environment.
In this latest study, scientists defined the location of the North Pole (latitude 66.5ºN along the Arctic Circle) and calculated satellite data from 1979 to 2021. They found that the Arctic is warming 3.7 to 4.1 times faster than the rest of the planet, and in some parts of the Arctic Ocean, it can even warm up to 7 times faster.
Scientists say the Arctic is already warming faster than other regions as a strong fact, a condition known as “Arctic Amplification.” The data show that within the Arctic Circle, there are also significant regional differences in the rate of warming. For example, the Arctic warms by about 0.75 degrees Celsius every 10 years, but the seas around Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya are about 1.25 degrees Celsius warmer every 10 years.
Why is the Arctic warming faster? Scientists say that the open sea is darker than the one covered by ice, and thus more solar radiation can be absorbed to the surface, one of the root causes. As the area of ice has been shrinking, this helps reflect the sun’s rays, causing the open ocean to absorb more radiation. The absorbed radiation would melt more ice, creating a devastating cycle.
On the other hand, Arctic warming is also related to aerosols, such as industrial pollution, volcanic eruptions, and people using stoves, which emit aerosols. Aerosols can affect climate directly by reflecting or absorbing solar radiation or indirectly by increasing cloud cover, changing cloud reflectivity, and other properties.
Humans cause global warming and climate change, and as Arctic warming accelerates, glaciers will melt faster, affecting global sea level rise. In this case, our climate will not only be worse, but natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will also become more frequent and even increase the probability of tsunamis. Therefore, how to slow down the rate of warming is a global issue that must be paid attention to.