Geneva, 13 August 2022 (TDI): The Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the global average since 1947, according to a study released by the Communications Earth and Environment journal. The World Meteorological Organization shared these findings on Thursday

In recent decades, the Arctic has warmed up significantly much faster than the rest of the world, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. As per the study, this phenomenon is likely underestimated in the climate models.

The Arctic amplification (AA) phenomenon is caused by the heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Furthermore, the study compared the observed Arctic amplification ratio with the ratio simulated by state-of-the-art climate models. The findings suggested that the observed four-fold warming ratio from 1979–2021 is an incredibly rare occurrence in the climate model simulations.

According to the lead author Mika Rantanen, the research team “defined the Arctic properly” in this study, using a latitude of 66.5oN along the Arctic Circle. Also, they computed trends between 1979, when satellite data first became accessible, and 2021.

Rantanen declared that the Arctic is more vulnerable to global warming than previously believed. “Only time will tell. Let’s see how this will evolve in the future.”

Findings of the research  

The researchers at the Finnish Meteorological Institute discovered in the study that the pace of temperature increase around the North Pole in recent decades was four times higher than the rest of the planet.

The study published in the Communications Earth and Environment Journal analyzed the temperature trends in the Arctic Circle between 1970-2021 – the modern era of satellite data.

They found that the rate of warming is particularly high in the Eurasian region of the Arctic. Therefore, the Barents Sea has warmed seven times more rapidly than the global average.

Moreover, recent data revealed that the Barents region’s annual average temperature increased by up to 2.7 degrees Celsius every decade over the last 20 to 40 years.

Additionally, The Arctic region has experienced a rapid loss of sea ice due to climate change, accelerating global warming. The bright white sea ice reflects solar energy into space, but the dark ocean absorbs heat when it melts.

The incompetence of contemporary climate models

Antti Lipponen, a research scientist at Finnish Meteorological Institute, said that “Maybe the next step would be to take a look at the models, and I would be interested in seeing why the models do not reproduce what we see in observations and what impact that is having on future climate projections.”

Also, all these findings reflect the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC’s report on the climate crisis, which found that as long as people continue to burn fossil fuels and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the Arctic will continue to warm more quickly than the rest of the planet.

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