The Arctic is melting. At the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, the North is on track to warm 7.2 F (4 C) year-round—and top 12.6 F (7 C) in autumns—by the middle of this century, according to the report. Eric Post has observed seasons at the same location on the West Greenland tundra for 26 years. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. 1.3 What causes climate change? Losing reflectivity is bad enough—the ocean around the ice becomes darker and absorbs energy, warming the water and melting more ice. As Earth trudges steadily toward a dangerously warm future, a new report on the outlook for the polar regions says the Arctic is already there—with consequences on the horizon for everyone. Another recent study projects Arctic wildfire intensity doubling each year as thawing ground dries out. Less old multi-year ice implies that the ice cover is thinning, which makes it more vulnerable to further melting. And how does the rising temperature affect the environment, and our lives? Melting all the sea ice on Earth would have no direct effect on sea level, while melting all the land ice would have a huge impact on sea level. That’s about when the planet as a whole is projected to reach the 3.6 F (2 C) warming often cited as the threshold for disastrous impacts. The Arctic is heating up much more quickly than the rest of the Earth. Ice melt is a feedback loop Shiny ice and snow reflect a high proportion of the sun's energy into space. Like the Arctic, ice on the southernmost continent is also being eaten away by warming. Arctic ice melt is linked to melting permafrost says a new study The absence of sea ice in the Arctic is closely connected to the melting of permafrost, according to a new study. "In a way, the Arctic is speaking to us," say Post. Jul 29, 2020. Melting Arctic sea ice is increasing warming in the region. According to a CNN report, the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the global average causing massive melting of sea ice. Photographer: Martin Zwick/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere, warming the global temperature. Arctic tundra lakes spread out across the soggy Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia, Russia. The loss of Arctic sea ice is a double whammy. Arctic ice melting The Arctic ice pack is thinning, and a seasonal hole in the ozone layer frequently occurs. “Warming of the air or ocean can weaken the ice shelves, and beyond some threshold, they tend to break off,” says Alley. Co-author Julienne Stroeve, a specialist in remote sensing of the polar regions with the University of Manitoba in Canada and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, thinks Arctic warming may already have pushed summer sea ice past its threshold. The melting has caused coastal ice in parts of Canada and Alaska to become quite brittle. Data come from the National Snow and Ice Data Center Sea Ice Index. Wildfires burn near the tundra-taiga transition in Siberia. The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is approaching its annual nadir. ", Warming at the poles will soon be felt globally in rising seas, extreme weather. And Antarctica’s penguins, some of which are already having to shift their ranges as coastal conditions change, may face widespread displacement in future. Most polar bears to disappear by 2100, study predicts. A growing percentage of Arctic sea ice is only one or two years old. Jun 25, 2020. One of scientists’ top concerns as the planet warms is the loss of Arctic sea ice. Cutting fossil fuel emissions can lower or delay Arctic warming by several decades, the authors say. The iconic emperor penguins could all but vanish by the end of the century, another new report projects. Nowhere is climate change more obvious than in the Arctic. These are the facts: Melting ice speeds up climate change. The Arctic has warmed at more than twice the global average, causing sea ice at the top of the world to melt faster than scientists had projected. Since 1979, the length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice has grown by 37 days (see Figure 3). "There's the potential for big changes that we don't properly understand," she said. Ocean currents normally bring in warmer water from the Pacific, and colder water exits out of the Arctic into the Atlantic. All rights reserved. The consequences are global, not only from faster heating, but from potential disruption to large-scale features of weather, such as the Northern winter polar vortex. As long as temperatures remain the same as they have been for the last 100 years the Arctic will remain frozen in the long winter months and partly melt during very short summer months. Research shows the polar vortex is appearing outside of the Arctic more frequently because of changes to the jet stream, caused by a combination of warming air and ocean temperatures in the Arctic and the tropics. “The article makes the point that even with the low emissions scenario—and a 2 degrees C warmer world is down at the low end of the emissions scenario spectrum—the Arctic is a changed place.”. Here, in the waters of the Fram Strait, between Svaalbard and Greenland, is where ice comes to die. Arctic warming also stands to disrupt the marine food web, increase mortality for polar bears and seals, and threaten the livelihoods of the region’s indigenous people. The ice-extent data are produced by the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Major glaciers—most notably the Florida-sized Thwaites—are rapidly retreating, while the floating ice shelves that hold them in place are thinning above and below. That ice loss fuels Arctic amplification—the force that’s speeding up northern warming. The Arctic has experienced the warming effects of global climate change faster than any other region on the planet. Summer sea ice this year shrank to its second lowest extent since satellite measurements began in 1979, while record July heat melted billions of tons of ice off the Greenland ice sheet. Unlike visible light, microwave radiation given off at the surface can pass through clouds, allowing the satellites to distinguish ice from water. Sea-level rise is another looming concern. My Times column on how the Arctic sea ice has melted in late summer before, between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago:. Published: 20 Jul 2020 In the meantime, nations around the Arctic rim are busy adapting to the melt. The Arctic is not the Antarctic and the Antarctic is not the Arctic.”, Antarctica is surrounded by the vast Southern Ocean, which is soaking up much of the atmosphere’s excess heat. by Marlowe Hood ... Siberia heat wave: why the Arctic is warming so much faster than the rest of the world. Antarctic sea ice has waxed and waned. The climate is certainly changing. These darker surfances retain a larger part of the solar energy instead of reflecting it back. Now, he says, the herd is down to around 90. “You find yourself thinking they’ll be back next spring; numbers will go up again,” Post says, “but year after year goes by and the big groups just aren’t there the way they used to be.”. Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. Warmer temperatures in the Arctic accelerate the melting, which result in darker surfaces on the sea and land. Summer sea ice, which has been shrinking more than 10 percent a decade over the past 40 years, is projected to essentially disappear within 20 to 25 years at the current emissions rate. Due to the clear link to their diminishing habitat, polar bears have become the poster children for the direct impact of this lost Arctic sea ice. "That's the thing that that really worries us with West Antarctica,” says Alley. That ice easily breaks away in large chunks (a process known as calving) and melts in the open ocean. After all, many people linked the accident with the melting of permafrost,” Kobylkin said. Moreover, the warming Southern Ocean could provide a route for invasive species and diseases to reach the isolated continent. Although a topic of current debate among scientists, some studies suggest Arctic warming makes the jet stream weaker and wavier, letting cold polar air reach further south and warm air stretch north. A recent report says the Arctic may be ice-free by 2040. The ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising because of the warming of our planet due to greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. Mann says the phenomenon has been linked with relentless hot spells like the ones that baked Europe this summer, and brutal cold snaps like the recent “Arctic blast” that froze the eastern and midwestern United States. And the Arctic helps to regulate the world’s temperature, so as more Arctic ice melts the warmer our world becomes. The impacts of a warming Arctic will be felt well beyond the high latitudes in the near future, the report warns. While temperatures are surging in the Arctic—by century’s end, they could soar as much as 23.4 F (13 C) during parts of the year, according to the report—Antarctic warming has been similar to the global average, although some parts are warming much faster. While both the Arctic and Antarctic are experiencing rising temperatures, thinning glaciers, disturbed ecosystems, and other alarming shifts as heat-trapping fossil fuel emissions build up, changes are sweeping the northern region far faster. “But it’s not as simple as they all do the same thing. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/12/arctic.html, Find out why Earth’s climate systems are heading for dangerous tipping points, the High North is seeing unprecedented changes, essentially disappear within 20 to 25 years, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report released in September, Arctic permafrost thaw is also escalating, knocking the Arctic’s seasonal clock off-kilter. There are no other significant, current forcing factors but human activities (burning of fossil fuels and cutting forests), so the melting in the Arctic is due to anthropogenic global warming. Image: US Geological Survey/Flickr. Why Does the Melting of Arctic Sea Ice Matter? Arctic land ice—particularly the vast ice sheet atop Greenland—is thawing faster than current climate models suggest, and could raise sea levels substantially more than the 3 feet projected by the end of the century in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report released in September. The Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the … “A reasonably small difference in how things evolve could end up making a really big difference in what happens with sea levels.". The melting of Greenland's ice sheet is linked to polar amplification. The shifts are accelerating, the report says, and in future could exceed ecosystems’ ability to adapt. “That temperature contrast is responsible for the existence of the jet stream, and when it decreases, the jet stream tends to slow down and weather systems linger longer in the same location,” he says. If ice shelves in West Antarctica failed, and the Thwaites and other glaciers collapsed, sea levels could rise an additional foot or more by 2100—and a whopping 10 feet or more in the following century if irreversible glacier loss tipping points are crossed. Arctic sea ice melts because temperatures have been rising due to global warming. The Arctic is effectively melting due to global warming, which is caused by massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Temperatures climbed nearly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 Celsius) in the past decade alone. Flowers open before the insects that pollinate them can get there, and migrating birds miss the spring flush. That ice loss fuels Arctic amplification—the force that’s speeding up northern warming. "The question is whether we are listening. But what is causing this change? (Find out why Earth’s climate systems are heading for dangerous tipping points.). Arctic sea ice plays a crucial role in the Earth’s energy balance. 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why is the arctic melting

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