Wednesday, June 15, 2022

New data reveals extraordinary global heating in the Arctic


Damian Carrington Environment editor
Wed 15 Jun 2022 05.00 EDT 

New data has revealed extraordinary rates of global heating in the Arctic, up to seven times faster than the global average.

The heating is occurring in the North Barents Sea, a region where fast rising temperatures are suspected to trigger increases in extreme weather in North America, Europe and Asia. The researchers said the heating in this region was an “early warning” of what could happen across the rest of the Arctic.

The new figures show annual average temperatures in the area are rising across the year by up to 2.7C [4.8F] a decade, with particularly high rises in the months of autumn of up to 4C [7F] a decade. This makes the North Barents Sea and its islands the fastest warming place known on Earth.

Recent years have seen temperatures far above average recorded in the Arctic, with seasoned observers describing the situation as “crazy”, “weird”, and “simply shocking”. Some climate scientists have warned the unprecedented events could signal faster and more abrupt climate breakdown.


“Sea ice loss and warming in the Barents Sea in particular have been isolated in previous work as being especially relevant to changes in winter-time atmospheric circulation that are tied to extreme winter weather events,” said Prof Michael Mann, from Pennsylvania State University, US. “If this mechanism is valid, and there’s some debate over that, then this is yet another way climate change could be increasing certain types of extreme weather events [and which] isn’t well captured by current models.”

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