The Arctic summer of 2020 is one that has been marked by fierce fires in the far north, with fumes falling more than 1,000 miles, along with new temperature records and melting snow. While rapid Arctic climate change is not really news – the region is nearly three times warmer than the rest of the world – manifestations of this phenomenon are increasing in severity, scope, and social consequences.
This week, for example, with the blasts in Siberia, smoke touched the skies all the way to parts of Alaska. In Svalbard, a Norwegian Arctic archipelago that has seen extremely hot rates in recent years, all-time temperature records were set, already glaciers were turned into fruits, covered by very turquoise meltwater Was – it was visible from space.
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The Svalbard Archipelago is one of the fastest warming places on Earth, with declining sea ice and glaciers. In Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the northernmost settlement, which has more than 1,000 inhabitants, the temperature rose to 71.1 degrees (21.7 C) on July 25, record high For this place. Longyearbyen There was a wire of four days This was higher than the 68 ° (20 ° C) observed only once before in 1979.
At the same place, the nighttime minimum temperature fell to 25.2 degrees below 62.2 degrees (16.8 Celsius). a record For the lowest temperature.
The average high and low temperatures in Longyearbyen this time of year are 49 (9.4 Celsius) and 41 ° (5 ° C).
Svalbard has a snow cap Highest Surface Mass Loss The record for melting snow and ice on any Arctic ice sheet and surface so far this year melted on July 25, when the temperature rose, said Xavier Fatevius, a scientist at the University of Liège, Belgium.
Comparison of images from molten water seen on Svalbard ice sheet, 27 July 2019 to 27 July 2020. (European Union, Anamaria Luongo processed by Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery)
Arctic wildlife emissions set records
While Siberia’s extreme temperature – including a possible all-time Arctic temperature record 100.4 degrees (38 Celsius) was recorded in June at Werkhoysk, which is located above the Arctic Circle – most noted, it is the wildflies there Which are removing the ripple effects. Beyond this area. This fire has been continuing since June.
Each day, smoke, planet-warming greenhouse gases, is poured into the air, while flames on the ground are destabilizing the permafrost by permanently burning protective vegetation above the frozen soil. This, too, adds to climate change, as it releases carbon and methane.
Comparison of images of glaciers in Svalbard, Norway, on 27 July 2019 vs 27 July 2020. (European Union, Anamaria Luongo processed by Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery)
For several days during July, a thick milky milky satellite was visible on the imagery to obscure the ground, which was spread across 48 states. The most fierce fire is the burning of the minarets, as well as pyrocumulonimbus clouds or pikecabs.
Arctic woodfire carbon emissions, mainly driven by Siberian fire, a hit Record level In July, according to Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, a European Union science agency based in Reading, England. Such data has increased by 18 years, with Arctic fire emissions increasing over that period.
Up to 100 metric megatons of carbon dioxide in the estimated total carbon emissions from fires in the Siberian Arctic zodiac between July 1 and July 23, said Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service. Perrington said it is on top of 59 metric megatons of carbon dioxide emitted from arctic circle fires in June.
“The large cluster of well fires within the Siberian Arctic Circle has been burning with high intensity for several days (higher than the daily count for the region in 2019) and is set to continue,” Perrington said last Friday Said, a prophecy has come true.
Via Twitter on wednesday, Perrington said: “Arctic fires have previously been overlooked in data collected by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service in July 2020”. Paragatan said satellite-based wildfire carbon emissions are twice the amount seen during the previous record arctic fire season.
Smoke from these fires, including ash and carbon monoxide, spread to the Chuchi Sea as Alaska.
Siberia has experienced record heat so far for the calendar year. Siberian fires and, in particular, prolonged heat are already directly linked to human-caused climate change.
In a rapid analysis, researchers found that the prolonged summer from January to June in northern Siberia was produced at least 600 times due to the potential for human-climate change. Due to this they concluded that such an event would be almost impossible in the absence of global warming.
In addition, other parts of the Arctic are reeling from climate change-related impacts, along with transient weather characteristics.
Meanwhile, extreme temperatures in the Scandinavian Arctic and Siberia have spread to northern Canada. On July 25, Eureka, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic, recorded a temperature of 71.4 degrees at 80 degrees north latitude. According to Micah Ranten, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, The highest temperature can be The record so far in the north.
In an example of how extreme weather events may interact with long-term climate change-related trends, a strong low-pressure zone formed earlier this week over the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, possibly melting sea ice Was. The following is reminiscent of a powerful storm that churned sea ice cover during the 2012 summer melting season. That storm helped accelerate snow damage, leading to an all-time, record-low snow threshold.
Despite being of similar intensity, recent hurricanes are unlikely to have a similar effect on the trajectory of the melting season, sea ice experts say. Given that the sea ice extent is in a record-low area, the storm hit the thickest ice-filled region in the Arctic. Most of the ice loss in summer this year has come on the Eurasian shores of the Arctic, including north of Siberia, where the North Sea route opened at its earliest date on record, possibly a month earlier than average.
“The key is really the thickness of the storm and the ice of time,”, Julien Strove, a senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Bolo, Colo., Said in an email.
There is a chance that the storm may trigger the melting of ice, but it depends on many factors.
“It causes snow to fall after the storm, if the storm pushes some of the snow in Beaufort [Sea] towards [the] The Bering Strait would then melt, String said, because the sea temperature is 5 Celsius warmer than average.
Walt Meyer, an NSIDC affiliate of Stroves, noted that the 2012 storm was later in the molten season and “in an area where the ice cover had already broken and had considerable dispersion (low concentrations). So waves for the storm were There was a lot of chance to kill and actually destroy the snow. This year, the snow in that area is looking more macabre at least at the moment. It is much narrower and thicker. So the impact of this year’s storm was like 2012. Won’t happen. We’ll see. ”
Almost equally, scientists studying Arctic warming emphasize how fast changes are taking place across the vast region. A study published Wednesday in Nature Climate Change supports the notion that “major parts” of the region have been warming at a rate of 1.8 degrees (1 C) per decade for 40 years, which “abruptly Constitutes “climate change phenomena”. When viewed in the past in light of a paleoclimate record of sudden glacial episodes.
The study found that even the driest climate model scenarios underestimate the recent pace and extent of climate change in the Arctic. Co-author Martin Stendel, a research scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, wrote via a Twitter message that “[a]The dditional abrupt change can be avoided following a low emission scenario. ”