The Arctic we know is disappearing due to climate change


Remains of sea ice near Greenland.

Remains of sea ice near Greenland.
Photo: Joe Rydal (Getty Images)

This year some very strange things have happened in the Arctic, with The ice melt, Absurdly high temperature, And Forest fire In an area that is the definition of cold. New research by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reveals We cannot consider these events as mere blips, but an indication that the Arctic is transitioning to a completely different climate.

Climate fluctuations from year to year Are common to the Arctic (or indeed anywhere). but New study, On Monday, published in Nature Climate Change, finds that warming levels of the Arctic have pushed it out now Range of any previous fluctuations. What comes next is a warm, rainy place where snow free for a long time.

The authors’ research is based on observation of hundreds of Arctic climatic conditions and computers Simulation. From this previous data, they found that the Arctic’s September sea ice average range – the month it reaches its annual minimum – is currently 31% lower than the average seen during the first decade of satellite-based records between 1979 and 1988. is.

The authors wanted to see if this sharp decline indicated that the Arctic had There was a regime change, Or a fundamental change of climate. Therefore, he turned to hundreds of computer-based climate simulations from the world’s five major climate models. With these simulations, they were able to define the boundaries of what they call the “old Arctic” or the limits of natural year-to-year variability. By comparing the model’s outputs to past climate scenarios with actual observations of the Arctic, they were able to confirm that the models were correctly capturing the past and therefore reliably simulate our climate future Were.

Scientists have found that sea ice has melted so significantly in recent decades that even an unusually cold year will no longer bring summer sea ice limits to the Arctic, as recently seen in the mid-20th century .

“The rate of change is remarkable,” NCAR scientist Laura Landrum said in a statement the lead author of the study. “It is a period of rapid change that does not show an overview of past weather patterns, what you can expect next year. The Arctic is already entering a completely different climate from a few decades ago. “

We predicted even if Landrum and his team did not make major changes based on what they have seen in the Arctic in future decades. Climate scenario RCP8.5 or known as “business as usual”. Under the circumstances who believe the world Leaders have not made any major changes in climate policy to reduce emissions, the authors found Arctic’s autumn and winter air temperatures will be warm enough to enter a statistically distinct climate by 2050.

That change will be accompanied by further changes in sea ice extent. BY2100, the model showed that the Arctic could be ice-free for up to 10 months outside of the year.

The authors hope that the Arctic will also see major changes in rainfall., Too. The region is known for its icy winter season, but If emissions remain at their current levels, the Arctic will receive a lot of rain. By the turn of the century, some Arctic regions are projected to see conditions that traditionally could bring rain instead of snow in any month of the year, even during winter.

Climate change already has enormous consequences. For example, indigenous communities and wildlife alike depend on sea ice. As soon as he disappeared, Seals and birds Have become malnourished, and native people Hunting has encountered difficulty. Melamfrosts have also exploded more already under warm Arctic temperatures Dangerously vulnerable to corrosion. Over time, these effects will become more severe. Those We should have relations far beyond the Arctic. Melting ground Ice can raise sea level, which can Coastal community Worldwide.

But this is not our fate. Researchers’ The predictions are based on a scenario in which policy makers do nothing to curb climate change. This is a huge increase in greenhouse gases that we have found in this filth reducing emissions Our only option is to get out of it.

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