Climate Change in the Arctic & Beyond
The Arctic has warmed at about double the rate as the rest of the world during the last 30 years. This phenomenon is known as Arctic amplification. The majority of scientists think that this rapid warming is a symptom of climate change-induced by humans.
Arctic amplification is not the only evidence of rapid climate change in the Arctic. The Arctic Ocean’s floating sea ice cover is thinning, especially during the summer. In the Arctic, snow cover has diminished, particularly in the spring, and glaciers in Alaska, Greenland, and northern Canada are retreating. Furthermore, permafrost, or frozen ground in the Arctic, is warming and thawing in numerous regions. In the 1980s, scientists began to notice changes in the Arctic climate. The alterations have gotten considerably more evident since then.
How is the climate changing in the Arctic?
The Arctic climate is now warming rapidly and much larger changes are projected. Evidence of the recent warming of the Arctic is provided by: records of increasing temperatures; melting glaciers, sea ice, and permafrost; and rising sea levels. Global temperatures are expected to increase further during the 21st century.
In the Arctic, this warming is expected to be substantially greater than the global average. The average annual temperatures are projected to rise by 3 to 7 °C (5 to 13°F), with the greatest warming occurring in the winter months. Precipitation is projected to increase by roughly 20%. Sea ice is expected to continue to decline significantly, reflecting less solar radiation and thereby increasing regional and global warming. The area of Arctic land covered by snow is expected to decrease by 10 to 20%. These projections assume a gradual warming. However, abrupt and unexpected changes cannot be ruled out.
Flora and Fauna in Arctic
In the waters of the Beaufort, Chukchi, and northern Bering seas, scientists have documented animal die-offs on an extraordinary scale. There has been a report of the displacement and extinction of entire fish and ocean-dwelling invertebrates. Residents such as seals, walruses, and bears, as well as migratory grey whales, birds, sea lions, and a variety of other creatures, rely on the ecology.
Scientists also say that something is going to emerge and become the more dominant species, and something is going to decline because it can’t adapt to that changing food web.
Unexplained mortality events for a range of animals, including grey whales and many species of Arctic seals, have been proclaimed by federal investigators. Many Arctic species, such as arctic cod and snow crab, have nearly vanished from the northern Bering Sea in the last five years.
According to a study, rising temperatures are causing low-lying shrubs, grasses, and other plants in the Arctic to grow taller. Wetter sites showed higher increase in height and specific leaf area than drier areas. Taller Arctic plants trap more snow around them, preventing the soil from freezing as hard as it would otherwise. The tundra is a huge, flat, treeless Arctic region of Europe, Asia, and North America where the subsoil is continuously frozen – or was. The tundra is warming faster than any other biome on the planet, with far-reaching consequences due to global feedback processes between vegetation and temperature.
How will Arctic warming affect the rest of the planet?
Arctic warming and its consequences have worldwide implications. Changes in the Arctic can influence the global climate in many different ways. The amount of the sun’s energy reflected back to space decreases as snow and ice melt, leading to a more intense surface warming. The melting of Arctic ice and increased regional precipitation can add freshwater to the oceans, and potentially affect ocean currents in the North Atlantic.
The melting of Arctic glaciers alone will have contributed to a 5 cm rise in sea level by 2100, out of a projected total rise of 10-90 cm this century. Climate change is projected to disrupt access to Arctic resources, including species such as whales, seals, birds, and fish sold on international markets, as well as oil, gas, and mineral reserves. Changes in the Arctic ecosystem will have a global impact, particularly on migratory species’ summer breeding and feeding areas.
Climate change is posing a serious and growing threat to the Arctic and the rest of the planet. Scientists are currently studying the Arctic in order to learn more about how climate and weather are changing. Researchers are concerned about the changes in the Arctic.
The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already being seen and felt. They provide the rest of the globe with an early idea of the importance of climate change. The consequences will be felt far beyond the Arctic. As a result, decision-makers and the general people around the world must pay close attention to climate change in the Arctic.
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