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Home / Science / Arctic climate change is causing unprecedented heat, fires and ice

Arctic climate change is causing unprecedented heat, fires and ice



For example, this week, as flames raged in Siberia, smoke fell across the sky into parts of Alaska. Svalbard, Norway’s Arctic archipelago, which has seen staggering warming in recent years, has set all-time temperature records, turning already shrinking glaciers into mushrooms covered in so much turquoise-melting water that it was visible from space.

The Svalbard archipelago is one of the probably warmest places on Earth where sea ice and glaciers are shrinking. Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the northernmost populated settlement with more than 1

,000 inhabitants, on 25 July. The temperature rose to 71.1 degrees (21.7 degrees), and the height of this place was the highest. Longyearbyen had a four-day line in excess of 68 degrees (20 degrees Celsius) – a feat seen only once in 1979.

In the same spot at night, low temperatures failed to fall below 62.2 degrees (16.8 degrees) on day 25, setting a record for the warmest low temperatures.

The average high and low temperatures at this time of year in Longyearbyen are 49 (9.4 degrees Celsius) and 41 degrees (5 degrees Celsius).

The ice cap in Svalbard lost the largest loss of surface mass of any Arctic glacier this summer and reached a record level of surface snow and ice melting on July 25, when temperatures rose, said Xavier Fettweis, a researcher at the University of Liège in Belgium.

Emissions from Arctic fire have been recorded

Although extreme attention has been paid to extreme Siberian temperatures, including the all-time-expected 100.4-degree (38-degree) Arctic air temperature record set in June in Verkhoyansk above the Verkhovna Rada, fires are having a rampant effect. outside this region. These fires have continued at a relentless pace since June.

Every day, smoke containing greenhouse gases escaped into the air, and the flame on earth destabilized the perpetual cold, burning protective vegetation over the permanently frozen soil. It also contributes to climate change by releasing carbon and methane.

Most of July. Satellite images of much of the lower 48 states showed a milky glow of smoke of sufficient thickness to obscure the earth. The worst fires were accompanied by strong streams of smoke called pyrocumulonimbus clouds or pyroCbs.

According to the Copernicus Atmospheric Observatory, the European Union’s science agency based in Reading, England, in July. Carbon dioxide emissions from the Arctic Ocean, mainly due to Siberian fires, have reached record levels. Such data is 18 years old, during which time Arctic fire emissions increased.

From July 1. Until July 23. Estimated total for July. Emissions of carbon from fire in the Siberian Arctic amount to 100 metric megatons of carbon dioxide, – e. Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmospheric Observatory, said in the mail. Parrington said that is 59 megatons of carbon dioxide emitted from June. The resulting Arctic Circle fires.

“A large platoon of fires in the Siberian Arctic Circle well has been on the rise for several days (higher than the maximum daily average calculated for the region in 2019) and is likely to continue,” Parrington said last Friday. it turned out to be true.

In a Twitter video on Wednesday, Parrington said: “According to data collected by the Copernicus Atmospheric Observatory, July. Arctic fires have escalated before – not seen. ” Palrington has estimated carbon emissions from the fire, according to Parrington, and is more than double that from last record Arctic fire season last year.

The smoke from these fires, including ash and carbon monoxide, spread through the Chukchi Sea to Alaska.

Siberia has so far experienced record heat in the calendar year. Siberian fires and particularly prolonged heat have already been directly linked to man-made climate change.

In a rapid analysis, the researchers found that the protracted January-June The heat in northern Siberia has been caused at least 600 times by man-made climate change. This led them to conclude that without global warming, such an event would be almost impossible.

In addition, other parts of the Arctic are moving away from the effects of climate change and temporary weather conditions.

Meanwhile, extreme temperatures in the Scandinavian Arctic and Siberia have blown northern Canada as well. July 25 In Eureka, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic at 80 degrees north latitude, a temperature of 71.4 degrees was recorded. According to Mika Rantanen, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, this may be the highest temperature ever reached in the north.

To give an example of how extreme weather events can interact with long-term trends related to climate change, the strong Beagort Sea rose higher this week earlier in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and could thus accelerate the melting of sea ice. The lowest is reminiscent of a powerful storm that hit in 2012. During the summer melting season, it scratched the sea ice cover. This storm helped accelerate ice loss, which resulted in an all-time record for ice.

Despite a similar intensity, the recent storm is unlikely to have the same effect on the trajectory of the melting season, sea ice experts say. Noting that the scale of sea ice is at a record low, the storm hit a region full of the thickest Arctic ice. Most of the ice loss this summer has occurred on the Eurasian Arctic side, including north of Siberia, where the North Sea route is likely to open on the earliest day, a full month earlier than average.

“The most important thing is the time of the storm and the thickness of the ice,” said Julienne Stroeve, a senior researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Col.

There is a chance that a storm may accelerate the melting of ice, but it depends on many factors.

“Storms usually cause ice differences if a storm displaces some of the ice in Beaufort [Sea] link [the] The Bering Strait is likely to melt then, as ocean temperatures are up to 5 degrees Celsius warmer than average, ”Stroeve said.

Walt Meier, a colleague at Stroeve’s, NSIDC, noted that in 2012. The storm occurred later in the melting season and “in a region where the ice cover was already broken and quite scattered (low concentration). So the storm had many opportunities to shoot the waves and really destroy the ice. This year, the ice in that region looks more threatening, at least for now. It’s more compacted and probably thicker. So this year’s storm may not have the same impact as 2012. We’ll see. ”

The point

Scientists studying Arctic warming almost equally highlight how fast change is happening across the vast region. The Natural Climate Change publication, published on Wednesday, confirms this impression by showing that “most parts of the region” have warmed to 1.8 degrees (1 Celsius) in 40 years, a “sudden event of climate change”. looking at the paleoclimatic records of episodes of a sudden past ice age.

The study found that even the most severe climate model scenarios tend to underestimate the pace and scale of recent Arctic climate change. Co-author Martin Stendel, a researcher at the Danish Meteorological Institute, wrote in a Twitter message that “[a]Additional sudden changes can only be avoided when the scenario is small.




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