The Arctic is heating up four times faster than the rest of the world

The Arctic is heating up four times faster than the rest of the world

The Arctic is a region of the world that has been hottest in recent decades, known as Arctic expansion, and the standard version says that warming in this region is two to three times faster than in the rest of the world, but according to a study published on August 11, this ratio is actually closer to four.

After analysing several databases on temperature changes at two metres altitude since 1979, when satellite observations began, a group of North European researchers found a warming rate of 0.75 °C in a decade north of the polar circle. During the same period, the global average warmed up to only 0.2 °C in a decade. However, this increase is uneven across the basin.

For example, the region that has warmed the most extends from the Spitzbergen Archipelago to New Zealand, with an average temperature increase of 1.2 °C per decade, almost seven times the rate of global warming, in which climate models seem to underestimate the intensity of Arctic escalation, which, it should be remembered, is due in part to the accelerated retreat of ice cover and snow in high northern latitudes.

During the same period, models model warming at about 0.3 °C in a decade, less than half of what is actually observed, and researchers note that this discrepancy may be either the result of model error or internal climate variability, which added additional warming unrelated to greenhouse gas effects between 1979 and 2021; for example, it is known that between the 1960s and the 1980s it was extremely cold in the Arctic, which could distort the true climate trend.

"," says Antti Lipponen, co-author of the study."