The Arctic is warming up three times faster than the planet as a whole, and faster than scientists thought, new research has shown.
Arctic sea ice appears to be suffering from higher temperatures more than researchers believed. Each fraction of a degree matters: the likelihood of complete disappearance of the Arctic ice increases 10 times higher if the Earth warms 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels.
The alarming conclusion comes from a report from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), timed to coincide with the Arctic Council’s ministerial meeting this week in Reykjavik, which brings together countries whose borders are close to the region.
“The Arctic is a real hot spot for climate change,” said Jason Box, a glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
In less than half a century, from 1971 to 2019, the average annual temperature in the Arctic has risen by 3.1 ° C, compared with 1 ° C for the entire planet.
The turning point came in 2004, when temperatures in the Arctic soared for an unexplained reason, according to researchers.
By the end of the century, average temperatures in the Arctic are projected to rise by 3.3–10 degrees, compared with the 1985–2014 average.