Climate: the Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the planet

A rapid and alarming increase. The Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the world over the past 40 years. These conclusions, taken from a new study published Thursday, August 11 in the journal Communications Earth & Environment from the Nature group, raise fears of an underestimation of the climate models of the poles, whose warming has a major influence on the rise in sea levels.

> > We explain why some areas of the Arctic are warming faster than the rest of the Earth

In the new study, the researchers, based in Norway and Finland, analyzed four sets of temperature data collected across the entire Arctic Circle by satellites since 1979 (the year the satellite data first became available). They concluded that the Arctic has warmed an average of 0.75°C per decade, nearly four times faster than the rest of the planet.

Warming of up to 1.25°C in some areas

In 2019, the United Nations Climate Change Panel (IPCC) estimated that the Arctic was warming “more than double the world average”, under the effect of a process specific to the region. This phenomenon, called “arctic amplification”occurs when sea ice and snow, which naturally reflect the sun’s heat, melt into seawater which absorbs more solar radiation and heats up.

However, the study found large local variations in the rate of warming within the Arctic Circle. For example, the Eurasian sector of the Arctic Ocean, near the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and the Russian one of Novaya Zemlya, has warmed by 1.25°C per decade, about seven times faster than the rest. of the world.

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