The Arctic region is warming at least double as fast as the rest of the world, releasing additional greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into Earth´s atmosphere, changing weather patterns all over the world, and causing sea levels to rise. What is the reason behind Arctic warming being faster during winter months? How can this be explained?
According to Nature.com – The changing seasonal climate in the Arctic, Arctic winter warming, abbreviated as AWW, can be multiplied with four in comparison to the Arctic summer warming, whereby most of the warming occurs on the surfaces in the Arctic which is an especially powerful feature during the Arctic winter months.
Bintanja, R. & van der Linden, E.C. (Scientific Reports 3. Article number 1556; 2013) results indicate three main reasons for the Arctic winter warming being stronger than the warming during the Arctic summer months; 1) variations in seasonal greenhouse forcings; 2) Arctic “local amplifying feedback” displays seasonal variations i.e. is magnified; 3) “physical limits may constrain temperature changes” suggesting that Arctic summers would warm faster if temperatures were not near melting.
NSIDC discusses the importance of scientists work to study feedbacks taking place in the Arctic in order to understand the Arctic amplification and the climatic changes while NOAA suspects that there is no return back to the old Arctic. Although research from the past decades shows that the current overall warming in the Arctic region is due to human activity, it is yet largely unknown exactly how significant the constant changes and the warming of the climate in the Arctic region will be in near and in distant future. Collecting data, measuring and tracking changes and even small variations on a constant basis is thus necessary for scientists to understand how and why changes occur, and what kind of effect these changes will have upon the climate a) in the Arctic region and b) in other parts of the world.
Learn more by watching EarthNow´s video “Effects of Arctic Amplification”:
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