Changes in Water Balance in The Arctic To Have Implications For Global Climate

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The Arctic region (North Pole), which is the second largest desert in the world after Antarctica (the South Pole), is home to some of our world´s largest fresh water resources. ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) Chapter 6, Cryosphere and Hydrology (pp. 183-242), discusses changes, development and findings in sea ice, snow cover, glaciers and ice sheets, permafrost, river and lake ice, freshwater discharge, sea-level rise and coastal stability in the Arctic region, identifying critical research needs.

According to ACIA, observational data reveals that sea-ice coverage has decreased by up to 10 % in the past decades, with the largest impact during Arctic summer months. The decline also applies to multi-year ice, the sea ice thickness, and snow covers, while river discharges have expanded, permafrost temperatures have risen, and glaciers are losing significant proportions of mass, especially in Alaska where glacier retreat has been remarkably high since the 1990´s. Model projections carried out by ACIA experts indicate that these developments will continue throughout the 21st century, whereby sea levels are projected to rise due to a combination of many factors leading to climate change and warming in the Arctic region. Furthermore, ACIA reveals that the desolation of arctic glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet will impact sea level rise with several centimeters during this century.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001), has reported that global mean sea levels have risen by 120 meters in the past 20.000 years. Despite of stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions, sea levels will continue to rise for centuries to come. (IPCC, 2013). Moreover, (IPCC, 2013), in the past century glacier melting and ocean thermal expansion have been the main contributors to mean sea levels rising on a global scale. IPCC projects sea level rise to have significant regional patterns now and in distant future. Local sea levels may differ significantly from the global average depending for instance upon changing ocean currents leading to amplification of warming ocean water and altering surface winds.

Learn more by watching EDU-ARCTIC´s video “Mass balance of glaciers”:

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my latest posts.


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Anne-Maria Yritys

Anne-Maria Yritys is an authentic, passionate, inspired and multilingual business development manager, creative director, consultant and strategic change leader at Y.E.S. Yritys Executive Services. She is an active (online) networker and social media strategist with one of the Nordic´s largest personal LinkedIn networks. With a vast global following on Twitter, she is also Finland´s most followed business person on Twitter, and one of the country´s most active Tweeters @annemariayritys With her vast international experiences and love for sustainable development, she is a Global Citizen who values ethical leadership and responsible decision-making. She believes in advanced communication, empowerment, continuous development and higher learning leading to sustainable economic development and a sustainable future in individuals, organizations and nations across our Globe. Her mission and vision include accelerating positive change through effective change communication and leadership. She helps businesses and organizations through client/customer-oriented demands with tailored strategy consultations. She can also be booked for public speaking events. To find out more about Anne-Maria and to see how she may be of service to your business needs, please get in touch. Twitter: @annemariayritys @GCCThinkActTank @LeadingWPassion @AroundOMedia

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