(ORDO NEWS) — The northern part of the Barents Sea has become the fastest warming place on Earth. This is evidenced by new data obtained by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Due to warming in the region, Europe, Asia and the US will experience more extreme weather.
Scientists analyzed the results of surface air temperature measurements collected by automatic weather stations on the islands of Svalbard and Franz Josef Land for 1981-2020. Scientific work published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The researchers found that the average annual temperature in the north of the Barents Sea rises to 2.7 °C per decade. The increase in average temperatures in the autumn months is even higher, up to 4 °C per decade.
“Regional warming rates in the northern part of the Barents Sea region are exceptional and are 2-2.5 times higher than the average warming rates for the Arctic and 5-7 times higher than the global average,” the scientists explained.
Sea ice reflects sunlight well, but it gradually melts. This allows the darker ocean to absorb more energy. In addition, the loss of ice cover means it no longer limits the ability of warm sea waters to warm the Arctic air. The less ice remains, the faster the region warms up.
“We expected to see strong warming, but not on the scale that we found. We were all surprised. From what we know from every other observation point on the globe, this is the highest rate of warming we have observed so far,” said study leader Ketil Isaksen.
In recent years, it has already been recorded that warming in the Arctic is three times faster. As noted by The Guardian, experienced observers assess the climate situation in the region as “crazy”, “strange” and “simply shocking”. However, a new study shows that the situation in the Barents Sea is even more extreme.
“This is an early warning of what will happen in the rest of the Arctic if the [ice] melt continues. And this is likely to happen in the coming decades,” Isaksen said.
Ruth Mottram, a climatologist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, suggests that the Barents Sea is moving into a new climate regime. “It is becoming less and less like the Arctic and more and more like the North Atlantic,” said the professor.
What will warming lead to?
A 2021 report by the UN World Meteorological Organization stated that natural disasters have increased five-fold over the past 50 years. WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas has linked the increase in natural disasters to climate change.
“We have more water vapor in the atmosphere, which exacerbates heavy rainfall and deadly floods. The warming of the world’s oceans has affected the frequency and range of existence of the most severe tropical storms, ”he explained.
On June 14, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the current obligations of states to limit emissions into the atmosphere are not enough to prevent the climate threat. “The window of opportunity to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis is rapidly closing.
Our planet has already warmed by 1.2 degrees. In order not to exceed the established threshold of 1.5 degrees, we must reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieve zero total emissions by the middle of the century,” the UN head said in an address to the participants of the Austrian world summit.
At the same time, Guterres stressed that “the authorities of many countries are playing for time,” while “climate change is already being felt, and about half of humanity is in the danger zone.”
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