Unexpected reasons why certain regions of the Earth are heating more slowly

(ORDO NEWS) — The Washington Post was able to find out that some parts of the planet, located symmetrically with respect to those where global warming is observed, are warming up more slowly. The authors of the article have several unexpected reasons for this.

As a rule, it is customary to pay attention to those regions of the Earth where warming is proceeding at a rapid pace, that is, where climate change caused by human activity is occurring at an alarming rate.

The Arctic, where sea ice is rapidly disappearing, is warming more than four times faster than elsewhere on the planet.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently said that Europe, where heatwaves in summer have killed many thousands in recent years, is the fastest warming continent.

On the reverse side, symmetrically to regions experiencing global warming, are regions of our planet that are warming more slowly than others, often much slower than the global average of about 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-20th century.

But it by no means follows from this that in these relatively colder regions of the Earth, humanity supposedly learned how to deal with warming. On the contrary, these regions are yet another example of how humanity has damaged our planet.

Yes, they are among those regions of the Earth where the impact of global warming is most weak – but this weakness has arisen mainly due to anthropogenic factors such as air pollution, the ozone hole and melting ice.

While the western part of Antarctica is one of the fastest warming places on Earth, the eastern part of our planet’s coldest continent is warming much more slowly.

According to scientists, one of the reasons is the ozone hole – the thinning of the atmospheric layer that protects the earth’s surface from harmful ultraviolet rays.

And even though measures to limit the use of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer did help shrink the ozone hole, scientists still believe that it will continue to exist for several decades.

According to Berkeley Earth Lead Scientist Robert Rohde, scientists believe that the ozone hole causes a change in the circulation of high-altitude winds that control the weather, and as a result of this, cold air masses from the polar region are increasingly difficult to move to other areas.

In some parts of East Antarctica, it even got a little colder compared to the temperatures that were observed there from 1951 to 1980.

The mountainous landscape of Antarctica is another factor that explains why the south pole of the Earth is warming much more slowly than the north, according to Berkeley Earth employee Zeke Hausfather, who leads climate research at financial company Stripe.

An average altitude of more than 7,000 feet above sea level in Antarctica makes the snow and ice sheets more stable, which means they have a high albedo (the ability to reflect most of the sun’s rays and prevent Antarctica from absorbing the same amount of solar radiation).

Some of the fastest warming on the planet is occurring in its coldest regions, including the Arctic. True, a side effect appears here: in the process of melting ice, some adjacent water areas heat up more slowly, and may even cool altogether.

The phenomenon described above is noticeable in a small area of ​​the North Atlantic, namely, south of Greenland, where the water has cooled slightly and salinity has become so low that, as scientists fear, this process may lead to the weakening of one of the important sea currents.

Recent studies have shown that the reduction in the area of ​​the Greenland ice sheet is so great that this process cannot be stopped. One scientific paper even states that if Antarctica were as flat as the Arctic, it would warm up much faster.

The flows of cold water flowing out due to the degradation of ice sheets were also due to the cooling of some parts of the Southern Ocean, washing Antarctica.

The relatively cool spot near Greenland is an isolated area; Antarctica and most of the Southern Hemisphere tend to warm more slowly than areas in the Northern Hemisphere, according to Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA‘s R. Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

“Oceans generally warm more slowly than land, and there are more oceans in the Southern Hemisphere than in the Northern Hemisphere,” Schmidt wrote in an email.

If we talk about the most densely populated regions of the Earth, then in this respect the warming process, for example, in India, is the slowest, which is caused by air pollution, i.e. another side effect resulting from the release of greenhouse gases.

According to Zeke Hausvater, aerosols (ie, fine particles suspended in the air) usually have a cooling effect because they block and scatter sunlight, and can also cause clouds to form.

And pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, which are released during the combustion of fuels containing sulfur (for example, coal, oil, diesel fuel), can especially actively cool certain regions of the Earth. Sulfur dioxide unlike, say, carbon dioxide does not travel long distances from where it was released, Hausvater said.

While European countries and the United States introduced regulations decades ago that have brought significant reductions in air pollution, India continues to experience one of the world’s worst urban smogs, even being categorized as severe last month. pollution.

This does not mean that India can avoid heat waves, to which tropical humidity is added as a factor contributing to dangerous weather conditions.

But in some parts of India, temperatures have risen by less than half a degree Celsius over average temperatures recorded between 1951 and 1980; and an increase of half a degree is less than half of the global average.


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