Arctic temperatures rising 4x faster than global warming
Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Aug 2022
The Arctic is heating up more than four times faster than the rate of global warming, according to a new analysis of observed temperatures. The trend has stepped upward steeply twice in the last 50 years, a finding missed by all but four of 39 climate models.
The study led by climate researchers at Los Alamos Nation Laboratory and published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters journal has revealed the Arctic amplification index to be greater than four within the early decades of the 21st century, four times faster than the global mean and considerably more rapid than previous published research had determined using 30- to 40-year time intervals. These earlier studies pegged the index between two and three.
The amplification index in the study is the ratio of an Arctic 21-year temperature trend versus an overall global 21-year temperature trend. Short-term climate variability is typically undetected by climate models with their 30-year-plus-long timescales.
The Arctic influences the world’s climate and weather, and the melting of the Greenland ice sheet causes sea-level rise that threatens many coastal communities.
The study does not pinpoint a cause for these relatively sudden increases, but the authors speculate that contributing causes are probably sea ice and water vapor feedbacks combined with changes in how atmospheric and oceanic heat move into the Arctic. Future increases in the Arctic amplification index are likely to be smaller as the temperature difference between the Arctic and the tropics decreases. M