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Arctic warming faster than the rest of the world

Nuuk, Greenland, in the Arctic, which has become 0.73 °C warmer per decade over the past 40 years

Hada Ajosenpää / Finnish Meteorological Institute

The Arctic may be warming much faster than experts previously thought. Recent studies have estimated that the region is warming twice as quickly as the rest of the planet, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Now, new research by a team from the Finnish Meteorological Institute led by Mika Rantanen indicates that these values may be too conservative. The scientists analyzed Arctic ground and water data from between 1979 and 2021 and noted that the temperature in the region rose by 0.73 degrees Celsius (°C) per decade, at least 3.8 times more than the rest of the planet, which has warmed by 0.19 °C every 10 years on average (Communications Earth & Environment, August 11). In certain regions, the mercury has risen even faster. The Novaya Zemlya archipelago, located to the north of Norway and Russia, warmed seven times more than the global average. The main reason, according to the study, is the reduction in size of the polar ice caps. Ice reflects most solar radiation, preventing it from reaching the water. With less ice, Arctic waters absorb more heat, accelerating evaporation and glacial melting.