Comparison of Arctic summer sea ice image: EPA
It's long been known that melting Arctic ice could help speed global warming. As the ice melts, surface reflectivity changes, more heat is absorbed than reflected, more warming. But now a new study in Nature confirms that this is already happening, with melting Arctic ice being the main cause of the higher than average warming the region has experienced.
Using the most recent observational data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, [James] Screen and co-author Ian Simmonds uncovered a nearly perfect season-by-season match during the 20-year period analysed between surface warming trends and reductions in sea ice cover.
The findings show that the main driver of so-called "polar amplification" -- warming in excess of the global average -- is shrinking ice cover, and not increased cloudiness or changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation, as others have argued. (Economic Times)
Since 1989, the Arctic has warmed over 2°C, compared to a global average of 0.5°C.
Read the original: The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification
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