New Research: Arctic Heating Faster Than Previously Figured

August 11, 2022

In the politics involved with climate change — the House should sign off on the Inflation Reduction Act tomorrow, with its $369bn allotted to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions and invest in renewable energy sources, and maybe Joe Biden could sign it into law before the weekend — the governmental movements in this calamity might be too slow to the draw in combating the worse aspects of global warming.
Especially when the said climate is not standing still, in fact, it might be getting hotter faster.

New research over the last decade or so (as I’ve mentioned before) seems to carry the tagline of shit being worse than previously figured, and/or coming at us quicker (same thing) than first indicated and today’s study release is no exception. And despite the politics of good intentions, the IRA also has an environmental booby trap in concessions to the fossil fuel industry: ‘“Solving the climate crisis requires eliminating fossil fuels, and the Inflation Reduction Act simply does not do this,” said Steven Feit, senior attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law (Ciel).

Time seemingly is not on our side:

Nutshell at Nature, published this morning — from the Abstract: ‘In recent decades, the warming in the Arctic has been much faster than in the rest of the world, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Numerous studies report that the Arctic is warming either twice, more than twice, or even three times as fast as the globe on average. Here we show, by using several observational datasets which cover the Arctic region, that during the last 43 years the Arctic has been warming nearly four times faster than the globe, which is a higher ratio than generally reported in literature … The observed and simulated amplification ratios are more consistent with each other if calculated over a longer period; however the comparison is obscured by observational uncertainties before 1979. Our results indicate that the recent four-fold Arctic warming ratio is either an extremely unlikely event, or the climate models systematically tend to underestimate the amplification.

More details via The Washington Post, also this morning:

The study suggests that warming in the Arctic is happening at a much faster rate than many scientists had expected. And while U.S. lawmakers this summer hashed out the details of a massive bill to speed their nation’s shift toward cleaner energy — the culmination of months of deliberations — the new findings were just the latest visceral reminder that the planet’s changing climate isn’t waiting around for human action.

Recent studies on subjects including tree mortality in North America and evidence of weakening ice-shelves in Antarctica, combined with a stream of extreme weather events that include last month’s European heat wave and torrential floods of late in Kentucky and South Korea, are providing steady evidence of global warming’s intensifying impact on the planet.

The Arctic is where some of the shifts are most severe.

Svalbard, a cluster of Arctic islands famed for populations of polar bears, experienced its hottest June on record. A record 40 billion tons of ice from the archipelago had melted into the ocean by the end of July. Melting permafrost and unstable mountain slopes are threatening homes.

And that’s just a sampling from a region that has warmed at an astounding rate — roughly 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1979.

“It’s a really vulnerable environment in the Arctic, and seeing these numbers, it’s worrying,” said Antti Lipponen, a scientist with the Finnish Meteorological Institute who contributed to Thursday’s peer-reviewed study published in Communications Earth & Environment.

“This summer is just a horrorscape,” said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at Brown University and the lead author of the IPCC’s most recent report on the science of climate change.
“And I know it won’t be stopping in the near term.”

These disasters underscore what an exploding body of scientific research continues to show: that adverse climate change continues to outpace the plodding progress of political action. Even a historic investment such as the Inflation Reduction Act, Cobb said, is dwarfed by the scale of the crisis.

“There needs to be an infinite acceleration in frequency of this kind of legislation,” she said.
“I think the planet is sending that message pretty loud and clear.”

Further on this ‘message‘ displayed by the newest research via The New York Times, from also this morning:

Over the past four decades the region has been heating up four times faster than the global average, not the commonly reported two to three times. And some parts of the region, notably the Barents Sea north of Norway and Russia, are warming up to seven times faster, they said.

The result is faster melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which leads to greater sea-level rise. But it also affects atmospheric circulation in North America and elsewhere, with impacts on weather like extreme rainfall and heat waves, although some of the impacts are a subject of debate among scientists.

While scientists have long known that average temperatures in the Arctic are increasing faster than the rest of the planet, the rate has been a source of confusion. Studies and news accounts have estimated it is two to three times faster than the global average.

Mika Rantanen, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, said he and his colleagues decided to look at the issue in the summer of 2020, when intense heat waves in the Siberian Arctic drew a lot of attention.

“We were frustrated by the fact that there’s this saying that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the globe,” Dr. Rantanen said. “But when you look at the data, you can easily see that it is close to four.”

This is a post seemingly not about T-Rump and his cult Republican party, yet one of the hindrances and unsettling horror of combating climate change is just in reality a really-bad blowback aspect of their shit-on-climate-change action and letting the China hoax play out to the bitter end.
A view of history:

Weather the weather if we can, or whether we not, yet here we are once again…

(Illustration out front found here.)

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