Arctic Heating Up Way-Way Fast: ‘We Expected To See Strong Warming, But Not On The Scale We Found’

June 15, 2022

In an attempt to escape the depressing horror show of America losing its democratic roots and way of life, let’s turn this afternoon to a way-bigger depressing horror show that will eventually eclipse all other problems, troubles and sources of ruin in all of history — climate change.

I know it’s not as immediate as the crazed-ass Republicans actually taking the upcoming midterms — yes, they will steal it, either upfront or from behind the lines in shitting into the gears of the election apparatus itself — but climate change is coming faster than everybody expected just a few short years ago. If the freaking-ass Republicans gain control of the country, you can maybe kiss your ass goodbye, and for sure, end the future for our kids and grandkids.
It can’t be screamed loud enough — we need to start right now and really go gung-ho to fight climate change or it’s bad news, really bad news.

Today another red flag, bell-clank of a warning:

As now an avid follower of climate change news, I was a way-late comer to the horror of our deteriorating environment  — the entire, whole climate change experience didn’t make a dent on my bain until 2007 and the release of the UN’s Fourth IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Until then climate change somehow wasn’t on my radar at all. What an idiot — NASA scientist James Hansen’s report to Congress in 1988 didn’t ring any bells, even with a major subplot of one of my favorite movies in the 1990s, “The American President,” was about climate change — nothing seemed to wake my dumb ass to global warming — then came the fright off an onslaught of scientific research which revealed it’s getting warmer quickly and we need to do something! One coined phrase of all that research is how much faster this shit is coming than first figured — coming way quicker than earlier research supposed.

And now here we are, up shit creek without a paddle. And today, a report on the far north starting to get extra-ordinarily hot — published in the journal Scientific Reports, the study is off actual data from weather stations in the Arctic.
From the Abstract:

In recent decades, surface air temperature (SAT) data from Global reanalyses points to maximum warming over the northern Barents area … Here, we study the warming over the past 20–40 years based on new available SAT observations and a quality controlled comprehensive SAT dataset from the northern archipelagos in the Barents Sea. We identify a statistically significant record-high annual warming of up to 2.7 °C per decade, with a maximum in autumn of up to 4.0 °C per decade … The warming pattern is primarily consistent with reductions in sea ice cover and confirms the general spatial and temporal patterns represented by reanalyses. However, our findings suggest even a stronger rate of warming and SIC-SAT relation than was known in this region until now.

Or, in other words, worse than we suspected. Further via the Guardian this morning:

New data has revealed extraordinary rates of global heating in the Arctic, up to seven times faster than the global average.

The heating is occurring in the North Barents Sea, a region where fast rising temperatures are suspected to trigger increases in extreme weather in North America, Europe and Asia. The researchers said the heating in this region was an “early warning” of what could happen across the rest of the Arctic.

The new figures show annual average temperatures in the area are rising across the year by up to 2.7C a decade, with particularly high rises in the months of autumn of up to 4C a decade. This makes the North Barents Sea and its islands the fastest warming place known on Earth.

Recent years have seen temperatures far above average recorded in the Arctic, with seasoned observers describing the situation as “crazy”, “weird”, and “simply shocking.”
Some climate scientists have warned the unprecedented events could signal faster and more abrupt climate breakdown.

It was already known that the climate crisis was driving heating across the Arctic three times faster than the global average, but the new research shows the situation is even more extreme in places.

Sea ice is good at reflecting sunlight but is melting away. This allows the darker ocean below to absorb more energy. Losing sea ice also means it no longer restricts the ability of warmer sea waters to heat up the Arctic air. The more ice is lost, the more heat accumulates, forming a feedback loop.

“We expected to see strong warming, but not on the scale we found,” said Ketil Isaksen, senior researched at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and who led the work.
“We were all surprised. From what we know from all other observation points on the globe, these are the highest warming rates we have observed so far.”

“The broader message is that the feedback of melting sea ice is even higher than previously shown,” he said.
“This is an early warning for what’s happening in the rest of the Arctic if this melting continues, and what is most likely to happen in the next decades.” The world’s scientists said in April that immediate and deep cuts to carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases are needed to tackle the climate emergency.

“This study shows that even the best possible models have been underestimating the rate of warming in the Barents Sea,” said Dr Ruth Mottram, climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, and not part of the team.
“We seem to be seeing it shifting to a new regime, as it becomes less like the Arctic and more like the North Atlantic. It’s really on the edge right now and it seems unlikely that sea ice will persist in this region for much longer.”

What would happen if the T-Rump is reelected a couple years from now — shitsville!

As I stated earlier, here we are once again…

(Illustration out front by Handoko Tjung, found here).

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