Climate change in the Arctic

Impacts of climate change on the Arctic / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Major environmental issues caused by contemporary climate change in the Arctic region range from the well-known, such as the loss of sea ice or melting of the Greenland ice sheet, to more obscure, but deeply significant issues, such as permafrost thaw,[1] social consequences for locals and the geopolitical ramifications of these changes.[2] The Arctic is likely to be especially affected by climate change because of the high projected rate of regional warming and associated impacts.[3] Temperature projections for the Arctic region were assessed in 2007:[4] These suggested already averaged warming of about 2 °C to 9 °C by the year 2100. The range reflects different projections made by different climate models, run with different forcing scenarios. Radiative forcing is a measure of the effect of natural and human activities on the climate. Different forcing scenarios reflect things such as different projections of future human greenhouse gas emissions.

The maps above compare the Arctic ice minimum extents from 2012 (top) and 1984 (bottom).

These effects are wide-ranging and can be seen in many Arctic systems, from fauna and flora to territorial claims.[2] According to a July 2022 article in Geophysical Research Letters, temperatures in the Arctic region are rising four times as fast as elsewhere on Earth,[5]:1[6] leading to these effects worsening year on year and causing significant concern. The changing Arctic has global repercussions, perhaps via ocean circulation changes[7] or arctic amplification.[8]