Global warming. Reduced pack ice in the Arctic: the “new standard”

An increasingly warm Arctic, where temperatures are rising twice as fast as the rest of the planet and an ice floe melting at an alarming rate? It will be necessary to get used to it: it is the “new norm”, warns a world-wide scientific study published on December 12, 2017.

“There are many strong signals that continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a” new standard “. Arctic Report Card Report 2017

In February 2015, US scientists announced that the Arctic winter pack ice had never been reduced to its maximum expansion period at the end of winter since it began. to collect satellite data for this purpose in 1979. On 25 February, it covered 14.54 million km2, 1.1 million km2 less than the average for the years 1981-2010, and a decrease from the previous record in the decline reached in 2011 at the same time of the year. A record set when, according to data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2014 was the hottest year since meteorological records were made in the 19th century.

2017, the second hottest year in the Arctic

Record beaten this year. In 2017, the winter pack ice around the North Pole fell to its smallest ever, reported the Arctic Report Card, published annually by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The year 2017 was the second warmest year since temperatures were recorded in the Arctic, adds this report compiled by 85 scientists in 12 countries. “The magnitude and rate of sea ice melting and global warming in the 21st century is unprecedented for at least 1,500 years and probably much longer,” the report says.

Disastrous economic and social consequences

The consequences of this continued warming are disastrous, affecting fisheries in the eastern Bering Sea, compromising roads, homes and infrastructure due to permafrost thaw and increasing the risk of fires, the report says. Even though fewer heat records were broken than in 2016, “Arctic temperatures continue to rise twice as fast as global temperatures,” the report says.

Scientists published the update of the Arctic Report Card, now 12 years old, at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

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