The Arctic is warming almost four times faster and this is worrying for the Svalbard reserve!

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The Arctic is warming almost four times faster and this is worrying for the Svalbard reserve!

Global warming is a worldwide phenomenon. However, some regions of the planet feel it more than others. This is particularly the case for Norway and the Arctic part of North America.

The arctic region

The Svalbard Archipelagolocated in Norwegian territory, is considered one of the first places to feel climate change. The increasing number and intensity avalanches, precipitation, but also summer temperatures illustrate this.

Imagine! At the beginning of summer, 18 billion tons of the Greenland ice sheet have melted in three days only.

Worrying new climate research

Norwegian and Finnish researchers published a study in the journal Communications Earth & Environment. Based on four series of temperature data over several decades, the results are striking.

Previously, the Arctic region would warm twice as fast as the rest of the planet. This new research shows that it is currently almost four times higher and has a value of 0.75°C per decade.

This acceleration in warming is due to loss of snow and ice. Indeed, the snow surface supposed to reflect the solar rays towards space is in deficit.

“That’s why temperature trends are highest in areas where sea ice has shrunk the most.”

Mika Rantanenco-author of the study

An exceptional rise in temperature

In the Barents region between northern Norway and Russia, average annual temperatures have increased faster than anywhere else on the planet.

What is most alarming is the increase in average temperatures in winter. Since 1971, it has risen by a staggering +7.3°C.

We did not expect to see such an intensification in other regions of the world for several decades.

The repercussions are obvious…

In 2015, after heavy rain, the largest avalanche ever in Longyearbyen occurred, with two deaths and 11 houses swept away.

In the fjord next to Longyearbyen, thawing permafrost has displaced hundreds of homes, including the Global Seed Vault, which is an underground building.

Permafrost is defined as a permanently frozen subsoil. That said, it serves as an indicator of global warming for researchers.


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