Climate warning

Patrik Lobergh

10 w

Arctic Council

Climate warning

Scientists warn: The Arctic is warming faster than the models show

The climate models used by, for example, the UN climate panel IPCC have wrong calculations for the development in the Arctic, according to a new study. - The Arctic Ocean will warm up faster than expected, says Céline Heuzé, climate scientist. The Arctic is one of the regions most affected by climate change. According to the UN climate panel IPCC, the warming there is 2-3 times faster than the global average. One sign of warming is that the extent of sea ice is decreasing. Since the satellite measurements began just over 40 years ago, the spread has decreased by 9 percent in winter and 48 percent in summer. The thickness of the sea ice has decreased by two-thirds, 66 percent. In two new studies published in the Journal of Climate, scientists now warn that the climate models for how the Arctic will be affected by climate change in the future are not correct. - For example, the water coming in from the Atlantic is both warmer and closer to the surface than the models say. This means that the ice is melting from below faster than expected, says Céline Heuzé, associate professor of climatology at the University of Gothenburg and lead author of one study. - Our results show that the Arctic will warm up faster and the sea ice will disappear faster than expected. The researchers have made their own observations but also taken all the measurements available in historical databases and compared them with various climate models. In the second study, researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute have examined what the climate models say about what the Arctic will look like in the future and have seen that the calculations point in all possible directions. There is no consensus. The climate models that have been studied are ones that, among other things, the UN climate panel IPCC bases its reports on. One reason why the models show errors is that there is simply not enough knowledge about the oceans in the Arctic to make accurate modelling. Large parts of the area are inaccessible and there are relatively few measurements. In addition, most are made during the same time of year. - Most of the measurements we have were made in August. Imagine if they were to forecast the whole of Sweden's weather with just August measurements, says Céline Heuzé. - From the first measurements made from the ship Fram over a hundred years ago until now, we have a total of 700 measurements of the seabed. For the North Atlantic, we have 40,000 measurements. She says that there are several major problems with research on the Arctic. There are no observations made during any other time than the summer season. More data about the winter is necessary to understand the development, but also more data about the ocean depths. The ocean plays a decisive role in the climate. It has absorbed more than 90 percent of the extra heat caused by human activity and a quarter of the carbon dioxide. - Personally, I think we need research into specific processes. Today we have research that looks at either what happens in the atmosphere, or the sea ice or the ocean. Research is needed that provides a multidisciplinary picture of what happens from the atmosphere to the bottom of the sea and how it works in terms of climate. - It is the deep sea that can retain carbon, especially in the Arctic but also globally. We do not understand the processes that link the atmosphere to the ocean, says Céline Heuzé. A problem with the climate models, say the researchers, is that they produce global calculations that may be correct for large parts of the world, but are not correct in the Arctic, where the conditions are very different. - Research in the Arctic should be prioritized. We need climate models specific to the Arctic. Having a general global model does not work for the special conditions at northern latitudes, says Céline Heuzé.

Do you agree?

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  • Rashid Kamau

    10 w

    This impacts both local ecosystems and the global climate system.

    • Tabitha Kimani

      10 w

      There are high level of researches going and implementing the proposals is justice to the earth.


        10 w

        Science is meant to minimise errors

        • rosebellendiritu

          10 w

          @joseph_kiarii_ndungu Unfortunately no matter how the info is given through science,people of selfish interest deter/alter with it and give misleading information

          • Patrik Lobergh

            10 w

            @joseph_kiarii_ndungu here the climate scientist points to the fact that they have had to little data points in the past and that this needs to be enhanced to get a better forecast model

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