As sea ice vanishes, Greenland melts, and wildfires scorch the planet’s northernmost forests, new research confirms what scientists are sounding alarms about: the Arctic has warmed much faster than the rest of the world in the past several decades.
The phenomenon, called Arctic amplification, is caused by the heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels. The pace of the temperature increase around the North Pole in recent decades was four times higher than the rest of the planet, researchers at the Finnish Meteorological Institute found in a study published Thursday.
Another problem: Climate models, which scientists used to predict long-term change, are not capturing this high rate of warming, lead author and researcher Mika Rantanen told CNN, which was part of this study’s motivation. That’s concerning because if the models can’t recreate what’s happening right now, scientists can’t be confident in their long-term predictions. “Because of this discrepancy, we decided that this needs to be corrected,” Rantenen said. “This needs to be updated.” Read on, thanks to CNN.