Why in news?
- As humans warm the planet, the once reliably frigid and frozen Arctic is becoming wetter and stormier, with shifts in its climate and seasons that are forcing local communities, wildlife and ecosystems to adapt, scientists said in a recent annual assessment of the region.
Warming up of the Arctic circle?
- Temperatures in the Arctic Circle have been rising much more quickly than those in the rest of the planet, transforming the region’s climate into one defined less by sea ice, snow and permafrost and more by open water, rain and green landscapes.
- Over the past four decades, the region has warmed at four times the global average rate, not two or three times as had often been reported.
- Some parts of the Arctic are warming at up to seven times the global rate.
- Rising temperatures have helped plants, shrubs and grasses grow in parts of the Arctic tundra, and 2022 saw levels of green vegetation, particularly in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, northern Quebec and central Siberia.
- Increasing precipitation in the Arctic circle, as warm air absorbs more moisture.
- The Greenland ice sheet has lost ice for the last 25 years, and this year was no different. But what stood out to scientists was an extraordinary burst of melting in the middle of summer.