July 7, 2022

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It's worse than we feared.  The drama center is located in the Barents Sea.  Warming "Out of Range"

It’s worse than we feared. The drama center is located in the Barents Sea. Warming “Out of Range”

Charles XII Island (Nor. Karl XII-oya, named after the Swedish king who ruled in the years 1697-1718) is a narrow piece of land just two kilometers long. Most of it is almost flat, with only two peaks on two edges: 105m Kongsberget in the north and 30m Drabanten in the south.

Aside from the Sjuoyane Islands, Karl XII-oya is the northern part of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard (and Norway at the same time). The history of this small area is not extensive. It is known that in 1861 there was a Finnish-Swedish explorer and discoverer Adolf Erich Nordenskiwald (he deserved much merit for Arctic research, as evidenced by the names of various places, on Spitsbergen, the largest island of Svalbard, m.in. Glacier from his name).

In the pyramid, Lenin looks at Nordenskiwald. Arctic ghost town

After 37 years, the Swedish research vessel Antarctica has arrived there, with an expedition led by Alfred Gabriel Nathurst, including Axel Hamburg, the author of the photo below.

Charles XII's Island ((nor Karl XII-?oh), photo from 1898, taken during a Swedish expedition.Charles XII’s Island ((nor Karl XII-?oh), photo from 1898, taken during a Swedish expedition. Image of Axel Hamburg, Public Domain, Source: Wikimedia Commons

You can say that there is nothing on Charles XII Island, although there are also animals, including polar bears, except for pebbles, snow and ice.

Little polar bear on Charles XII Island (nor Karl XII-?oh) in the Svalbard archipelago.Little polar bear on Charles XII Island (nor Karl XII-?oh) in the Svalbard archipelago. Stock Clash Picture

There is also a human footprint: a measuring device that collects temperature data. Thanks to him, we know that the island is distinguished by something else. It turns out that this is the fastest warming place on Earth.

Part of the Arctic is rushing towards global warming. “I’ve never discovered more big data”

A group of scientists published the results of many years of studies on the air temperature near the Earth in the northern Barents Sea. It is located around the northern region of Svalbard and the Russian archipelago of Franz Josef Land. A scientific article on this topic was published on June 15 in an academic journal Scientific Reports (It’s part of the recognized Nature’s portfolio.)

Is that North Pole The fastest warming on Earth – two or even three times faster than our planet as a whole – has been known for a long time. In the Arctic itself, Svalbard is warming exceptionally fast. And in Svalbard, the area north of the Barents Sea, including the aforementioned Charles XII Island, broke a shocking record. The average annual temperature there is increasing by as much as 2.7°C per decade. Much stronger in autumn and winter – in the first case it is already 4 degrees, and in the second – 5.1 degrees per decade. This surprised even the researchers themselves.

We knew that the Barents Sea region was a hot spot in the Arctic. But our new research into the rate of warming is out of range. As a scientist working in Svalbard for many years, I have never discovered more difficult data

– says Gazeta.pl Ketil Isaksen, chief scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Economics, lead author of the work described here. In general, in the entire study area The North Barents Sea is 2 to 2.5 times faster than the Arctic as a whole and 5 to 7 times faster than the global average warming.

Our new data reveal an unusual rate of Arctic warming over the North Barents Sea. Up to twice the rate of warming observed so far in the region and seven times faster than the global average. Our research results are important for improving weather and climate models. There are still many processes that are not well captured by current models

– Ketel Isaacsen tells us.

In their work, the scientists used data from gauges that collect temperature readings at 13 locations today the border Between the Barents Sea and the Arctic Sea in 1981 – 2020. Na EndThey compared the results with those of other studies based on satellite data.

They also applied surface temperature readings for other types of analysis. As it turns out, the increase in air temperature in this part of the world can be closely related – both in space and in time – to two other phenomena: the disappearance of sea ice and an increase in sea surface temperature.

Warming in this region is an “early warning” of what could happen in the rest of the Arctic. The Northern Barents Sea region is home to the largest loss of winter sea ice in the Arctic

– Notes the author of the research discussed.

In addition, since the beginning of this century, an increase in temperature and salinity has been observed there across the entire water column (that is, vertically). This is connected with the warming of the Atlantic Ocean, the waters of which flow into this body of water from the west. This process is called Atlantification, although it is unclear to what extent its deepening in the Barents Sea is a foregone conclusion.

Sven Glacier, Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago.The strange behavior of arctic glaciers. North Spitsbergen Anomaly

Why is it so important?

Warming from above (the atmosphere) and from below (a warmer sea) is causing the sea ice to decrease. Snow white has a high albedo – it reflects the sun’s rays well. If there is little ice, large areas of dark water absorb energy from the sun and heat up, fueling the ice to melt again, and so on. Positive feedback. This has consequences for the region and other parts of the world.

Locally, this affects ecosystems, wildlife, and the people who live in these areas. Rising temperatures will melt more glaciers on Earth, causing sea levels to rise around the world and changing temperature and precipitation patterns, which in turn could affect extreme weather conditions across the Northern Hemisphere.

– warns Ketel Isaacsen.

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The Arctic and Climate Change.  Ice melting in the Laptev Sea.The Laptev Sea shows how we are approaching step by step the inevitable

Svalbard disaster barcode alerts in dark red

On June 21, as every year, scientists are not alone in talking about climate change using the perception of temperature “lines” – this is called #ShowYourStripes on. These lines show how the Earth is getting warmer with time, beginning to resemble a kind of barcode of impending disaster. Each bar represents a consecutive year, starting with 1850 for global data and 1901 for country-specific data. The blue lines represent the years in which the average temperature is lower, and the red lines are above the 1971-2000 mean (white is around this average).

For the Earth in general, these climate lines look like this:

Climate lines for the entire Earth. A depiction of temperature deviations from the 1971-2000 mean. Blue is below this deviation, and red is above average. Source: https://showyourstripes.info/

The Svabard archipelago is much more “red”:

“Climate Lines” for Svalbard. A depiction of temperature deviations from the 1971-2000 mean. Blue is below this deviation, and red is above average. Source: https://showyourstripes.info/

And this visualization of the Arctic Ocean is quite interesting:

“Climate Lines” for Svalbard. A depiction of temperature deviations from the 1971-2000 mean. Blue is below this deviation, and red is above average. Source: https://showyourstripes.info/

A stable North Pole, with the ocean covered by a large enough ice area, is an excellent thermostat because its ice reflects most of the Sun’s energy back into space and prevents the oceans and air from warming. However, the Arctic is currently warming the fastest in the world, and its climate lines over the past ten years or so are only chestnut. Kra is systematically disappearing from the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, spoiling the natural coolness. The glaciers, ice caps, and ice caps of Greenland are melting on land, adding hundreds of cubic kilometers of fresh water to the oceans each year and raising the level of this water. This is the permafrost of Siberia, Canada and Alaska, which releases another powerful one into the atmosphere Gas Greenhouse – methane. The former North Pole is disappearing and being replaced the new transitional form. Today’s climate is lethal for a large part of the ice, but we can still save a lot, thereby limiting global warming and sea level rise – confirms Dr. Jacob Mweke, glaciologist from the School of Geographical and Geological Sciences from Adam Mickiewicz University, author of the blog GlacjoBLOGYas well as the author From the Climate Science Portal.

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You can read more about the research on warming in the Northern Barents Islands discussed here (in English) on this link. You can see more photos and recordings from our trip to the AMU research station in Spitsbergen over here.