Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal' | 2017-12-13 | daily-sun.com

Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal'

Sun Online Desk     13th December, 2017 09:49:10 printer

Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal'


A warming, rapidly changing Arctic is the "new normal" and shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen region of the past.


This is according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Report Card.


Director of the administration's Arctic Researcher Program, Dr Jeremy Mathis, said the region did a great service to the planet - acting as a refrigerator.


"We've now left that refrigerator door open," he added.


Dr Mathis was speaking at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans, where Noaa presented its annual summation of Arctic science.


This is the 12th report the administration has produced. And although it pointed to "a few anomalies" in a recent pattern of warming in the Arctic region, Dr Mathis said: "We can confirm, it will not stay in its reliably frozen state."


"The thing I took that had the most resonance for me was we're able to use some really long-term records to put the Arctic change into context - going back more than 1,500 years.


"What's really alarming for me is that we're seeing the Arctic is changing faster than at any rate in recorded history."


The speed of change, Dr Mathis added, was making it very hard for people to adapt.


"Villages are being washed away, particularly in the North American Arctic - creating some of the first climate refugees," he said.


"And pace of sea level rise is increasing because the Arctic is warming faster than we anticipated even a decade ago."


Scientists say it is clear that human-induced climate change is contributing to making the Arctic a warmer and more dynamic place.


Many scientists viewed President Trump's recent decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement as clear evidence of his scepticism about human-induced climate change.


He said that the White House was "addressing and acknowledging it and factoring it in to their agenda".


Dr Mathis added that information coming from this report was "beyond reproach".

"They're facts. Facts weighted in thousands and thousands of scientific measurements that have been validated and peer reviewed by a community of experts working in the area for decades, reports BBC.


"Policy-makers can use those facts as they see fit."