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Air temperatures behind Arctic climate change

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New York, April 9 (IANS) Increasing air temperatures and precipitation are the drivers of major climate changes seen in the Arctic region, says a new study.

“The Arctic system is trending away from its 20th century state and into an unprecedented state, with implications not only within but beyond the Arctic,” said lead author Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

The team correlated observations of nine key indicators including air temperature, permafrost, hydro-climatology, snow cover, sea ice, land ice, wildfires, tundra and terrestrial ecosystems, and carbon cycling pointing to the rising temperatures, warming climate and a fundamental change in the Arctic.

Climate indicators are key pieces of information that capture the essence of a system, according to co-author John Walsh, chief scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“Because the Arctic atmosphere is warming faster than the rest of the world, weather patterns across Europe, North America and Asia are becoming more persistent, leading to extreme weather conditions,” Box added, in the paper published by the journal Environmental Research Letters.

The disruption of the ocean circulation can further destabilise climate and cooling across northwestern Europe and strengthening of storms is one such example.

The researchers hoped that these indicator-based observations provide a foundation for a more integrated understanding of the Arctic and its role in the dynamics of the Earth’s bio-geophysical systems.



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