arctic region climate

Almost all of the energy available to the Earth's surface and atmosphere comes from the sun in the form of solar radiation (light from the sun, including invisible ultraviolet and infrared light). During these two years thousands of scientists from over 60 nations will co-operate to carry out over 200 projects to learn about physical, biological, and social aspects of the Arctic and Antarctic (IPY). Latitudeis the most important factor determining the yearly average amount of solar radiation reaching the top of the atmosphere; the incident solar radiation decreases smoothly from the Equator t… newsletter: "It was not just that the Arctic is changing — that's been said umpteen times. It reduces the transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere; it causes less solar energy to be absorbed at the surface, and provides a surface on which snow can accumulate, which further decreases the absorption of solar energy; since salt is rejected from the ice as it forms, the ice increases the salinity of the ocean's surface water where it forms and decreases the salinity where it melts, both of which can affect the ocean's circulation. An essentially ice-free Arctic may be a reality in the month of September, anywhere from 2050 to 2100.[4]. All of this extra heat has taken a toll on another critical part of the Arctic ecosystem -- its sea ice. In addition to serving as a vital habitat for polar bears and walruses, the Arctic's sea ice is a key part of the planet's air-conditioning system, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and keeping temperatures around the North Pole cool. And the report finds that looking at the full satellite record, the overall trend is moving toward a greener Arctic, as warmer temperatures thaw the frozen tundra, allowing shrubs and other plant species to take root in places they couldn't in the past. [15] Samples from ice cores, tree rings and lake sediments from 23 sites were used by the team, led by Darrell Kaufman of Northern Arizona University, to provide snapshots of the changing climate. [2] Another significant moment in Arctic observing before World War II occurred in 1937 when the USSR established the first of over 30 North-Pole drifting stations. Therefore, temperature tends to decrease with increasing latitude. The Arctic region is warmer than it used to be and it continues to get warmer. Some regions within the Arctic have warmed even more rapidly, with Alaska and western Canada's temperature rising by 3 to 4 °C (5.40 to 7.20 °F). The lowest officially recorded temperature in the Northern Hemisphere is −67.7 °C (−89.9 °F) which occurred in Oymyakon on 6 February 1933, as well as in Verkhoyansk on 5 and 7 February 1892, respectively. Because of this, the region never receives direct sunlight, but instead gets rays indirectly and thus gets less solar radiation. Serreze, Mark C. and Roger Graham Barry, 2005: ocean surrounding the North Pole was ice-free, summer sea ice transitions through spring thaw, summer melt ponds, and autumn freeze-up, "Representation of Mean Arctic Precipitation from NCEP–NCAR and ERA Reanalyses", 10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013<0182:ROMAPF>2.0.CO;2, Aerosols May Drive a Significant Portion of Arctic Warming, "Studies of the Arctic Suggest a Dire Situation", Video on Climate Research in the Bering Sea, The Future of Arctic Climate and Global Impacts, How Climate Change Is Growing Forests in the Arctic, Arctic Ice Caps May Be More Prone to Melt; A new core pulled from Siberia reveals a 2.8-million-year history of warming and cooling, Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Effects of global warming on marine mammals, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Climate_of_the_Arctic&oldid=995732263, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2018, Wikipedia articles that may have off-topic sections from July 2018, All articles that may have off-topic sections, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The Arctic Basin includes the Arctic Ocean within the average minimum extent of sea ice, The entire island of Greenland, although its, The Arctic waters that are not sea ice in late summer, including. Due to the scarcity of long-term weather records in Greenland, especially in the interior, this precipitation climatology was developed by analyzing the annual layers in the snow to determine annual snow accumulation (in liquid equivalent) and was modified on the coast with a model to account for the effects of the terrain on precipitation amounts. Likewise the United States and Canadian governments cut back on spending for Arctic observing as the perceived need for the DEWLINE declined. The results highlighted that for around 1,900 years temperatures steadily dropped, caused by precession of earth's orbit that caused the planet to be slightly farther away from the sun during summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Ice floes are shown in the Fram Strait between Greenland & Svalbard, the main gateway through which sea ice leaves the Arctic Ocean. [13] Decreases in sea-ice extent and thickness are expected to continue over the next century, with some models predicting the Arctic Ocean will be free of sea ice in late summer by the mid to late part of the century. Unless otherwise noted, all precipitation amounts given in this article are liquid-equivalent amounts, meaning that frozen precipitation is melted before it is measured. They are also used to try to predict future climate and the effect that changes to the atmosphere caused by humans may have on the Arctic and beyond. The presence of the islands, most of which lose their snow cover in summer, allows the summer temperatures to rise well above freezing. And with near-record high surface temperatures and near-record low sea ice observed yet again, the, "We thought the changes would take a lot longer, and the models were saying they would," said James Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, who has been a part of all 15 Arctic Report Cards and co-authored the portion on surface air temperatures in this edition. Another interesting use of models has been to use them, along with historical data, to produce a best estimate of the weather conditions over the entire globe during the last 50 years, filling in regions where no observations were made (ECMWF). In 1966 the first deep ice core in Greenland was drilled at Camp Century, providing a glimpse of climate through the last ice age. The small daily temperature range (the length of the vertical bars) results from the fact that the sun's elevation above the horizon does not change much or at all in this region during one day. The Arctic region takes up more than 20% of Canada's land area. The June, July and August (JJA) 2019 average surface air temperatures in the Arctic north of 65°N was above normal in most regions, with the exception of north central Canada and the northwestern part of Russia (Figure 2). During the 46-year period when weather records were kept on Shemya Island, in the southern Bering Sea, the average temperature of the coldest month (February) was −0.6 °C (30.9 °F) and that of the warmest month (August) was 9.7 °C (49.5 °F); temperatures never dropped below −17 °C (1 °F) or rose above 18 °C (64 °F); Western Regional Climate Center). In the station-climatology figure above, the plots for Point Barrow, Tiksi, Murmansk, and Isfjord are typical of land areas adjacent to seas that are ice-covered seasonally. These maps were made with data from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, which incorporates available data into a computer model to create a consistent global data set. Precipitation over the north coast is similar to that over the central Arctic Basin. The mean temperature of the coldest month is rarely below 20 °F (−7 °C), and extremely low temperatures are unknown. [5] Precipitation is frequent in winter, with measurable totals falling on an average of 20 days each January in the Norwegian Sea (USSR 1985). Most Arctic seas are covered by ice for part of the year (see the map in the sea-ice section below); 'ice-free' here refers to those which are not covered year-round. The Arctic Basin is typically covered by sea ice year round, which strongly influences its summer temperatures. The Arctic is changing. More precipitation falls in winter, when the storm track is most active, than in summer. Sea ice in the Arctic has been declining dramatically as the region warms. The observations that are available show that precipitation amounts vary by about a factor of 10 across the Arctic, with some parts of the Arctic Basin and Canadian Archipelago receiving less than 150 mm (5.9 in) of precipitation annually, and parts of southeast Greenland receiving over 1,200 mm (47 in) annually. At its maximum extent, in March, sea ice covers about 15 million km² (5.8 million sq mi) of the Northern Hemisphere, nearly as much area as the largest country, Russia.[8]. The Arctic consists of ocean that is largely surrounded by land. During these ice ages, large areas of northern North America and Eurasia were covered by ice sheets similar to the one found today on Greenland; Arctic climate conditions would have extended much further south, and conditions in the present-day Arctic region were likely colder. Climatically, Greenland is divided into two very separate regions: the coastal region, much of which is ice free, and the inland ice sheet. [15][16] These orbital changes led to a cold period known as the little ice age during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. On Monday, a study of Arctic conditions was published saying the Arctic region has started to transition into a new climate regime altogether. Monthly precipitation totals over most of the Arctic Basin average about 15 mm (0.59 in) from November through May, and rise to 20 to 30 mm (0.79 to 1.18 in) in July, August, and September (Serreze and Hurst 2000). The common notion is that climate change and global warming are responsible for melting ice in the Arctic region. Despite its location centered on the North Pole, and the long period of darkness this brings, this is not the coldest part of the Arctic. This is due to the region's continental climate, far from the moderating influence of the ocean, and to the valleys in the region that can trap cold, dense air and create strong temperature inversions, where the temperature increases, rather than decreases, with height. This map was made in the 1970s, and the extent of sea ice has decreased since then (see below), but this still gives a reasonable overview. This plot shows data from the Soviet North Pole drifting stations, numbers 7 and 8. Annual precipitation amounts given below for Greenland are from Figure 6.5 in Serreze and Barry (2005). In the interior, temperatures are kept from rising much above freezing because of the snow-covered surface but can drop to −30 °C (−22 °F) even in July. The winter ice cover allows temperatures to drop much lower in these regions than in the regions that are ice-free all year. Wind speeds over the Arctic Basin and the western Canadian Archipelago average between 4 and 6 metres per second (14 and 22 kilometres per hour, 9 and 13 miles per hour) in all seasons. The Arctic climate is changing rapidly. The term is derived from the Greek arktos (“bear”), referring to the northern constellation of the Bear. Routine satellite observations of the Arctic began in the early 1970s, expanding and improving ever since. Short, cool summers and long, cold winters help to maintain permafrost on the land. This definition of the Arctic can be further divided into four different regions: Moving inland from the coast over mainland North America and Eurasia, the moderating influence of the Arctic Ocean quickly diminishes, and the climate transitions from Arctic to subarctic, generally in less than 500 kilometres (310 miles), and often over a much shorter distance. These forays into the Arctic did not venture far from the North American and Eurasian coasts, and were unsuccessful at finding a navigable route through either passage. Winter in the maritime Arctic (the Aleutians, coastal southwestern Greenland, Iceland, and the European Arctic) is a period of storminess, high winds, heavy precipitation in the form of either snow or rain (the latter at sea level), and moderate temperatures. Over most of the seas that are ice-covered seasonally, winter temperatures average between about −30 and −15 °C (−22 and 5 °F). In the more recent past, the planet has experienced a series of ice ages and interglacial periods over about the last 2 million years, with the last ice age reaching its maximum extent about 18,000 years ago and ending by about 10,000 years ago. It is now no longer a question of "if" we will see an ice-free Arctic in the new few decades -- it is "when," said Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and a co-author of the sea ice section of this year's Arctic Report Card. The interior ice sheet remains snow-covered throughout the summer, though significant portions do experience some snow melt. In 1884 the wreckage of the Briya, a ship abandoned three years earlier off Russia's eastern Arctic coast, was found on the coast of Greenland. Tundra vegetation or "greenness" has been tracked by satellites since the early '80s, and scientists monitor it as a key signal of changes in the region's climate. Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century expeditions were largely driven by traders in search of these shortcuts between the Atlantic and the Pacific. [2] It also experiences the longest period without sunlight of any part of the Arctic, and the longest period of continuous sunlight, though the frequent cloudiness in summer reduces the importance of this solar radiation. Winds and ocean currents cause the sea ice to move. [2] As a result, expeditions from the second half of the nineteenth century began to provide a picture of the Arctic climate. Civilian scientific research on the ground has certainly continued in the Arctic, and it is getting a boost from 2007 to 2009 as nations around the world increase spending on polar research as part of the third International Polar Year. [15][16] However, during the last 100 years temperatures have been rising, despite the fact that the continued changes in earth's orbit would have driven further cooling. Variations in cloud cover can cause significant variations in the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface at locations with the same latitude. Variations in the amount of solar radiation reaching different parts of the Earth are a principal driver of global and regional climate. ArcRCC-Network is based on the WMO RCCconcept with active contributions from all the Arctic Council member countries through a … ", Greenland's glaciers could lose more ice than previously thought, raising concerns for sea level rise, extreme warmth was especially pronounced in Siberia, Most polar bears could struggle to survive in the Arctic by 2100, study finds. The Arctic is warming at a rate of almost twice the global average. The ice may be bare ice, or it may be covered by snow or ponds of melt water, depending on location and time of year. Modern researchers in the Arctic also benefit from computer models. Corrections are made to data to account for this uncaught precipitation, but they are not perfect and introduce some error into the climatologies (Serreze and Barry 2005). This warming has been caused not only by the rise in greenhouse gas concentration, but also the deposition of soot on Arctic ice. By the early 19th century some expeditions were making a point of collecting more detailed meteorological, oceanographic, and geomagnetic observations, but they remained sporadic. As with the rest of the planet, the climate in the Arctic has changed throughout time. This region is continuously below freezing, so all precipitation falls as snow, with more in summer than in the winter time. The recent wildfires were exacerbated by elevated air temperatures and decreased snow cover on the ground in the Arctic region, the report found. NOAA's North Pole Web Cams having been tracking the Arctic summer sea ice transitions through spring thaw, summer melt ponds, and autumn freeze-up since the first webcam was deployed in 2002–present. The Arctic region has had its second-warmest year since 1900, continuing a pattern of extreme heat, ice melt and environmental transformation … The average high temperature in summer approaches 10 °C (50 °F), and the average low temperature in July is above freezing, though temperatures below freezing are observed every month of the year. However the two most widely used definitions in the context of climate are the area north of the northern tree line, and the area in which the average summer temperature is less than 10 °C (50 °F), which are nearly coincident over most land areas (NSIDC). 55 million years ago during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, when global climate underwent a warming of approximately 5–8 °C (9–14 °F), the region reached … He decided to use this motion by freezing a specially designed ship, the Fram, into the sea ice and allowing it to be carried across the ocean. 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