Climate change experts have spent years, if not decades, warning the public about extreme weather potential. The effect of climate change has now become the most obvious in the northernmost parts of the planet. It is important to note first that hot weather near and above the arctic circle happens naturally at times. During the summer, the 24-hours of sunlight introduces a lot of heat to the area, and many regions have on record high temperatures of 80 degrees to 99 degrees. The situation now is different from previous years in several ways.
Average Temperatures Rise
Every region of the planet has records set in high and low temperatures, but all typically maintain a baseline, or average temperature each year. In the arctic, the baseline temperatures have warmed much faster than anywhere else. The rates of warming in the arctic are double that of anywhere else. The rate of warming has increased more rapidly in the last decade.
Snow Disappears Sooner
The rising temperatures eliminate the snow cover that blankets the area. In the most recent instance, the snow disappeared a month sooner than usual. The loss of snow may seem beneficial as it increases growing time, but it removes something that provides a cooling effect on the climate. The loss of snow could mean hotter temperatures still for the coming years.
Sun Strikes Water
Not only snow disappears when temperatures rise, but the ice over the arctic ocean melts as well. A bright white covering of ice helps to reflect heat, but deep dark water absorbs the sunlight. The warm water makes it difficult for more ice to form, so the temperature rises in the Arctic’s ocean depths.
Disasters Have Begun
The disappearance of the permafrost causes collapses in the soil, leading to the destruction of underground fuel storage tanks. The numbers of wildfires continue to increase because of the lack of snow, and the heat causes the foliage to become much more dry than usual.
The temperature increases in the Arctic circle should serve as a warning flag to every one of the disaster’s potential facing everyone. It is unknown if there is any way to stop the changes, or if all countries need to prepare for a worst-case scenario. If nothing else, the shift in the northern climate proves the theories of climate change researchers.