The UK’s Independent reports on a study to be presented Tuesday to the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco by top cryosphere scientists:
Scientists have found the first unequivocal evidence that the Arctic region is warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world at least a decade before it was predicted to happen.
Climate-change researchers have found that air temperatures in the region are higher than would be normally expected during the autumn because the increased melting of the summer Arctic sea ice is accumulating heat in the ocean. The phenomenon, known as Arctic amplification, was not expected to be seen for at least another 10 or 15 years and the findings will further raise concerns that the Arctic has already passed the climatic tipping-point towards ice-free summers, beyond which it may not recover.
The study is from scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), who have been regularly reporting on the unexpectedly rapid loss of Arctic ice over the past several years (see NSIDC stunner: Arctic ice at “Likely Record-Low Volume”). It bears repeating that “The recent [Arctic] sea-ice retreat is larger than in any of the (19) IPCC [climate] models” — and that was a Norwegian expert in 2005. The retreat has accelerated in the past three years.