Ocean accounts for more than half of the surface area of the Arctic region. Less winter sea ice means that female polar bears have to go longer without food, which impacts their fat stores, and, in turn, their reproductive success. Complete loss of summer sea-ice cover, which may occur in the course of this century, could threaten the survival of polar bears as a species or force them to adopt a land-based summer lifestyle. Living on land would not be without risks due to competition with other predators, possible cross breeding with brown or grizzly bears, and interactions with humans.
Peaks Matter Heat stress When calculating how much warmer we can expect it to get, climate models typically use linear projections based on temperature averages, such as annual global average temperatures, daily temperatures that are averages between day and night, etc.
Sadly, this downplays the danger, as average temperatures are unlikely to kill people.
When lives are at stake, peaks matter! Where are temperatures rising most? Temperatures are rising most strongly in the Arctic. Above map shows a rise of as much as 5. Local maximum temperatures can be good indicators for the maximum heat stress that can be expected in the area.
This high sea surface temperature is an indicator of the temperature of the water below the surface, which in turn is an indicator of the amount of ocean heat that is entering the Arctic Ocean Arctic climate change the Atlantic Ocean.
Ocean heat is carried by the Gulf Stream from the North American coast toward the Arctic Ocean, as illustrated by the images below and on the right. The situation could get worse rapidly.
As an example, with a decrease in cooling aerosols, which are concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Atlantic looks set to absorb more heat.
As another example, a recent study concludes: High methane levels warn about seafloor methane releases The image on the right illustrates the danger, showing high methane levels at Barrow, Alaska, in July When making projections of heat stress, it is important to look at all potential warming elements, including albedo changes, changes to jet streams and sea currents, higher levels of methane, high levels of water vapor, etc.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, causing huge warming immediately after entering the atmosphere, while this warming will be felt most strongly where the methane was released.
Methane can therefore contribute strongly to local temperature peaks. On August 6,mean global methane levels were as high as ppb. On August 8,they were as high as ppb.
Importantly, peak levels on the afternoon of August 6,were as high as ppb, as illustrated by the image on the right. The likely origin of those high levels is the Arctic Ocean, which should act as a stark warning of things to come.
Further contributors to heat stress Next to temperature, humidity is of vital importance. A combination of high temperatures and high humidity is devastating.
A recent study shows that the risk of deadly heat waves is significantly increased because of intensive irrigation in specific regions.
Executive summary In both polar regions, there is strong evidence of the ongoing impacts of climate change on terrestrial and freshwater species, communities and ecosystems (very high confidence). While climate change does not affect Earth’s tilt, it does have potential implications for many of the other factors that influence winter weather in the US, including Arctic sea ice, the polar jet stream, the polar vortex, and El Niño. Providing information on the present state of Arctic ecosystems and climate in historical context. To raise issue awareness, inform dialog, and support decision making, results and indicators are presented on current Arctic status, and the rate and extent of change in the Arctic. Provides a continuous update to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Report (ACIA report), which is a multi-year.
The study points at a relatively dry but highly fertile region, known as the North China Plain — a region whose role in that country is comparable to that of the Midwest in the U.
That increased vulnerability to heat arises because the irrigation exposes more water to evaporation, leading to higher humidity in the air than would otherwise be present and exacerbating the physiological stresses of the temperature.
The image below shows a forecast of perceived temperatures in China on August 7, Temperatures there are forecast to be as high as This translates into a wet-bulb temperature of The image on the right shows relative humidity. Also note the cyclones lined up on the Pacific Ocean.
Cyclones can increase humidity, making conditions worse.The agreement is ambitious and it provides all the tools we need to address climate change, for reducing emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
In a way, the spiders are helping to fight climate change in the arctic tundra. (Also see: How Scientists Taught a Spider to Jump on Demand.) The unexpected find has drawn praise from experts.
It is particularly apt for showing incremental change over time, which makes it an effective format for climate-change visuals.
The chart above shows the monthly extent of Arctic sea ice from Taller plants in warming Arctic could speed up climate change. Photo by Pxhere. The tundra is a vast, flat, treeless Arctic region of Europe, Asia, and North America where the subsoil is permanently frozen – or that, at least, used to be the case.
The decadal rate of temperature change for year periods over various regions — if humanity takes moderate climate action. Rates of change are averages over land plus ocean in each region.
Watch video · This is a signature of Arctic climate change, the loss of Arctic sea ice, the—again, more heat exchange into the atmosphere in the Arctic winter. And something similar happens in .