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Home* News and Stories → Cli­ma­te chan­ge: warm­ing of nor­t­hern Barents Sea 5-7 times abo­ve glo­bal avera­ge

Cli­ma­te chan­ge: warm­ing of nor­t­hern Barents Sea 5-7 times abo­ve glo­bal avera­ge

Accor­ding to a recent sci­en­ti­fic stu­dy, glo­bal warm­ing in the nor­t­hern Barents Sea is 5-7 times fas­ter than the glo­bal avera­ge. Even com­pared to the avera­ge deve­lo­p­ment in the who­le Arc­tic, which is a hot­spot within glo­bal warm­ing, the cli­ma­tic deve­lo­p­ment of the nor­t­hern Barents Sea area is 2-2.5 times fas­ter.

Rain in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

Hea­vy rain and tha­wing tem­pe­ra­tures over days in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, mid March 2022, in the midd­le of what should be the col­dest part of the win­ter. Gene­ral­ly spea­king, wea­ther and cli­ma­te should not be con­fu­sed, but an incre­asing fre­quen­cy and inten­si­ty of such events signi­fies a cli­ma­tic trend.

The­se and other figu­res are com­mu­ni­ca­ted by the Fram Forum in a pos­ting based on a sci­en­ti­fic artic­le by Ketil Isak­sen (Nor­we­gi­an Meteo­ro­lo­gi­cal Insti­tu­te) and Co-aut­hors in the sci­en­ti­fic maga­zi­ne Natu­re.

ice chart Svalbard area

Ice chart of the nor­t­hern Barents Sea / Sval­bard area from 12th April 2023
Nor­we­gi­an Meteo­ro­lo­gi­cal Insti­tu­te).

Loss of sea is is iden­ti­fied by Isak­sen and co-aut­hors as the main dri­ving mecha­nism behind this dra­ma­tic regio­nal trend. If pre­sent, sea ice effec­tively mini­mi­zes heat trans­fer bet­ween sea and atmo­sphe­re. Lack­ing sea ice in an area pre­vious­ly cover­ed by ice most of the year or even year round, howe­ver, enable warm (rela­tively warm, that is) sea water to release heat to the atmo­sphe­re.

Espe­ci­al­ly in nor­the­as­tern Sval­bard, sea ice was pre­sent almost year round most of the time until the recent past. The loss of sea ice in this par­ti­cu­lar area explains the espe­ci­al­ly pro­no­un­ced warm­ing in that part of the Arc­tic.

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last modification: 2023-04-15 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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