Explaining Why Climate Change is Amplified at the Poles
Videos, Fri, Jan 20th, 2012
Temperature in the Arctic has risen twice as fast as the global average. That means: even if you haven’t experienced climate change, people in the Arctic have
Ned Gardiner: Temperature in the Arctic has risen twice as fast as the global average. That means: even if you haven’t experienced climate change, people in the Arctic have. Jackie Richter-Menge explains why.
Jackie Richter-Menge: We use temperature to monitor what’s going on just like if you were feeling poorly, you would take your temperature. What we can see in the Arctic is that it has a fever. As a consequence we look to the reason why there is that change.
In the Arctic you have this nice bright white sea ice surface. When that sea ice surface melts away you are losing that surface that helps keep sunlight bouncing back into space and replaces it with the dark ocean that absorbs the temperature, so you begin to get this cycling feed back. You get a little bit of melting of the sea ice cover. It exposes ocean. The ocean warms up, melts more sea ice, and you begin to get an acceleration of that warming signal.
We expect temperatures to continue to increase until the end of the 21st Century.Explaining Why Climate Change is Amplified at the Poles,
Spring 2013 has brought something fairly unusual in recent years—colder-than-average temperature for the nation as a whole. NOAA’s Deke Arndt talks about how spring temperatures in three U.S. climate divisions compare to the local long-term trend.
During late winter, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas received sorely needed rain which helped reduce short-term impacts, like wildfire and dry topsoil. But it has taken months to develop deep and severe drought in the region, and a few wet weeks won’t erase that situation. It can take months of ideal conditions to bring soil, rivers, and vegetation back to health.
On any given day or any given month, somebody somewhere experiences colder-than-average temperature, even though the globe as a whole is warmer than average. We know this through climate monitoring, which entails measuring temperature on land and across the ocean.