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Sad news in the heart of an summer burning in France and in Europe . The Arctic has warmed almost four times faster than the rest of the world in the last 40 years. These conclusions of a new study, published this Thursday, August 11, raise fears of an underestimation of the climate models of the poles, whose warming has a preponderant influence on the rise in the level of the seas.
The study, published in the journal "Communications Earth & Environment" of the "Nature" group, clearly revolves the rhythm of warming of the region around the North Pole.
In 2019, the panel of United Nations Climate Experts (IPCC) estimated that the Arctic warmed "more than double the world average", under the effect of a specific process in the region.
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The Arctic has warmed as much in 10 years as the rest of the planet in more than a century
This phenomenon, called "Arctic Amplification", occurs when the ice floe and snow, which naturally reflect the heat of the sun , melted in seawater which absorbs more solar radiation and warms up.
0.75 ° Celsius per decade
If scientists have long been agreeing on the observation of an accelerated warming of the Arctic, their estimates of the phenomenon however diverge according to the period they choose to study or the definition, More or less extensive, from the Arctic Geographical Zone.
In the new study, researchers, based in Norway and Finland, have analyzed four series of temperature data collected throughout the Arctic circle by satellites since 1979 - year when satellite data has become available.
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report they concluded that the Arctic warmed on average of 0.75 ° C per decade, or almost four times faster than the rest of the planet.
Due to greenhouse gases generated by human activities, mainly by fossil fuels, the planet has already earned nearly 1.2 ° C from the pre -industrial era.
"Scientific literature considers that the Arctic warms about twice as fast as the rest of the planet, I was therefore surprised that our conclusion is much higher than the usual figure", explains to AFP Antti Lipponen , member of the Finnish Institute of Meteorology and Co -author of the study.
The study, however, noted significant local variations in the warming rate within the Arctic Circle. For example, the Eurasian sector of the Arctic Ocean, near the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and that of New Zemas, warmed up 1.25 ° C per decade, about seven times faster than the rest of the world.
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The team found that the climatic models most in the forefront provided for warming the Arctic lower than a third to what their own data demonstrate. This difference, according to them, could be explained by the obsolescence of the previous models of the Arctic climate, in constant improvement. Should we believe in the widespread collapse? The opinion of specialists
"The next step might be to take a look at these models, to see why they do not plan what we see in the observations and what impact it has on future climatic projections", said Mr. Lipponen.
The intense warming of the Arctic, in addition to a serious impact on the inhabitants and on local fauna, which depends on the continuity of sea ice to hunt, will also have global repercussions.
"Climate change is caused by humans and as the Arctic warms up, its glaciers will melt, which will have a global impact on the level of the seas", recalled Mr. Lipponen. "Something happens in the Arctic and that will affect us all," he worries.
Main engine of the rise in sea level
The melting of the ice cap is the main engine of the rise in sea level, in front of the melting of the glaciers and the expansion of the ocean under the effect of warming some water. The cast iron of the ice floe (ice on the oceans) does not raise sea level.
According to the IPCC, sea level has risen 20 cm since 1900. However, the pace of this increase has almost tripled since 1990 and, according to the scenarios, the oceans could still gain 40 to 85 cm by the end of the century.
The Greenland ice cap, which could approach the "rocking point" of the melting according to recent studies, contains an amount of ice water capable of raising the level of the oceans of the earth up to six meters.
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