Feedback effects in the Arctic region and how they affect the global climate

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Miljövetenskaplig utbildning

Sammanfattning: The Arctic is warming at a rate two to three times that of the global average. Although only covering a small area of the globe, it is a vital component of the climate system. Through climatic feedback effects the warming is enhanced, and risks leading to further climate change. Simulations of future Arctic change indicate that the region will warm 3-4°C above end of 20th century levels by 2050. Changes of vital components of the Arctic, such as permafrost degradation and decrease of sea-ice and snow cover will enhance the warming, creating a positive feedback to climate. However, the permafrost feedback has yet to be included into these simulations and risk further enhancing the temperature. Thus, the Arctic region is expected to warm at twice the rate projected increase for the Northern Hemisphere alone. In this thesis, the latest 5 years (2015-2020) of research is analyzed with the aim of demonstrating the speed and extent of Arctic change since the publication of the 2017 SWIPA report conducted by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. In addition to focusing on the physical aspects of enhanced warming, the view of Arctic communities and Arctic policy is included to give a comprehensive insight into the components and impacts of Arctic change. The results indicate that Arctic change is occurring at a faster pace than anticipated by model simulations. The future Arctic is expected to experience further temperature rise, increased precipitation, a retreat of the tundra, and a continuous decrease of sea-ice and permafrost. It is likely that effects on lower latitude weather will increase in frequency, shown through an increased number of wildfires, floods, extensive droughts, and extreme temperatures.

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