Arctic Could See More Rain Than Snow By 2060 as Region Warms – Study – The Moscow Times


An international group of scientists has claimed in a paper that the Arctic could see a faster-than-expected shift from snow to rain as the main form of precipitation if global carbon emissions are not drastically reduced. published Tuesday in Nature Communications.

Previous computer models projected that autumn rains would dominate in Siberia, the Arctic Ocean, and the Canadian Archipelago by 2090.

But the latest model shows that this shift could occur as soon as 2060 to 2070 if the global economy continues to emit greenhouse gases at its current pace.

Scientists have warned that even if global warming is contained to 1.5-2°C as the United Nations has urged, this shift will still have dire consequences – not only for the Arctic, but for the entire world.

“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay there,” said study lead author Michelle McChrystal Tell Watchman. “The Arctic that sees a lot of snow is really important for everything in that region and also for the global climate.”

Scientists said the influx of warm rain could accelerate the melting of permafrost, the permanently frozen layer of soil that covers 65% of Russia’s land.

As a result, Russia will be particularly vulnerable to changes in Arctic precipitation, with permafrost already thawing. expected to cost the Russian economy $67 billion in annual damages by 2050 through the destruction of infrastructure and human settlements.

Melting permafrost will in turn release massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere, thus creating a feedback loop that will accelerate warming regardless of human efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists have claimed that Europe, North America and Asia will experience more floods and heat waves due to changes in jet stream patterns. The melting of the Greenland ice cap has already occurred expected to speed up indefinitely, but the authors of the new study cautioned that it could collapse sooner than expected. Rain fell on top of the Greenland ice cap in August, an event that “shocked” the scientific community, according to to the guard.

Scientists have warned that a growing lack of snow and ice cover in the Arctic, which reflects sunlight back into space, will mean seawater will begin to absorb more heat from the sun.

The rapid shift to precipitation also threatens local ecosystems by putting reindeer, caribou and other species in the area at risk of starvation.

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