Arctic Climate Change

Topics: Climate, Arctic shrinkage, Sun Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: October 24, 2011
Changes in the Arctic climate will not only affect the animals, plants and people living in the Arctic regions, but it will also affect the rest of the world. The Arctic region is made up of the northern parts of Canada, the United States, Greenland, Iceland and the Eurasian continents. The changes in the climate will increase global warming in these countries causing the sea level to rise all around the world.

Here is how the climate has been changing in the Arctic. This evidence of this change includes a rise in temperatures which causes the melting of glaciers, sea ice, and permafrost. The increase in melt water results in the rising of the sea level. Over the current century, there are four major changes that are expected to occur. First of all, the average temperature is supposed to increase by 3 to 7˚C. Secondly, the amount of precipitation should increase by 20%. Next, the amount of sea ice is supposed to continue to decline. As sea ice reflects the sun’s rays, there will be less solar radiation which will contribute to global warming. Lastly, the total area of the Arctic region covered by snow is to decrease by up to 20%.

Many people do not understand how the climate in one region can affect the rest of the planet. There are three primary ways how the Arctic climate change affects everyone. The first reason is that the snow and ice in the Arctic reflect the sun’s energy back into space. With the decrease of snow and ice due to the rising average temperature of the planet, the sun’s energy cannot be reflected and is absorbed by the Earth. Next, the Arctic ice melts and the increase in precipitation add additional fresh water to the oceans. This extra water can change ocean currents which affects the whole planet. Lastly, the thawing of permafrost causes the release of gases into the atmosphere. These gases are known as greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.

The vegetation in the Arctic is also affected by the climate change. The three...
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