The Arctic region remains in danger as the summer of 2020 comes with grim records for the region. Massive wildfires have been observed in the north while temperatures continue to climb, and ice is melting at an accelerated pace.
Previous research has already that the warming rate in the Arctic region is up to three times higher in comparison to the rest of the world, but the consequences have become more visible in recent times as several areas are affected by severe events.
In the last week, Siberia has been hit by a wave of wildfires, and intense blazes continue to consume thousands of trees. Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago which falls under the Arctic region, has reached new records for all-time high temperatures as receding glaciers continue to melt. The amount of meltwater found near or on glaciers is so large that is is now visible from space.
The Svalbard archipelago is also one of the places that are warming at an uncanny pace. In one of the northernmost settlements, the temperature has reached 21.7 degrees Celsius (or 71,1 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and didn’t go below 16.8 degrees Celsius (or 62.2 degrees Fahrenheit) during the night for several days.
Melting ice cap
It is also worth noting that the Svalbard ice cap had registered the highest surface mass loss out of all the ice sheets during this summer, with a record for melting surface snow and ice being recorded on July 25, when a temperature spike was observed.
The smoke that is released by wildfires can play an important role in the warming of the Arctic region as it contains greenhouse gases. Additional greenhouse gases are released in the form of methane and carbon, which are now able to escape the thawing permafrost, which kept them locked underground.
More data can be found in a study that has been published in a scientific journal.