Global warming endangers Arctic

Exhaustive environmental evaluation made public

M. Michael Brady
Asker, Norway

climate in Svalbard

An image of the report’s cover.

The Norwegian Centre for Climate Services (NCCS) released an exhaustive environmental evaluation report on the Arctic already last year on Feb. 4, 2019, in Trondheim. Entitled Climate in Svalbard 2100, a knowledge base for climate adaptation, and compiled by six editors and 41 scientists, it comprises an assessment of existing literature and model results. The report envisions three possible scenarios for warming of Svalbard up to the year 2100, differing by the trajectories of the forthcoming atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration:

 

High scenario: warming of 10°C (18°F) due to greenhouse gas concentration continuing to rise at same rate as that of today.

Medium scenario: warming of 7°C (12.6°F) due to greenhouse gas concentration leveling off and then decreasing to the level of 1960.

Low scenario: warming of 4°C (7.2°F) due to greenhouse gas concentration decline at a rate toward zero emissions in 2080.

 

Hence, if nothing is done to curtail the rise of greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere, in the year 2100 Svalbard will be 10°C (16°F) warmer than it is today. For the Arctic, the resultant changes can be appreciable, affecting the region’s atmosphere, hydrology, glaciers, and landmasses.

The report was commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency to provide basic information for climate change adaptation in Svalbard. It includes descriptions of historical climate developments, as well as projections for the future development in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and ocean. It also includes physical effects, as on permafrost, landslides, and avalanches. The projections for the future climate are based on results in the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar5).

The 206-page PDF version of the report, ISSN 2387-3027, is available at: www.miljodirektoratet.no/Documents/publikasjoner/M1242/M1242.pdf.

This article originally appeared in the March 6, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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