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Arctic precipitation will shift from snow-dominated to rain earlier than expected
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Arctic precipitation will shift from snow-dominated to rain earlier than expected


According to the Arctic Climate Crisis Report, the Arctic will see more rain than snow between 2060-2070. This marks a significant transition in its precipitation patterns, as the climate crisis raises temperatures in the region. studyPublished in Nature Communications on Tuesday.

New climate modeling has shown that the transition could be happening earlier than scientists expected. Michelle McCrystall, lead author of the study, and climate researcher at University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, said that earlier modeling had suggested that it would not occur between 2090-20100.

“But with the new model set, this has been pushed forward to approximately between 2060-2070, so there’s quite an increase there by 20 years with this transition,” she stated.

Separate study publishedScientists were alarmed by the discovery that the Arctic Ocean was warming earlier than previously thought. This suggests that the modeling used to predict ocean temperature fluctuations could be flawed.
In August, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change published its findings. authoritative reportThe study concluded that the planet is rapidly approaching 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures. This threshold scientists believe the world must stay below to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis. However, Tuesday’s study authors stated that the transition to snow from rain will likely occur in some. Parts of the Arctic, notably Greenland, are vulnerable to warming even if it is kept below 1.5 degrees.
Rain fell at the normally snowy summit of Greenland for the first time on record
An analysis by Climate Action TrackerThe current policies around the world indicate that the Earth is on track to increase its temperature by 2.7 degrees Celsius. This assumes that countries will continue to implement their plans to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. Researchers found that the Arctic will transition to a rainfall-dominated environment at around 3 degrees of warming.

McCrystall stated that “if we kept within this 1.5-degree world the Arctic could still remain snow-dominant by end of century, but some parts likely still will transition” and some parts are already transitioning. “But we remain on the path of a 3-degree world.”

Although scientists not involved in the study agreed that the Arctic is experiencing rapid change due to the climate crisis, others expressed concern about the study’s findings and pointed out the need for more research and observations.

Tim Palmer, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford, stated that future Arctic precipitation trends require “more careful quantification.”

Palmer stated that all this shows the need for high quality observations of precipitation in regions such as the Arctic, and the development a new class climate model with higher resolution and smaller biases. These models will also be more realistically estimate natural variability on a regional scale. “These will give us greater confidence in the effect of carbon emissions in relation to precipitation in places such as the Arctic. These are essential if we want to have an impact on mitigation policy.

Bob Spicer, a professor emeritus of the Open University, spent years studying Arctic climates during past episodes of global warming.

7 billion tons water

The study reveals that rainfall has increased due to the loss in sea ice. Warmer temperatures and more open water mean more evaporation which creates a wetter Arctic.

According to the study, a rain-dominated Arctic could destabilize Greenland’s ice sheet mass balance and trigger a global rise of sea levels.

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Scientists concluded that Greenland has been melting due to the burning of fossil fuels in the past two decades. A recent study was published in the journal CryosphereEarth has lost a staggering 28 Trillion tonnes of ice since mid-1990s. A large part of that was from the Arctic, which includes the Greenland ice sheets.
The region already saw a glimpse of its rainy future when temperatures at Greenland’s summit soared above freezing last August. This was the third time in a decade. Extreme rains were triggered by the warm air. dumped 7 billion tons of water The ice sheet is large enough to fill the Reflecting pool at Washington, DC nearly 250,000 more times.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and the daily average of ice loss on that particular summer day was seven times greater than that Time of year
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“While it’s likely that Arctic rainfall will rise as the climate heats, rains also are likely to become more intense,” Mark Serreze (co-author of the study, director of NSIDC), told CNN. “It’s a terrible one-two punch to an ecosystem already reeling from rapid environmental changes.”

While the projections aren’t definitive, McCrystall said more rain events in Greenland — and the Arctic region as a whole — are expected to occur the more Humans continue to add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

“With the oceans becoming warmer and [the Greenland]”Despite the fact that there has been a rainfall event, there are signs that things could be more extreme or are changing more quickly than what our models project,” she said.

McCrystall stated that “the fact that everything’s shifting to show that precipitation is increasing is an indicator of human-induced climate changes for certain.”


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