IPCC, 2007: The Arctic is expected to experience the greatest rates of warming compared with other world regions. In part, this is because ice has greater reflectivity (also known as albedo) than the ocean or land. Melting of highly reflective snow and ice reveals darker land and ocean surfaces, increasing absorption of the sun's heat and further warming the planet, especially in those regions. There is evidence that climate change is already having observable impacts in the Arctic."  This is Arctic ampliofication.


Arctic warming due to global warming determines the fate of the whole planet.


The reason is the enormous sources of positive amplifyihg Arctic climate feedbacks - caused by Arctic amplifcation of global warming.


Arctic carbon feedbacks are mainly methane emissions and methane is 72 times more powerful than CO2 for 20 years after emission.


From latest 2012 research the Arctic is warming four times as fast as the global average.


The Siberian permafrost region warming is increasing.   A 2009 review of Siberia climate change  reports that Northern Eurasia  winter temperatures have increased by more than 2C and summer temperatures by 1.35.C d since 1881.


Summer warming is a new phenomenon, starting to be observed very slightly over the past several decades. The Arctic warming had not been happening in the Summer being  mainly a Winter-Spring change.


Very high Arctic climate sensitivity. May 2013 Science     Evidence from Lake El’gygytgyn, in northeast (NE) Arctic Russia, shows that 3.6 to 3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today, when the partial pressure of CO2 was ~400 parts per million.


Arctic Amplification 


Arctic amplification decreases temperature variance in northern mid- to high-latitudes Screen 2014

Arctic amplification is now recognized as an inherent aspect of trhe climate system past and present.

Subseasonal temperature variability has been observed to decrease over recent decades in the mid- to highlatitude Northern Hemisphere and this decline is projected to continue in the future. The historical decrease has been largest in autumn, when observed Arctic amplification has been most

pronounced, but model experiments project future decreases in mid- to high-latitude temperature variability in all seasons except summer. Models show larger projected warming in mid-latitudes than in high latitudes and increased summer variance


We have  2011 review Processes and impacts of Arctic amplification:

 A research synthesis by Mark Serreze & Roger Barry. This reports

strong warming over the Arctic Ocean during the past decade in

autumn and winter, clearly associated with reduced sea ice extent,


AGW Observer Papers on Arctic amplification to 2012

(concise explanation by Skeptical Science)


For years we have watched the Arctic warming faster than the rest of the planet. This is  the science of Arctic amplification that climate change models have predicted for years. Scientists have recently been able to say this is definitely happening and that the Arctic amplification is coming on stronger than models have projected.


A comprehensive paper on Arctic warming and albedo changes from satellite data was published in 2006 by J Comiso of NASA Arctic warming signals from  satellite observations.


The 2011 SWIPA (snow & ice assessment) reports Beginning in 2002, extensive regions in the Arctic during late autumn have surface air temperature anomalies of more than 4 °C (Serreze et al., 2009).


A 2010 research paper by Screen and Simmonds convincingly explains and confirms Arctic amplification by summer sea ice extent loss, which indicates that both the rate of Arctic warming and sea ice loss will continue to increase.


A 30 year record by satellite of temperatures shows the Arctic has warmed nearly 4 X as fast as the global average over that period. 30 years of satellite data shows that the greatest warming has been in the Arctic. Temperatures in the atmosphere above the Arctic Ocean warmed by an average of 1.75 C (3.15° F) in 33 years. The fastest warming spot is in the Davis Strait, between the easternmost point on Baffin Island and Greenland. Temperatures there have warmed 2.89 C (about 5.2° F). (John Christy, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2011).  Globally averaged, Earth’s atmosphere has warmed about 0.45 Celsius (about 0.82° F) during the almost one-third of a century that sensors aboard NOAA and NASA satellites have measured the temperature of oxygen molecules in the air.


NASA temperature maps (to the right; click to enlarge) show the August trend and the change in Arctic temperatures over the past 30 years. James Hansen for NASA reports Jan 2012 that  since the 70s, global warming seems to have been steady and in the range of about 0.15 to 0.175 degrees per decade - maximum of 0.2 degrees per decade.  Warming anomaly in the Arctic was up to 4.7 degrees for average over 2011 see Figure 1, with up to 6.6 degrees in summer, see Figure 4.


The Danish Meteorological Institute DMI has a long record of high Arctic temperatures that covered in detail by Skeptical Science shows While summer maximums have showed little trend, the annual average Arctic temperature has risen sharply in recent decades. This is indicated both by the GISS, DMI data and other high latitude data sets. Most of the area above 80N is (currently) still covered in permanent sea ice. In the Arctic Summer when the surface ice is melting, the air temperature close to the surface is limited by this ice melt temperature to just above zero degrees C (Rigor 2000). This is why the Summer air temperatures have not varied much over the entire instrumental period.


2012 research Response of N Hemispheric Air Temperature to Arctic Sea Ice Decline

shows dramatic high NH latitude winter warming due to sea ice decline- little Summer effect.  


March 2013 research explains the large difference in Arctic Winter and Summer warming which is at least a 4 fold difference now. The model research indicates a large difference will persist even in the absence of summer sea ice.


Loss of Arctic albedo

Scientists say that the main factor in the accelerating rate of Arctic warming is the loss of albedo and the heat gain resulting from the accelerating Arctic sea ice loss. This section of the WWF Arctic Feedbacks report explains how loss of sea ice albedo amplifies Arctic warming. In fact, where the summer sea ice is open, the Arctic temperature increase is greatest.


Black carbon (soot) deposited on Arctic snow from Northern hemisphere air pollution is a significant cause of albedo loss.


A winter thermal inversion adds to the amplification.


Water flowing into the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean is about 2°C warmer today than it has been for at least 2,000 years, from Arctic warming amplification (so another feedback), according to a Science paper, Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water, by R. Spielhagen et al., January 2011.


Another factor in Arctic amplification is a 2011 finding by C. Kinnard that "early 21st-century temperatures of Atlantic water entering the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented over the past 1450  years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming."


Some global warming emissions (methane, tropospheric ozone, black carbon) concentrate over the Arctic and may be adding to Arctic amplification (Short-lived pollutants in the Arctic: Their climate impact, P. K. Quinn et al, 2008). Atmospheric methane is concentrated over the poles, especially the Arctic (hydroxyl is not efficient at removing methane over the cold regions). The Svalbard atmospheric monitoring site has been recording a recent increase in Arctic methane concentration.


Sea surface temperature increases for the Arctic are highest over the continental shelves and that is where the vulnerable methane hydrate is located.



How will Arctic amplification affect the rate of Arctic warming, northern hemisphere warming, and global warming?


We do have one published indication of how the loss of Arctic summer sea ice will increase the rate of Arctic warming, from David Lawrence in 2008.


He found that "during episodes of rapid sea-ice loss in the past, the rate of Arctic land warming is 3.5 times greater than the average 21st century warming rates predicted in global climate models. While this warming is largest over the ocean, the simulations suggest that it can penetrate as far as 900 miles inland. The simulations also indicate that the warming acceleration during such events is especially pronounced in autumn. The decade during which a rapid sea-ice loss event occurs could see autumn temperatures warm by as much as 5 degrees C (9ºF) along the Arctic coasts of Russia, Alaska, and Canada." 


This is highly significant to the increase in methane emissions from thawing permafrost and destabilizing methane hydrates.


The 2007 record Arctic summer sea ice loss resulted in a large increase in surface temperature of exposed ocean water. The greatest warming was 5C and right over the shallow  East Siberian Arctic shelf methane hydrates.


At the 2011 AGU meeting –Dr. Jennifer presenting  Francis of Rutgers University, in her talk “Does Arctic Amplification Fuel Extreme Weather in Mid-Latitudes?” said  “The question is not whether sea ice loss is affecting the large-scale atmospheric circulation…it’s how can it not?”



Though there is no question that  Arctic amplification will be felt by the rest of the planet, models so far are unable to forecast what Arctic amplification will do directly to northern hemisphere and global climate change. However, the increase in Arctic methane emissions is inevitable and will definitely increase the rate of warming, especially the warming that will continue to be greater in the northern hemisphere.


WWF Arctic amplification - sea ice loss Arctic air temps 2012 previous decade Arctifc warming polar map DMI Arctic temp record and others Warming by latitude for Arctic accelerating  Arctic warming NH warming trend crop Arctic warming anomaly and trend Why Arctic warms faster SST Lawrence

ARCTIC AMPLIFICATION The paleo climate research shows with natural end glacial warming.

the Arctic warming with natural end ice global warming is always up to 4X faster that the rest of the word.


This is called Arctic aplfification of the global average warming,and  is the result of Artic snow and ice albedo decline  amplifying feedback. Global warmig casuses more Arcticv snow to melt away faster and the Arctic summer sea ice extent to shrink more, at its minumum in September. The theory, that less snow cover and less sea ice extent by reducing their reflective albedo cooling will amplify the Arctic warming, has been thoroughly borne out by research. This also a self reinforcing albedo decline - Arctic amplifiation feedback loop.


The IPCC AR4 SPM reports do not refer to Arctic amplification, which is to be found in a section of Chapter 5 paleo climate.  


Arctic ocean warming is critical because of  subseafoor methane hydrate and a 2011 paper shows the Arctic ocean is being warmed.


The Arctic is far more senstitive to increased atmospheric GHG than has been considered.


Two research papers have changed the science (very much for the worse) on the estimated rate of Arctic warming including Arctic continental warming under atmospheric GHG pollution global warming.


This means that methane is going to be emitted from warming subarctic wetland peat and thawing permafrost far faster than has been considered, and the same will apply to vulnerable subsea floor Arctic methane gas.


GRL July 2013 amplification of Arctic terrestrial temperatures by reduced sea-ice extent during the Pliocene.

A full paper onthe research is available as  Significantly warmer Arctic surface temperatures during the Pliocene indicated by multiple independent proxies


Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations recently reached 400 parts per million for the first time since the Pilocene Epoch, three million years ago. The research finds that Arctic temperatures were ∼19 °C warmer during the Pliocene than at present, while atmospheric CO2 concentrations were ∼390 ppmv. These results indicate that Arctic temperatures may be exceedingly sensitive to anthropogenic CO2 emissions.  


Arctic land surface temperatures are extremely sensitive to the spatial and seasonal extent of the sea-ice.

Once sea-ice is removed, latent heat is lost from the ocean to the atmosphere as water vapor that can be circulated by the atmosphere, which results in warming of continental interiors. The research found that Arctic temperatures during the Pliocene were considerably warmer than previous estimates despite estimates of Pliocene atmospheric CO2 levels that are comparable to today. This indicates that climate models do not incorporate the full array of atmospheric, biospheric, and cryospheric feedback mechanisms necessary to simulate Arctic climate. Regardless of the feedback mechanism responsible for amplified Arctic temperatures, our results indicate that a significant increase in Arctic temperatures may be imminent in response to current atmospheric CO2 levels.


Very high Arctic climate sensitivity. May 2013 Science  Evidence from Lake El’gygytgyn, in northeast (NE) Arctic Russia, shows that 3.6 to 3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today, when the partial pressure of CO2 was ~400 parts per million.

Jan 2014 Arctic warmest in past 40,000 years posssibly past 44,000 years.

warming deeep greeland sea

Arctic warming is taken to mean warming over land, and as predicted long ago the Arctic surface is warming up much faster than any other region. This is due to the amplifying feedback of global warming as it melts Arctic summer sea ice extent and Far North snow cover. This is thawing Arctic permafrost, which is releasing CO2 and methane- an amplifying global warming feedback. The warming of the Arctic Ocean is just as important, because it contributes the thinning of the Arctic sea ice and has been increasing since 1995  and it destabilizes subsea floor methane hydrate.

Sea ice and temp trends 2013 warming Arctic projected

NASA 2014 Arctic  amplification proof by heat absorbed

NASA CERES Arctic rad absorbed Dec 2014 Arctic warming 2014 NOAA Arctic ampl index Polar RCPs crop

Record 2016  January 2016 in the Arctic was 5°C warmer than the 1981–2010 average a full 2°C higher than the previous 2008 record. Monthly mean temperatures in October through December 2016 were 6°C higher than average. May be summer sea ice free by 2030. Arctic is affecting NH weather. Sea temperatures are also increasing, both near surface and deeper water. (SWIPA 2016)

Arctic 2016 warming NASA NOAA Jan-Mar Temp Arctic