Never before have areas of the Arctic recorded such high temperatures as this past summer, and the Norwegian-administered archipelago of Svalbard was no exception. Researchers also have reported an alarming reduction of ice.
Thermometers registered a shocking 21.7C on July 27 at Svalbard’s airport in Longyearbyen, reports the Barents Observer (external link), which has also reported how global warming is producing longer summers in Northern Norway. On Svalbard, the permafrost is thawing to a degree that many buildings have become unstable.
Sea ice is also melting. Newspaper Aftenposten reported this week about how a research team from the University of Bergen arrived on an ice floe north of Siberia in May that was nearly two meters thick. When they left the ice before it disappeared in August, it was just half-a-meter thick.
It’s all contributed new evidence of how the Arctic is warming up three- to four times faster than the rest of the world. Researchers now fear that summer ice will disappear in the Arctic within a few decades, taking with it entire ecosystems and leading to more climate change all over the world.