Arctic Amplification?

Science Matters

Discussions of the Arctic often include references to “Polar Amplification,” defined thusly by climate scientists (wikipedia):

“Polar amplification refers to the observation that any change in the net radiation balance (for example greenhouse intensification) tends to produce a larger change in temperature near the poles than the planetary average.”

NSIDC adds in the notion of positive feedbacks and concern over “tipping points.”

“Scientists have already seen evidence that positive feedbacks are occurring in the Arctic. They call this Arctic amplification. Predicting the Arctic climate is difficult. Some of the changes in the Arctic could also have negative feedback effects, or effects that reduce the amount of warming. For example, if warm temperatures make the Arctic growing season longer, more plants can survive and take up more carbon from the air. However, most evidence suggests that the positive feedback effects outweigh the negative effects. A recent report by NOAA concluded that…

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