Heatwaves and Jet Stream ChangesHeatwaves are increasingly hitting higher latitudes, as illustrated by the forecasts below. The background behind this is that the temperature rise caused by people's emissions is also causing changes to the jet streams.
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The Arctic is heating up faster than elsewhere, as numerous feedbacks and tipping points are hitting the Arctic, including:
Albedo loss, latent heat loss and changes to wind patterns can dramatically amplify the temperature rise in the Arctic. The temperature of the Arctic Ocean is rising accordingly, while there are a number of developments and events that specifically speed up the temperature rise of the water of the Arctic Ocean, as discussed below.
|[ from the insolation page ]|
- Solstice occurred on June 21, 2021. The Arctic is now receiving huge amounts of sunlight (see image on the right, from the insolation page).
- Sea surface temperatures and temperatures on land are very high in Siberia, Canada and Alaska. Strong winds can spread warm air over the Arctic Ocean.
- Arctic sea ice extent is low for the time of year, but at this stage, there still is a lot of sea ice present (compared to September). The sea ice acts as a seal, preventing ocean heat from entering the atmosphere, resulting in more heat remaining in the Arctic Ocean.
- Warm water from rivers is flowing into the Arctic Ocean, carrying further heat into the Arctic Ocean. Above image shows that on June 23, 2021, sea surface temperatures were 22.3°C or 72.2°F at a spot where water from the Lena River flows into the Arctic Ocean. The image on the right shows that at a nearby location the sea surface temperature was 20°C or 36°F higher than 1981-2011.
- Warm water from the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean is flowing into the Arctic Ocean and the amount of ocean heat flowing into the Arctic Ocean is rising each year.
- As mentioned above, latent heat loss is contributing to the rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. The remaining sea ice acts as a buffer, consuming ocean heat from below. Sea ice is getting thinner each year, so ever less ocean heat can get consumed in the process of melting the sea ice from below.
- Changes to the jet stream can also cause strong storms to dramatically speed up the amount of heat flowing into the Arctic Ocean, as discussed at the Cold freshwater lid on North Atlantic page.
The danger of the temperature rise of the Arctic Ocean
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