Global warming is turning the Arctic green Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard shows how Arctic landscapes are transforming as temperatures rise and summers become hotter.
A recent study led by Logan Berner of Northern Arizona University found that the Arctic is turning green as warmer air and soil temperatures boost plant growth.
The researchers used landsat data to determine how much vegetation is actively growing on the ground. They determined that between 1985 in 2016, 38 percent of the tundra across Western Eurasia, Alaska, and Canada showed signs of increased greening.
“The Arctic tundra is one of the coldest biomes on Earth, and it’s also one of the most rapidly warming,” said Berner. “This Arctic greening we see is really a bellwether of global climatic change – it’s a biome-scale response to rising air temperatures.” Models predict that as the world consumes ever more fossil fuel, greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise, and Earth’s average surface temperature will rise with them. Based on plausible emission scenarios, average surface temperatures could rise between 2°C and 6°C by the end of the 21st century.
Some of this warming will occur even if future greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, because the Earth system has not yet fully adjusted to environmental changes we have already made. Global warming is turning the Arctic green as shown above in the video showing the amount of vegetation as well.
Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released as people burn fossil fuels.
Video Credit: NASA Goddard