Anyone who has been paying attention to climate news might have noticed that the arctic is melting at an alarming rate. And new research has concluded what everyone already realized; the Arctic ocean is heating up faster than we thought it would.
This is causing serious issues for the local wildlife that cannot survive in hotter climates. And without any doubt, it is causing problems for humans, because the accelerated melting will make sea levels rise faster than we can prepare for.
However, even more importantly, scientists are now questioning the model they use to create these predictions.
Incorrect Climate Models Can Kill
It’s no secret that predicting the weather isn’t a full-proof system. Time and time again, it rains on days that are just supposed to be sunny. Even extreme weather events like hurricanes and snowstorms are not given the proper warnings.
These can result in a lot of deaths, injuries, and property damage.
Getting climate models wrong is no different, except the scales are about a thousand times worse. You see, every nation that is trying to do its part to fight climate change is basing its schedules on these models.
Thus, if a model gives them a 10-year time frame to drop emissions and that changes, well, changing course isn’t easy. Or sometimes even possible for some nations. These models can save billions of lives, but could also take those lives if they are wrong.
Figuring out what is causing this discrepancy is critical if the world is going to be successful.
What Is Causing the Arctic Ocean Model to Be Wrong?
The research team is not sure if this is the only reason why the models are wrong, but they believe they have identified two potential culprits.
The first is that models do not accurately simulate the salt transport into the nordic sea. In simulations, they found that the salinity (salt level) of the water increased in the 20th century. When you add salt to the water, it increases the freezing point.
Thus, less ice forms. This creates a series of events that prevents ice build-up, which raises the water temperature.
Another problem that a different report identified was the changes to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). To put it simply, according to another study, warm water is being sent northward due to climate change.
This will result in the water warming faster than anticipated, and ultimately change weather patterns around the world.
More research needs to be done, but there’s no denying that the arctic is warming faster than we thought it would.
We Need to Accelerate Climate Action
Let’s face it, if this model was wrong, others are too. We’ve already seen that the temperature is rising faster than we thought as well. The world can no longer settle for building strategies around climate models that are incorrect.
Yet, the world is dragging its feet in meeting the existing model’s time frame. Asking the world to do it in an even shorter timeframe is next to impossible.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.