In January 2016 the Arctic experienced unprecedented warming, with air temperatures as high as 8°C, some 20 degrees higher than average for the time of year. Extreme warming events like this have become more common in the Arctic, contributing to the strong warming trend observed in the region. But why is the Arctic warming faster than the rest of the world?
By Brian Kahn
Melt season has begun in earnest in the Arctic. Scientists will spend the next few months watching sea ice turn into open water until the ice pack hits its nadir in early fall. The vagaries of the weather and ocean currents will play a major role in determining where this year’s Arctic sea ice minimum ranks. But the steady drumbeat of climate change ensures that it will likely be among the lowest on record.