East Asia’s subtropics strongly affected by Arctic warming

Arctic winters are getting warmer due to climate change. According to a global study conducted by UZH researchers, temperature anomalies and cold damage in East Asia are caused by the warming Arctic.

As a result, the woods in the region absorb less CO2 and develop less vegetation, flower later and harvest later.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Recent weather report

As far south as Florida, the east coast of the United States has seen heavy snowfall and low temperatures in recent days.

A multinational team of researchers from Switzerland, Korea, China, Japan and the UK has found that warmer Arctic winters are now producing this kind of harsh winter conditions in East Asia.

In the evergreen subtropics, colder winters limit vegetation activity and continue to have a detrimental impact on spring ecosystems, such as broken branches or frost-damaged foliage caused by heavy snowfall. snow.

“Lower winters also affect the agricultural production of cereals, fruits, root vegetables and legumes,” explains Jin-Soo Kim from the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich in a report by ScienceDaily.

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Scientists combined Earth system modeling, satellite data and local observations for the study. They also looked at a temperature index of the Barents-Kara Sea.

They found that when Arctic temperatures were above normal, alterations in air circulation caused an abnormal climate in East Asia. Bad weather adversely affected plant development and production and delayed flowering during frosty years.

In addition, between winter and spring, the researchers predicted a reduction in carbon absorption capacity of about 65 megatons of carbon (in comparison, fossil fuel emissions in Switzerland are 8.8 megatons of carbon). carbon per year).

Another factor to consider when addressing carbon neutrality is the loss of carbon absorption capacity induced by climate change.


Tropical forest

(Photo: Rachel Claire)

Populations as far south as the subtropics are experiencing the effects of Arctic warming induced by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, co-author of the study, “while we are witnessing a significant warming of Arctic ecosystems, particularly over the Barents-Kara Sea, we have now discovered that this warming is affecting ecosystems thousands of miles away and over weeks through climate teleconnections.Arctic warming threatens the polar bear, but it will also affect us in many other ways.

Tipping point

“Time is running out,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently remarked of the latest IPCC report, which warned of this potential. There are dangerously close warning signs of irreversible climatic tipping points.

A tipping point occurs when tiny changes become large enough to trigger a larger, more crucial change that can be sudden, irreversible, and have cascading effects. In 2000, the IPCC presented the concept of tipping points to the world, but at the time it was considered that they would only occur if global warming reached a temperature of 5 degrees Celsius. However, in recent IPCC assessments, it has been predicted that the temperature tipping point could be 1-2 degrees Celsius higher.

Also Read: Three Scientists Receive 2021 Nobel Prize for Finding Patterns in the World’s Chaotic Climate

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