Rain in the arctic: when science fiction becomes reality


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Snow / Erol Ahmed

Climatologists predict drastic changes in the arctic region after a few decades. They are sure that soon, instead of snow, there will be only rain.

Scientists make such predictions using climate models. Global warming is fundamentally changing the life of the region.

When the snow turns to rain

Studies show that already

in 40 to 50 years, rain will replace snow in the Arctic.

  • Now it snows much more often in the area than it rains.
  • The situation will change when the average temperature of the planet increases by 3 degrees Celsius.
  • But even if it rises 1.5 to 2 degrees, in the southern part of the Arctic, for example in Greenland and the Norwegian Sea, the rain will already prevail.

Climate models show a transition from snow to rain in the central Arctic by 2060-2070 if carbon emissions to the atmosphere do not decrease. Previously, scientists believed this wouldn’t happen until 2090.

Consequences for the planet

Among the consequences of such changes are accelerating global warming and melting permafrost, massive animal hunger and many other problems. Rapid warming in the region could exacerbate extreme weather events in Europe, Asia and North America.

A decrease in the frequency or disappearance of snow in the Arctic will cause serious problems for the tundra and permafrost regions. The point is, permafrost absorbs large amounts of carbon and methane. “Flooding the Arctic with hot water,” says Michelle McChrystal of the University of Manitoba, has global consequences.

In summer, scientists were shocked by the first rains on record in Greenland. This happened on August 14, 2021. The rain was recorded for several hours. The rainwater did not have time to flow into the sea and quickly froze. According to observations, it is darker than local snow and ice, therefore, it attracts the sun’s rays more strongly. This will cause the temperature to rise and further accelerate the melting.


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