Model Question and Answers for APSC | What do you understand by the term Arctic amplification? Discuss its impact on the world population along with measures that can be taken against it.
What do you understand by the term Arctic amplification? Discuss its impact on the world population along with measures that can be taken against it.
Ans: Arctic amplification refers to the phenomenon in which the Arctic region is experiencing more rapid warming than the rest of the planet. A new study shows that the Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the world over the past 43 years. This means the Arctic is on average around 3℃ warmer than it was in 1980.
Factors Responsible For Arctic Amplification:
The loss of sea ice is one of the most cited reasons. When bright and reflective ice melts, it gives way to a darker ocean; this amplifies the warming trend because the ocean surface absorbs more heat from the Sun than the surface of snow and ice. Another reason is heat transferred by ocean currents.
Impact Of Arctic Amplification On The World Population: Positive Impact:
• Northern Sea Route: Rapid melting in the arctic is opening up a new sea route i.e. the northern sea route.
• Agriculture And Energy Explorations: Melting the arctic region will open up new areas for agriculture and fossil fuel exploration.
• Runaway Warming Due To Positive Feedback Loop: Arctic amplification is causing the sea ice to melt at an alarming rate. As the sea ice melts, it exposes more open water, which absorbs more sunlight and leads to even more warming.
• Rising Sea Levels: As the Arctic sea ice melts, it is contributing to rising sea levels. Example Indonesia has already transferred its capital from Jakarta to Nusantara due to threats of sea level rise.
• Changes In Weather Patterns: Arctic amplification is causing changes in atmospheric circulation patterns, which can lead to more extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts, and heavy precipitation events.
• Thawing Of Permafrost: The warming Arctic is causing permafrost to thaw, which can release large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gasses can further contribute to warming.
• Impacts On Wildlife: Arctic amplification is affecting the habitats and migration patterns of many Arctic species, including polar bears, walruses, and caribou.
• Effects On Indigenous Communities: Melting sea ice is making it harder for Indigenous communities in the Arctic to hunt and fish, and thawing permafrost is causing damage to infrastructure and cultural sites.
Impact On India:
• The subcontinent's monsoon season may experience unusually heavy rainfall in September and October due to decreased sea ice in the Barents-Kara region.
• The Indian coast is experiencing a faster-than-global-average sea level rise due to melting sea ice in the polar regions, as per the World Meteorological Organization's 'State of Global Climate in 2021' report.
Measures Needed To Tackle Arctic Amplification:
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency
• Protecting and restoring Arctic ecosystems through measures such as reducing pollution and controlling invasive species,
• Promoting sustainable development in arctic that balances economic, social, and environmental considerations
• International cooperation, and adaptation and resilience building such as improving infrastructure and emergency response systems.
The sustainable use of the Arctic is essential for global survival, and it is imperative that we adopt a balanced and long-term approach to achieve this. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in the Arctic, and urgent action is needed to mitigate these effects and protect the unique and valuable ecosystems of the region.