The Arctic Just Experienced One of Its Hottest-Ever Years in 2020
2020 hasn't only been about the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the world saw new extreme temperatures on both land and sea—especially the Arctic.
For the past 15 years, scientists have monitored the state of the Arctic and the way it's been heating up. The annual Arctic Report Card, published by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, shows that the polar region endured one of the hottest years in 2020.
How bad is it? Well, the ice is thinner and younger which makes it extremely fragile. Since 2007, the Arctic's climate system has only risen in temperature. The change has been called the New Arctic (sound familiar?) as ice and snow have continually melted and disappeared.
"One of the things that's important to realize about the Arctic is it's a system. It's a system of interconnected components," says Dartmouth University professor of engineering and study co-author Donald Perovich. "You can change one thing, those changes cascade through the whole system."
In other related news, the U.N. has reported that 2020 is among the three hottest years ever in record. Whew.