Emissions from fires in the Arctic

Reuters reported on the fires in the Arctic and the relatively high levels of carbon emissions they release in the atmosphere. The map above shows carbon emissions from wildfire in 2021, and the chart on the right shows totals by latitude, which emphasizes the geography in the north.

The illustrations, which I appreciate and have become more of a norm in Reuters pieces, round out the maps and charts with more context:

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Mapping climate change in the Arctic

UnstableGround is a project from the Woodwell Climate Research Center that focuses on climate change in the Arctic:

Climate change is transforming the Arctic, impacting people and ecosystems across this vast region. But because our climate system is connected globally, what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.

Discover how Arctic landscapes are changing and learn about the consequences for communities across the globe.

A stories section uses maps, charts, and photographs to communicate the ongoing research.

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Arctic ice melting

One way to gauge the amount of ice in the Arctic is to look at the average age of the ice. From the NASA Scientific Visualization Studio, the map above shows the estimated age of ice on a monthly basis, going back to 1984:

One significant change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline in perennial sea ice. Perennial sea ice, also known as multi-year ice, is the portion of the sea ice that survives the summer melt season. Perennial ice may have a life-span of nine years or more and represents the thickest component of the sea ice; perennial ice can grow up to four meters thick. By contrast, first year ice that grows during a single winter is generally at most two meters thick.

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Disappearing Arctic reflected in National Geographic maps

Shrinking Arctic

In the most recent update to their atlas coming in September, National Geographic explains the shrinking Arctic through the lens of previous atlas maps. It's not looking good.

As the ocean heats up due to global warming, Arctic sea ice has been locked in a downward spiral. Since the late 1970s, the ice has retreated by 12 percent per decade, worsening after 2007, according to NASA. May 2014 represented the third lowest extent of sea ice during that month in the satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

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