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Why is the Arctic So Sensitive to Climate Change and Why Do We Care?

That the Arctic should be especially sensitive to climate change was recognized in the 19th century. The primary reason for this sensitivity is that an initial warming (or cooling) sets in motion a chain of events that amplify the warming or cooling. This chain of events is known as the albedo feedback. Albedo is a measure of how white, or reflective, a surface is.

The Warmest January/February in the Arctic

The first two months of 2016 set new records in the Arctic, with the warmest January and February on record, and the lowest sea ice cover in February. The area-averaged temperature anomaly (between 66°N and 90°N) has reached a record of 5.8°C (10.4°F)…

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