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Consequences of Climate Change: The Arctic is Turning Green and it's a Bad Sign

Jun 29, 2016 08:53 AM EDT
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The Arctic is turning green and it's a bad sign for the future. On June 2, NASA released a study that says that almost a third of the Arctic Tundra across Alaska and Canada is getting warmer. Now, a new research supports the study, revealing that the Arctic getting greener could be attributed to human activity and greenhouse gas emissions.

The research published in the journal Nature Climate Change conducted a "detection and attribution" study, which involves creating climate models for different events or change, such as the Arctic greening, and see how these events will impact the climate models when mixed with human greenhouse gas emissions.

The results of the simulations showed that the Arctic greening trend can be mainly attributed to "anthropogenic forcings, particularly to rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.” The study also notes that even in the areas where there is not much greening, precipitation has been declining as well.

Another reason of the said greening in the Arctic is due to the increase of nitrogen in the atmosphere due to the human use of fertilizers and fossil fuels.

Jiafu Mao of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and lead author of the study told Washington Post, "We first find this kind of human fingerprint … particularly the greenhouse gas impact, on this kind of enhanced vegetation growth."

The new study, coupled with NASA's previous findings, confirms that Arctic greening is indeed an alarming trend and global warming has been greatly affecting the vegetation in high latitude areas.

Mao said that even though researchers have already detected the extent of impact that global warming and human activities has in the Arctic at present, future effects of the trend could still not be determined.

“Although we already identify this kind of human impact on this historical vegetation growth, for the future, it’s hard to predict,” said Mao.

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