Dec. 10: Arctic Clouds Are Speeding Region’s Warming

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A new research study found that increases in cloud cover in the Arctic are actually speeding up the region’s warming. In the Arctic, clouds warm the surface and amplify regional warming because there’s little sunlight in the Arctic in fall and winter, so the insulating properties of clouds far outweigh their shading properties. Researchers analyzed measurements from scientific research stations located at Barrow, Alaska; Eureka on Ellesmere Island; and Summit, Greenland. They used climate modeling as well as observations to show that the effect is already occurring in the Arctic and is expected to increase in the future as the climate warms.