Science Talk

What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic

Warming of polar region will lead to climate changes that will impact the rest of the world

Professor Benjamin Horton speaking on sea-level rise at the "Arctic: Today and the Future" forum in St Petersburg.
Professor Benjamin Horton speaking on sea-level rise at the "Arctic: Today and the Future" forum in St Petersburg.

Contrary to the famous line "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", global warming is changing the Arctic in ways that will impact our climate and our world.

Its climate is changing at an accelerated pace compared with the rest of the world. Temperatures there, for instance, have risen 2.3 deg C since the 1970s, nearly twice the rate of the rest of the world. The Arctic region acts as a refrigerator for the rest of the world. It gives off more heat to space than it absorbs from outside, which helps cool the planet.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2019, with the headline 'What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic'. Subscribe