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Is the Arctic Warming Faster than the Rest of the World?

The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world — twice as fast, on average. From the 1970s through the 2000s, however, the average temperature of some parts of the Arctic has increased 10 times more than the average worldwide temperature increase of 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) per decade. The Arctic, Earth's ice-covered most northern region, is thought to be warming more quickly than the rest of Earth because of the albedo effect, which occurs when the loss of ice reduces the reflection of the sun’s heat back into space, and instead uncovers bare water and rock that take in and store the sun’s heat.

More about the Arctic:

  • The amount of ice in the Arctic region decreased 14% from the 1970s to 2012.

  • Eight countries have regions that extend into the Arctic: Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US.

  • Polar bears are located only in the Arctic, and environmentalists project that they could be extinct by the year 2100 if the region continues to warm at the projected rate.

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