The researchers also looked at what is likely to happen in the future using 17 of the world's most sophisticated computer climate models. They found that by the end of this century, places like Victoria Island in northern Canada will have temperatures more like mid-20th century Montana while in Europe, Arctic Sweden's temps will resemble those of Southern France in the mid-20th century.
"In principle, you should be able to grow grapes in Sweden," said Boston University vegetation and climate researcher Ranga Myneni. "A lot of people think this is helping the plants," but at what point do you stop? he asked. Too much warming in the Arctic and in areas to the south could create new climate problems. For instance, so far the warming in northern North America has not been accompanied by more precipitation (as it has in northern Eurasia), Myneni explained. More heat without more water makes for a drier climate. Myneni is also the scientist behind a new global petition to take action on climate change.