Drastic Arctic melt is expected to continue if conditions don't change. Photo source
Tuesday, 5 January 2016
A Freak Heatwave Has Struck The North Pole!
I saw this article on social media today (link found here) which has shown that the temperature at the North Pole hit a record high this year reaching 0 degrees Celsius, tinkering on the edge of the melting point. The cause of this is due to two reasons: 1) a low pressure mass which has moved through the U.S. and Europe and a high pressure mass around Siberia, and 2) harsh winter cyclones over the North Atlantic. As people who reside in the UK, this winter has be far from cold, along with wave after wave of devastating storms, storm Frank being the latest. The combination of the two reasons mentioned has meant warm air has been drawn up through southern Europe and Africa into higher latitudes causing warmer conditions. It is not only the North Pole which has noticed warmer temperatures, but the Alps have seen one of the driest and mildest seasons on record leading to poor snow conditions and glacial melt throughout the winter months.
Now is this a sign of global warming, or just a sign of atmospheric instability and natural variability? Personally I believe its a combination of both, with average Arctic temperatures increasing (my last two blog posts), and in general, northern hemisphere ice masses retreating. On top of this, the weather systems the UK and the U.S. have been struck by is uncertain whether this is natural variability or the cause of climate change, we may know in the near future if these events continue.