Science News

End of Year Brings Record Warmth in Arctic

A heat wave hit the North Pole as 2015 changed to 2016, with winter temperatures 50 degrees F above average on December 30. Parts of the Arctic Circle that average 20 degrees F below zero in the dead of winter were hovering right around the freezing point. Scientists from NOAA blamed the warmth on winter cyclone Frank over the Atlantic near Iceland that sent warm air from south to north.

 

The North Pole, shrouded in darkness at this time of year, was warmer than most of the American West!

Read more: Here

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The extreme warming anomaly was short-lived. Temps returned to normal by New Years Day. However, recently released NOAA-sponsored report shows that air temperature in 2015 across the Arctic was well above average with temperature anomalies over land more than 2 degrees F above average, the highest since records began in 1900. Increasing air and sea surface temperatures, decreasing sea ice extent and Greenland ice sheet mass, and changing behavior of fish and walrus are among key observations released in the Arctic Report Card 2015.

That report states that the Arctic is warming faster than the global average. For more information on this report, click here.

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