Feb 2, 2017

‘Beyond the extreme’: Scientists marvel at ‘increasingly non-natural’ Arctic warmth

Arctic
by
Jason Samenow
,
Washington Post
Unfortunately, influxes of "warm" air from both the Pacific/Atlantic Oceans this week will likely continue preventing #Arctic sea ice growth. Image: NSIDC, Zack Labe, @ZLabe
Unfortunately, influxes of "warm" air from both the Pacific/Atlantic Oceans this week will likely continue preventing #Arctic sea ice growth. Image: NSIDC, Zack Labe, @ZLabe

The Arctic is so warm and has been this warm for so long that scientists are struggling to explain it and are in disbelief. The climate of the Arctic is known to oscillate wildly, but scientists say this warmth is so extreme that humans surely have their hands in it and may well be changing how it operates.

The Arctic is so warm and has been this warm for so long that scientists are struggling to explain it and are in disbelief. The climate of the Arctic is known to oscillate wildly, but scientists say this warmth is so extreme that humans surely have their hands in it and may well be changing how it operates.

2016 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic, and 2017 has picked up right where it left off. “Arctic extreme (relative) warmth continues,” Ryan Maue, a meteorologist with WeatherBell Analytics, tweeted on Wednesday, referring to January’s temperatures.

Veteran Arctic climate scientists are stunned.

“[A]fter studying the Arctic and its climate for three and a half decades, I have concluded that what has happened over the last year goes beyond even the extreme,” wrote Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., in an essay for Earth magazine.