Dec 30, 2015

Unusual storm pushes North Pole temperatures 40 F above average

Greenland
by
Renee Lewis
,
Al Jazeera
rctic winter temperatures have risen 1 to 2 degrees Celsius above freezing – an extremely rare occurrence. Credit: Pixabay
rctic winter temperatures have risen 1 to 2 degrees Celsius above freezing – an extremely rare occurrence. Credit: Pixabay

A storm system has carried unusually warm air into the Arctic, raising temperatures near the North Pole in the last two days to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

While the unusually high Arctic temperatures were what meteorologists refer to as a day-to-day weather event, the conditions that fostered it are long term and ongoing — namely, El Niño and warming oceans — as a result of climate change, according to scientists. Warmer ocean temperatures have supercharged weather events by providing extra energy to the atmosphere, making it warmer and moister. That has contributed to severe weather events witnessed in the southern U.S., which has experienced a spate of winter tornadoes, storms and flooding.