Feb 27, 2018

'It's never been this extreme': Arctic warmer than Europe

by
Alister Doyle
,
The Sydney Morning Herald
A bicycle is parked in front the ancient Colosseum during a snowfall in Rome. Photo: AP
A bicycle is parked in front the ancient Colosseum during a snowfall in Rome. Photo: AP

Oslo: A freak warming around the North Pole is sending a blast of Arctic cold over Europe in a sign of "wacky" weather that may happen more often with man-made global warming, scientists say.

On the northern tip of Greenland, the Cape Morris Jesup meteorological site has had a record-smashing 61 hours of temperatures above freezing so far in 2018, linked to a rare retreat of sea ice in the Arctic winter darkness.

"It's never been this extreme," said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

Warmth was coming into the Arctic both up from the Atlantic and through the Bering Strait, driving and cold air south.

Around the entire Arctic region, temperatures are now about 20C above normal, at minus 8C, according to DMI calculations.

...

Hit by easterly winds from Siberia, cities from Warsaw to Oslo were colder than minus 8C.

As long ago as 1973, a study suggested that an ice-free Arctic Ocean could make regions further south colder.

That "warm Arctic, cold continent" (WAC#C) pattern is sometimes dubbed "wacc-y" or "wacky" among climate scientists.

"Wacky weather continues with scary strength and persistence," tweeted Professor Lars Kaleschke, a professor at the University of Hamburg.

"Wacky weather continues with scary strength and persistence," tweeted Professor Lars Kaleschke, a professor at the University of Hamburg.

"The question is whether this weather will happen more often. This is just one event so it's hard to make a causal relationship," he told Reuters.