When the going gets tough, there is often a lot of talk about hell freezing over. In reality, it’s the opposite we have to worry about. Temperatures at the North Pole this week are 50 degrees higher than usual for December. Let that sink in for a moment; that’s 50 as in five-zero. That’s pretty disconcerting on its own, but things get hairier when you learn that the temperature actually rose above freezing, at the North Pole, in winter. All global warming naysayers can now step directly off.
It’s been an unseasonably warm winter so far around the globe, with a strong El Niño bringing waves of heavy rains, warm fronts, and other bizarre weather events. At the North Pole, this means temperatures above the freezing point. Typically, it’s pretty darn chilly at the end of December, around 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Although the temps have been higher than average all week, a ‘freak storm’ on Tuesday night caused temperatures to spike yesterday (December 30).
The storm was responsible for a huge pressure drop near Iceland, leading meteorologists to classify the rapidly intensifying mid-latitude storm as a “bomb” cyclogenesis. The National Weather Service (NOAA) ranks it in the top five strongest storms on record in this region. The storm forced a huge wave of warm air north into the Arctic Circle. There are no weather stations situated precisely at the North Pole (but there are a few webcams) but a reading from a nearby buoy (WMO ID Buoy 6400476) confirmed the remarkable temperature reading of just 0.7 degrees Celsius or 33 degrees Fahrenheit.
This and other weather anomalies around the globe are directly related to climate change, making it clear that we need to do everything we can to reduce our footprint and reverse the effects of global warming. This year, when they say the weather outside is frightful, it will mean something completely new. Let that fright inspire us to do our part for the planet.