Icy Europe, balmy North Pole: the world upside down

Temperatures at the earth’s surface on February 25 at 1200 GMT [image credit: phys.org]

The role of the lowest solar cycle for at least a century is mostly ignored by believers in man-made global warming. There are signs of climate change, but not necessarily the kind they expect.

Not for the first time in recent years, Europe has descended into a deep freeze while the Arctic experiences record high temperatures, leaving scientists to ponder the role global warming may play in turning winter weather upside down, says Phys.org.

The reversal has been dramatic.

A Siberian cold front has spread sub-zero temperatures across Europe, carpeting southern cities and palm-lined Mediterranean beaches with snow.

On Sunday, meanwhile, air temperatures at the North Pole—which won’t see the Sun until March—rose above freezing.

“In relative terms, that’s a 30 C (54 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature anomaly,” Robert Rohde, lead scientist at Berkeley Earth in Washington, tweeted.

At the Longyearbyen weather station on the Island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean, temperatures were 10 C above average over the last 30 days, according to Zack Labe, a climate modeller at the University of California Irvine.

At the same time, sea ice is covering the smallest area in the dead of winter since records began more than half a century ago.

In one region, around Svalbard, the area covered by sea ice—205,727 square kilometres—on Monday was less than half the average for the period 1981-2010, the Norway Ice Service reported.

“Positive temperatures near the North Pole in winter are thought to have occurred during four winters between 1980 and 2010,” Robert Graham, a climate scientist at the Norwegian Polar Institute, told AFP.

They have now occurred in four out of the last five winters.”

This acceleration, experts said, circumstantially points to climate change, which has—over the same period—warmed the Arctic region twice as fast as the global average.

Transform the planet

Another clue may be the Arctic thaw/European deep freeze pairing.

“The surge of mild weather at the North Pole and the cold front in Europe are directly linked,” Etienne Kapikian, a scientist at Meteo France, the national weather service, told AFP.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop


February 28, 2018 at 05:40AM

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