The North Pole experienced, for a third time this winter, abnormally mild weather and high temperatures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the temperatures were about 50 degrees higher than normal.
The northernmost weather station on Earth, which is located in Greenland, reported that the temperatures surpassed the melting point only 12 hours after warm air streams reached North Pole. Station Nord, located in northeastern Greenland, broke the record of warmest temperature in February by almost four degrees.
Also, the largest settlement on the Norwegian island Svalbard registered temperatures that were over the previous records. Now, they oscillated around 40 degrees, while previously they had not exceeded 20 degrees.
The warm air that reached North Pole was carried by winds that were caught between a North Atlantic storm and a high pressure area in northern Europe. This caused the presence of an area with low pressures that caused the temperatures to reach high levels.
Another peculiar weather phenomenon is the fact that storms appeared so far north in the Atlantic, which happened quite rarely until now. Kent Moore, atmospheric physicist at the University of Toronto, explained that cyclones had started tracking further in the north. They are low pressure systems that bring the heat within the polar circle, causing the temperatures to raise above the freezing point.
These peculiar weather patterns appear to be responsible for this sudden rise of temperatures in February. However, climate change will cause such events to be more common. The increasing concentrations of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere affect both temperatures and the Arctic sea ice.
The reduction of Arctic sea ice and the increase of temperatures is a major issue. Changes usually occur during the summer months, but what is more worrying is the fact that changes have now started occurring in the winter months, too. Thus, the amount of sea ice is shortening and not growing.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced that the ice levels reached a low point in January, more precisely the lowest point ever recorded in January. The surface of ice was of 5.17 million square miles on average.
Climate change greatly affects the North Pole. The decrease in the ice surface allows heat to get closer to the Arctic and this allows for the formation of storms way further in the north than it is normal.
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