Unusually High Temperatures In Arctic Rise In Frequency

This NPR article talks about how temperatures in the arctic are changing for the worse. Even though the sun hasn’t come out there in months, temperatures in some areas have been above freezing, and in some areas were the highest ever recorded in February. According to Professor Katharine Hayhoe, a professor of climate science at Texas Tech University:

“the Arctic does get winter heat waves – not what you or I would consider a heat wave, but what you’d consider in the Arctic to be a heat wave – about once every 10 years. But what we’re seeing is that these heat waves are getting more and more frequent. And they are getting stronger and stronger to the point where last week, almost all of Europe except for southern Spain and Italy was colder than northern Greenland.

What happens is the polar vortex, which seals the Arctic off in the winter, it’s been weakening. And last week, it actually weakened and split in half, which effectively opened the refrigerator door. And all of that cold air in the Arctic came cascading down over Europe.”

 

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