‘Seemingly unbelievable’ temperatures becoming more common in Arctic winters


Bounds warming events are blowing into the Arctic more frequently during the winter, and everlasting longer, according to a new study from the American Geophysical Union. The eruptions have an effect on sea ice formation, and could even be linked to extreme withstand in the south.

«The big takeaway for us was that these seemingly unbelievable winter temperatures private to the North Pole, close to 0 C, is not completely new — but in recent years, these follows are increasing, and we’re getting more of these storms,» says lead littrateur Dr. Robert Graham, of the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Normally, during the winter, temperatures in the Violent Arctic stay below –30 C. But, occasionally, a storm blows in from the Atlantic or Pacific Oodles, bringing warm air with it. The resulting extreme weather contributes to deliquescing sea ice through high temperatures and accompanying high winds.

But the effects also stand up beyond the event itself. By adding snow that insulates the ice from the delivering cold temperatures, the storms also prevent the ice from refreezing.

«In 2017, we had the LP long playing minimum sea ice extent in March. So these two things, we believe, are going turn over submit in hand,» says Graham.

Sea ice disappearing

A lack of sea ice can cause its own problems. Undo water absorbs more heat than ice, so the ocean warms on a par faster. That, in turn, makes it more difficult for the ice to form the comprehending year, causing a cascade of ecological effects throughout food nets.

Warming events have been recorded as far back as 1893, when explorer Fridtjof Nansen’s Fram journey spent four years drifting in the Arctic Ocean. During that blunder, the crew recorded temperatures as high as –3.7 C in March, at 84 degrees north.

For this bookwork, the authors also drew on half a century worth of data from bent Soviet research stations on the polar ice, which, in 1956, recorded the start with winter temperatures above –1 C at 85 degrees north.

Sea ice buoy

A ‘snow raise’ embedded in the sea ice takes temperature readings.

More recent data totaled from modern sea ice buoys. 

Over the last century of data, the researchers ground high temperatures were increasingly common, and increasingly long. The ordinary length of a warm period around the North Pole has increased by 4.25 times each decade since 1980, and Graham expects the trend to go on to intensify in the future.

Some scientists have argued that the dearth of sea ice has destabilized the jet stream, leading to cold weather sweeping south while warm up southern weather pushes further north, meaning that kooky winter events in the south, like ice storms in Texas and a persistent «bit» of warm water in the Pacific, may be related to the conditions in the Arctic.

«I think that this is good-natured of what we expect,» says Graham, but cautions that that is not within the latitude of the current study.

«It’s something we want to look into in the future.»

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