Environment

The Weather in the Arctic Right Now Is Terrifying

December 22nd 2016

By:
Willie Burnley Jr.

An extreme warming pattern in the Arctic is startling climate scientists who believe that the higher than average temperatures could spark a continued warming trend and is playing a considerable role in climate change which should be of concern to everyone.

“We need people to know and understand that the Arctic is going to have an impact on their lives no matter where they live,” said Jeremy Mathis, director of the Arctic Research Program for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to the New York Times.

 

The average temperature in parts of the Arctic was more than 35 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal in mid-November, with the pole exceeding the norm by 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

Throughout July, temperatures in the Arctic were above freezing for the first time in 2016. Scientists noted in a study, which linked these changes to human-caused climate change, how drastically this warming could impact the ecosystems and life prospects of animals such as reindeers, whales and polar bears that rely on the ice in the region. Furthermore, there's a link between warming in the Arctic to weather in other parts of the world. 

"The clearest connection so far between the melting Arctic and weather is for extreme winter conditions, such as the intense winters that hit parts of North America and northern Europe in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2013-14, causing record snowfalls and billions of dollars of damage," The Guardian reported

ATTN: reported in November on the troubling trends in the Arctic, noting the positive feedback loop that the extreme warming is likely to produce where warm weather leads to less ice coverage. This can cause more warming due to the direct impact sunlight will have on the land, and so on.

Also, the continued melting of methane-filled permafrost is likely to significantly amplify the effect of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which will likely speed the warming of the planet. 

The Obama administration recently banned drilling in the region in order to secure its environmental stability. However, with the trends as they are, the planet is likely to reap the devastating consequences of human interference.

“A large fraction of the U.S. public still doesn’t believe that it is humans that are affecting the climate system,” said Jennifer Francis, an Arctic climate expert at Rutgers University, to The Guardian. “But one of the silver linings of this pretty dark cloud is that the Arctic is such an obvious and conspicuous change, that anybody can see them happening. There is no ambiguity whatsoever.”