Wednesday, February 08, 2017

If things are heated in Washington, they're even more so in the Arctic

The Winter of Blazing Discontent Continues in the Arctic

By Brian Kahn, Climate Central
Published: February 6th, 2017

Weird. Strange. Extreme. Unprecedented.

These are some of the words that describe what’s been happening in the Arctic over the past year as surge after surge of warm air have stalled, and at times reversed, sea ice pack growth. And the unfortunate string of superlatives is set to continue this week.

Arctic sea ice is already sitting at a record low for this time of year and a powerful North Atlantic storm is expected to open the flood gates and send more warmth pouring into the region from the lower latitudes. By Thursday, it could reach up to 50°F above normal. In absolute temperature, that’s near the freezing point and could further spur a decline in sea ice.

Scientists have said the past year in the Arctic is “beyond even the extreme” as climate change remakes the region. Sea ice hit a record low maximum last winter (for the second year in a row, no less) and the second-lowest minimum ever recorded last fall. After a fairly rapid refreeze in late September, the region experienced a dramatic shift. Extraordinary warmth has been a recurring theme.

(The article is here.)

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