This year, the Arctic experienced a dangerous warm-up, confronting with outrageous temperatures. While some parts of the Northeast experienced high winds and heavy snow, the Arctic, which should be freezing, had actually experienced quite the opposite. For the third time this winter, the Arctic faced mild weather and unusually high temperatures.
This week, a powerful storm system in the northern Atlantic has destabilized the temperatures in the Arctic by deploying warm air up in the north, enabling temperatures to grow. Based on the data provided by the Danish Meteorological Institute, starting with February 9th, temperatures in the area situated above 80 degrees latitude in the north indicated to be twenty degrees warmer than the average temperature.
Strangely, statistics show that the warmest region is the one over the North Pole. This might be the third time this year when this winter-warming event takes place in the Arctic. On two other occasions, outrageous temperatures have taken over the Arctic. The first one was in November and the second one in December 2016. Similar unusually warm temperatures were also registered in December 2014 and December 2015.
Researchers think that there is a broad range of factors which have boosted the occurrence of these warming events. One of the factors and probably the most influential one is climate change where the interactions between the Arctic sea ice and the air determined the rapid melting of ice sheets. Another factor could be considered the low-pressure system which triggered the rise of temperatures while carrying warm winds to the North Pole.
Kent Moore, an atmospheric physics expert at the University of Toronto, stated that the presence of this storm which occurred was not unusual. Every year, there appear storms which cross the northern Atlantic. Researchers claim that it is surprising how these storms reached so far north this time.
He also noted that extratropical cyclones reached farther north than they usually do and that raised concerns among climatologists because the low-pressure storm systems are bound to heat up the polar area. Scientists did not understand how these events are possible.
Strangely, when warming events occur, temperatures rise to zero degrees or even higher above the freezing temperature. Moore pointed out that this type of unusual warming events was registered to happen since the 1950s.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia