Record-breaking heat at the poles worries scientists

A view of the icebergs in the Pinola Strait in Antarctica.

A view of the icebergs in the Pinola Strait in Antarctica.
Photo: Sebnim Coskun / Anadolu Agency (Getty Images)

Unusually warm temperatures erupted Several records In both Antarctica and the North Pole late last week. Concordia Research Base in East Antarctica, one of the most remote search facilities in the world, Temperatures are reported around -11 degrees Celsius or about 11 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal on the icy continent.

Arctic temperatures reached new heights around the same time. According to a tweet from a climate scientist at Norwegian Meteorological Institute The mercury reached about 3.9 degrees Celsiusius, or roughly 39 degrees Fahrenheit. this 50 degrees Fahrenheit (30°C) higher than normalnot to mention higher than the point where the ice melts.

Jonathan Wylie, a postdoctoral researcher at Grenoble Alps University, tweeted that around this time of year, temperatures in Antarctica should drop, especially after the Antarctic summer solstice has already passed, and the days are starting to get noticeably shorter. “This is it [like] Heat wave event in the Pacific Northwest 2021”, Tweeted. “It wasn’t supposed to happen.”

The researchers told News agency That rising temperatures cannot always be attributed to the climate crisis – yet. Zachary Lab, a climate scientist at Colorado State University who specializes in the study of the Arctic, explained that some factors in each of the warming events occur regularly, while others are linked to climate change.

“These plumes of moisture and heat travel to the North Pole and the Antarctic… This is a natural mechanism,” Lappé told Earther. “These events were particularly extreme, and they happened at the same time, which could be just a coincidence, because they’re in completely different hemispheres.”

Washington Post mentioned These satellite images are from Modèle Atmosphérique Régionalea climate model that helps scientists study ice melt in pOoles, that there was snow and rain during the heat wave in Antarctica. Labe explained it atmospheric rivers Bring warm moist air to the poles.

The moisture brought by the storm to Antarctica could not escape from the area due to the high pressure system. “I think the Antarctic event was a little bit longer in duration because it’s high [pressure] That warm, moist air.” These systems are often known as keep storms awayAnd the but they Higher temperatures can trap, increasing the potential for a heat wave, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Labbe said something similar happened in the Arctic as well.

Lapp also said heat events will do Climate change communication Differently, due to the unique geography of each pole. The North Pole is an ocean surrounded by a land mass, and it is easy for researchers to relate some of the variables in that region to the changing climate. But Antarctica is a frozen land mass surrounded by ocean, which creates different weather conditions and more variability, so it’s hard to pinpoint different thawing events or weather changes specifically to climate change, he said.

Lapp stressed that although these extreme events made headlines, it was the trends over time that really told the story about how the climate crisis was related.

“In the Arctic, we have found that … this type of event may occur more frequently. This will have major implications for the Arctic ecosystem, affecting sea ice.” “Seeing more and more warm air events in the Arctic, in the winter, is certainly an eye opener as a climate scientist.”

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