Arctic + 70°F over normal temperatures | Antarctic 50°F over normal temperatures
Perhaps one of the reasons most people are not quite grasping the scale of the global climate catastrophe is that some of the most significant events are happening in places most people don’t go. Nevertheless, weather satellites are currently reporting data from the poles that should alarm anyone and everyone (not that there is a shortage of that type of news).
It is late winter in the Arctic but temperatures are nearly at the freezing mark, about 70°F above the normal average at some measurement stations. Some near North Pole stations reported the beginning of melt, far earlier in the season than normal.
On the other end of the planet, temperature records are being set on these last days of Summer. On Friday March 18, the Concordia weather (at two miles altitude) reported 10F and the Vostok station hit 0, a new all-time record by 27 degrees. Terra Nova base was at a balmy 44.6°F. As opposed to the West Antarctic Peninsula, these temps are happening on the vast frozen Eastern Antarctica land mass, the coldest place on Earth.
At the same time, Antarctic sea ice extent is at an all time record low since measurement began in 1979;
According to National Snow and Ice Data Center’s Walt Meier: “It’s pretty stunning. They are opposite seasons. You don’t see the north and the south (poles) both melting at the same time. It’s definitely an unusual occurrence.”
Another scientist was less circumspect. “Wow. I have never seen anything like this in the Antarctic.*
Anomalies happen all the time or they would not be called anomalies; it is the one two punch of these simultaneous conditions that has climate scientists comparing the situation to the extended killer 2021 heat wave in the Pacific Northwest.
While it is well documented that the Arctic is warming two to three times as fast as the rest of the planet, Antarctica has been less dramatic. (That doesn’t mean it isn’t getting hotter, it’s that the rate of increase is more modest).
Yes indeed. There are plenty of unusual occurrences to go around these days.