20 Degrees Above Average, Arctic Heatwave May Break Records This Christmas

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20 Degrees Above Average, Arctic Heatwave May Break Records This Christmas

Temperatures at the North Pole may rise up to 20 degrees higher than average this Christmas Eve


London:  In what may be a record-breaking heatwave, temperatures at the North Pole may rise up to 20 degrees higher than average this Christmas Eve, scientists have warned.

These unseasonably warm weather patterns in the Arctic region are directly linked to man-made climate change, they said.

Temperatures throughout November and December this year were five degree Celsius higher than average. It follows a summer during which Arctic sea ice reached the second-lowest extent ever recorded by satellites.

"In pre-industrial times, a heatwave like this would have been extremely rare - we would expect it to occur about every 1,000 years," said Friederike Otto, a senior researcher at Oxford University told 'BBC News'.

Temperatures will peak on Christmas Eve around the North Pole - at near-freezing. The warm air from the North Atlantic is likely flow all the way to the North Pole via Spitsbergen, giving rise to clouds that prevent heat from escaping.

Forecasting models show that there is about a 2 per cent chance of a heatwave event occurring every year. "But if temperatures continue to increase further as they are now, we would expect a heatwave like this to occur every year and that will be a huge stress on the ecosystem," said Otto.

The freeze and thaw conditions are already making it difficult for reindeer to find food - as the moss they feed on is covered by hard ice, rather than soft, penetrable snow.
 


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