Arctic Temperature Rise Causes Alarm & Arctic Watchers Are Panicking; Is This The Wake Up Call We All Need?

By Arianne Gift , Updated Nov 22, 2016 09:17 AM EST
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It's that time of the year where the Arctic is enveloped in the polar night. This means that the sun hardly ever comes up and thick sheets of ice start to form for the winter. However, researchers have reported an unusual rise of temperature in the region, recording a 36 degrees Fahrenheit, which is already insanely hot for the Arctic.

In a report by The Washington Post, various Arctic specialists and climate scientists have been cited voicing out one concern: that the temperatures are increasing rather than decreasing at this time of the year. In addition, Arctic sea temperatures are up to 25 degrees above average.

An Arctic watcher and PhD student at the University of California at Irvine named Zack Labe took to Twitter to express his concern of the rising temperatures. "Today's latest #Arctic mean temperature continues to move the wrong direction . . . up. Quite an anomalous spike!," Labe tweeted.

What Caused The Sudden Arctic Warmth?

According to Jennifer Francis, an Arctic specialist at Rutgers University, the Arctic's bizarre heat is the result of a combination of warm air from lower latitudes driven up and a record-low sea-ice extent. "It's about 20C [36 degrees Fahrenheit] warmer than normal over most of the Arctic Ocean, along with cold anomalies of about the same magnitude over north-central Asia," she said by email via The Post.

Meteorologist Richard James cements Francis' explanation by saying that the Arctic region has been flooded with moist/warm air since October. James has been tracking 19 weather stations around the Arctic Ocean for months, and writes on the Alaskan Weather and Climate Blog.

The Arctic Warmth's Aftermath

The effects of the sudden temperature rise is still unclear as of the moment. However, one plausible and directly affected factor is the local wildlife, like the polar bears. This time of the year, polar bears descend on the Arctic to prowl on the sea ice. If the ice is not thick enough to withstand their weight, their population would greatly suffer.

Arctic experts are keeping an eye on the situation closely and will be posting updates. In the meantime, we could only hope for the temperature to decrease.

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