In the News
Arctic 2.0: What happens after all the ice goes?
As the Arctic slipped into the half-darkness of autumn last year, it seemed to enter the Twilight Zone. In the span of a few months, all manner of strange things happened. The cap of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean started to shrink when it should have been growing. Temperatures at the North Pole soared more than 20 °C above normal at times. And polar bears prowling the shorelines of Hudson Bay had a record number of run-ins with people while waiting for the water to freeze over.
How rapid Arctic sea ice melt may alter global weather patterns
Significant melting of Arctic sea ice is linked to changing global weather patterns, but climate scientists still have a lot of unanswered questions. "The Arctic is changing fairly rapidly," NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab oceanographer Dr. James Overland said, citing the record low ice extent in November 2016.
The Polar Vortex Is Back, and a Warmer Arctic May Be to Blame
RESIDENTS OF ANCHORAGE, Alaska, found themselves enjoying a stretch of relatively balmy weather this past December, with temperatures at times climbing above freezing. More southerly cities near the Canada-U.S. border, meanwhile, sat in the grip of a deep freeze, with some double-digit temperature drops triggering extreme cold weather alerts.
Beneath the waves or underground, warming Alaska poses multiple threats
When you talk to climatologists about 2016, the phrase “mind-boggling” comes up a lot. “For crying out loud, yesterday it was 36 degrees in Barrow, Alaska, in the middle of winter,” said Rick Fritsch, a climate expert for the National Weather Service in Juneau. “If that doesn’t make the point, I don’t know what does. That’s not supposed to happen, at least not in the world I used to live in.”
Grab Your Ear Muffs, the New Year’s Arriving With a Frigid Bang
A deep freeze is about to descend on North America, Europe and Asia thanks to record high temperatures across the Arctic. How’s that? “Think of it like a seesaw,” said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. If winter temperatures rise north of Alaska, that “forces an equal-opposite downward-southward push. The cold essentially has to go somewhere else.”