Icy Europe, balmy North Pole: the world upside down

February 28, 2018 by Marlowe Hood
Temperatures at the earth's surface on February 25 at 1200 GMT.

Not for the first time in recent years, Europe has descended into a deep freeze while the Arctic experiences record high temperatures, leaving scientists to ponder the role global warming may play in turning winter weather upside down.

The reversal has been dramatic.

A Siberian cold front has spread sub-zero temperatures across Europe, carpeting southern cities and palm-lined Mediterranean beaches with snow.

On Sunday, meanwhile, air temperatures at the North Pole—which won't see the Sun until March—rose above freezing.

"In relative terms, that's a 30 C (54 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature anomaly," Robert Rohde, lead scientist at Berkeley Earth in Washington, tweeted.

At the Longyearbyen weather station on the Island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean, temperatures were 10 C above average over the last 30 days, according to Zack Labe, a climate modeller at the University of California Irvine.

At the same time, sea ice is covering the smallest area in the dead of since records began more than half a century ago.

In one region, around Svalbard, the area covered by sea ice—205,727 square kilometres—on Monday was less than half the average for the period 1981-2010, the Norway Ice Service reported.

"Positive temperatures near the North Pole in winter are thought to have occurred during four winters between 1980 and 2010," Robert Graham, a at the Norwegian Polar Institute, told AFP.

A couple sit on a bench overlooking the snow-covered fields of Thirsk in the North Yorks Moors National Park in North Yorkshire, on February 27, 2018

They have now occurred in four out of the last five winters."

This acceleration, experts said, circumstantially points to climate change, which has—over the same period—warmed the Arctic region twice as fast as the global average.

Transform the planet

Another clue may be the Arctic thaw/European pairing.

"The surge of mild weather at the North Pole and the cold front in Europe are directly linked," Etienne Kapikian, a scientist at Meteo France, the national weather service, told AFP.

"Just how hot is the Arctic now?" tweeted Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute and a member of the US National Academy of Science.

"Hotter than ever measured in winter. Human-caused climate change is beginning to radically transform our planet."

Gleick's larger assertion is no longer seriously contested, but the link between the "warm Arctic, cold continent" phenomenon and has yet to be proven, other scientists say.

The shore of the bay of Ajaccio covered with snow, on the French Mediteranean island of Corsica

If the connection with global warming remains speculative, the mechanics of what scientists call "sudden stratospheric warming"—the weird winter weather's immediate cause—is well understood.

Strong winds in the stratosphere circulate west-to-east over the Arctic some 30 kilometres above Earth's surface. This is the polar vortex.

The jet stream, meanwhile, races in the same direction at bullet-train speed 10 kilometres overhead at the upper boundary of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere.

Sometimes the vortex dramatically warms and weakens, with winds slowing down and even reversing, explained Marlene Kretschmer, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

A cooling tendency

"When this happens, it can affect the jet stream where our weather is made," she told AFP. "That is exactly what has happened now."

Freezing Arctic air that is normally "locked" in the breaks out, creating the Siberian cold front that has blanketed Europe.

Sudden stratospheric warming occurs, on average, every other year, so it is not a rare phenomenon.

The Forum in Rone on February 26, 2017. Not for the first time in recent years, Europe has descended into a deep freeze while the Arctic experiences record high temperatures

But over the last two decades, the vortex's breakdowns have become deeper and more persistent.

"Overall, the global warming trend is clear," said Kretschmer. Earth's average surface temperature has gone up by one degree Celsius since the mid-19th century—enough to unleash deadly drought, heatwaves, and storms engorged by rising seas.

"But if you just look at winter temperatures since 1990, you see a cooling tendency in winter over northern Eurasia."

Still, the question remains: What drives changes in the intensity and duration of sudden stratospheric warming?

One theory holds that newly ice-free ocean surface—which absorbs the Sun's rays rather than bouncing them back into space like snow—releases warmth into the air that eventually disrupts the stratosphere.

"It is hard to say that any one event is linked to global warming," said Kretschmer.

"But there are a lot of studies now suggesting this pattern—warm Arctic, cold continent—could be linked to climate change."

"This much is certain—there is overwhelming evidence that changes in the Arctic will affect our weather," she added.

Explore further: Winter cold extremes linked to high-altitude polar vortex weakening

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rrwillsj
4.1 / 5 (13) Feb 28, 2018
Oh, hwy! The dumpsters going to get all those 'white european' immigrants and refugees he's been wanting.

Terrific! America needs the genetic infusion to overcome the degenerate stock of inbred crackers infesting the US.
snoosebaum
1.3 / 5 (14) Feb 28, 2018
fake news never stops , lol,,, how about some pics of ''balmy arctic''
jonesdave
4.2 / 5 (15) Feb 28, 2018
fake news never stops , lol,,, how about some pics of ''balmy arctic''


Check your browser. There is a temperature map up there ^^^^^^^^^
Caliban
5 / 5 (13) Feb 28, 2018
fake news never stops , lol,,, how about some pics of ''balmy arctic''


Nice work, snotsball.

It goes without saying that you are too stupid and ignorant to know that ten degrees Celsius is about fifty or so degrees Fahrenheit -- a BALMY temperature, indeed, for THE ARCTIC, in the DEAD OF WINTER.

Now, PISS OFF.
BackBurner
1 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2018
The perils of satellite thermometry; everything you know is wrong.

New instruments, new standards. Let's panic?
BackBurner
1 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2018
It goes without saying that you are too stupid and ignorant to know that ten degrees Celsius is about fifty or so degrees Fahrenheit -- a BALMY temperature, indeed, for THE ARCTIC, in the DEAD OF WINTER.


And you were exactly where in 1818? Somewhere in the Arctic with a thermometer and a notepad?

Maybe you were looking for your marbles?
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2018
''Check your browser. There is a temperature map up there ^^^^^^^^^''

there is a temp map here too https://www.windy...40.625,4

unlike the fake one on your browser
leetennant
4.7 / 5 (15) Feb 28, 2018
"Not for the first time in recent years, Europe has descended into a deep freeze while the Arctic experiences record high temperatures..."

As predicted...

Seriously, how many articles do we have to read where people breathlessly recite something that boils down to "thing we knew would happen is happening".

We knew this would happen if we kept emitting CO2 at this levels. It is happening. Not a shock, although it should make everyone very very angry. We could have stopped this.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2018
time for some sunbathing and go for a swim ;

https://www.thewe...ut/alert
jonesdave
4.1 / 5 (14) Feb 28, 2018
there is a temp map here too https://www.windy...40.625,4

unlike the fake one on your browser


Looks almost identical to the one in my browser! Maybe you need to learn how to read a map.
jonesdave
4.3 / 5 (16) Feb 28, 2018
time for some sunbathing and go for a swim ;

https://www.thewe...ut/alert


And where is Alert, Nunavut? Check it out, then check the map above. Looks damned accurate to me. Like I said, you need to learn to understand maps. And temperatures. And science in general.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (9) Feb 28, 2018
''Maybe you need to learn how to read a map.'',

maybe you need glasses
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (12) Feb 28, 2018
Icy Europe, balmy North Pole: the world upside down

An understanding that the poles are shifting while the Earth's magnetic field is weakening will shed light on this conundrum. There is no need to worry about AGW pseudoscientific claptrap, we've got bigger fish to fry.
jonesdave
4.1 / 5 (13) Feb 28, 2018
''Maybe you need to learn how to read a map.'',

maybe you need glasses


Nope. The page you linked has pretty much the same depiction as in the image at the top of the page. Not exact, of course, because the image above is from the 25th.

http://www.imageb...65812473
snoosebaum
1.4 / 5 (11) Feb 28, 2018
your image shows 'the green' just a bit north of norway but not even near svalbard , the image attached to this article shows the green going all the way to the pole.
jonesdave
4.1 / 5 (14) Feb 28, 2018
your image shows 'the green' just a bit north of norway but not even near svalbard , the image attached to this article shows the green going all the way to the pole.


Which, as I pointed out, was likely due to the image above being from the 25th, and the site you linked to, from which I took the screenshot, shows current conditions.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (10) Feb 28, 2018
here's another view , and the winds r from the north
https://earth.nul...1.53,402

yup u'r right that pole is HOT !

jonesdave
4.1 / 5 (14) Feb 28, 2018
here's another view , and the winds r from the north
https://earth.nul...1.53,402

yup u'r right that pole is HOT !



Oh jeez. That is also a current temperature map. Use the controls and go back to the 25th, and this is what you'll see:

http://www.imageb...65883023
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (10) Feb 28, 2018
ok i'll give you one day @ 1.0 .. next day it was -19
Caliban
5 / 5 (12) Feb 28, 2018
It goes without saying that you are too stupid and ignorant to know that ten degrees Celsius is about fifty or so degrees Fahrenheit -- a BALMY temperature, indeed, for THE ARCTIC, in the DEAD OF WINTER.


And you were exactly where in 1818? Somewhere in the Arctic with a thermometer and a notepad?

Maybe you were looking for your marbles?


Try to keep up with the rest of the class, Huck.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (14) Feb 28, 2018
50F at the North Pole in February?

We're in trouble.
leetennant
5 / 5 (15) Feb 28, 2018
50F at the North Pole in February?

We're in trouble.


We're completely fucked is what we are. Aside from everything else, a cold Arctic was the only thing keep North America and parts of Europe habitable. And that's before we look at the population displacement from the loss of glaciers
HeloMenelo
4.8 / 5 (16) Mar 01, 2018
there is a temp map here too https://www.windy...40.625,4

unlike the fake one on your browser


Looks almost identical to the one in my browser! Maybe you need to learn how to read a map.


lol bonobo snooselosebum ie antigoracle sockpuppet can only read the maps with bananas on it, any other map does not register bananas in his head.
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2018
We are indeed completely F * ked when otherwise reasonable people ( I guess that's debatable ) believe total falsehoods.
guptm
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2018
Even after all this, America won't abandon fossil fuels, won't shut down meat industry...

One group of people in US is revealing all the consequences of the deeds of the other group of people...what a paradox!
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 01, 2018
The moron Chicken Littles still crying that the sky is falling and were all doomed because of a weather report. Little do they know the last three winters are a preview of what is likely to come, it's going to get much colder due to the upcoming solar minimum and the weakening and flipping magnetic poles.
gkam
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 01, 2018
Time to go after the corporate deniers then their suckers.

We want reparations!
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2018
You want reparations ? for what ? i want my carbon tax back

and some liars in jail .
rhugh1066
1 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2018
I want the next ice age to hurry up and get here. But maybe it won't. Maybe it never will again, what with all this AGW going on. Film at 11 (thousand years from now).
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (9) Mar 01, 2018
The longer deniers keep denying the harder it's going to be to fix, and the more expensive. And I'm not talking about money, I'm talking about wars and lives and quality of life for everyone.

How stupid do you have to be to see what it means when the temperature at the North Pole in February is 50F? How stupid do you have to be to ignore 40 years' data? Pretty stupid I'd say, but hey, the average IQ is 100. Somebody has to keep it down there. We see that abundantly demonstrated on this site daily.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (7) Mar 01, 2018
Let's get real. This is already going to cost trillions of dollars to fix. How much more do you want to spend?
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2018
yes ,lets get really real

''This deep freeze is occurring despite predictions just a few years ago that global warming would cause wetter, milder winters;

National Trust campaign highlights how gardens will look if global warming brings Mediterranean weather to Britain

By David Derbyshire for MailOnline
UPDATED: 19:04 AEDT, 24 March 2010

The apple orchards have been replaced with orange groves, the turf covered over with gravel and the summer borders replanted with cacti.

They may look like scenes from a Portugese holiday, but these images could be the future of the traditional English garden, plant experts claimed yesterday.

The striking images are part of a National Trust campaign to highlight how gardens will look if global warming brings Mediterranean weather to Britain in the next few decades.
Ojorf
3.7 / 5 (9) Mar 02, 2018
Snoosebaum, what is your agenda?
I cannot believe someone would pretend to be this stupid without a large incentive.
What do you get out of this?
SteveS
5 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2018
yes ,lets get really real

''This deep freeze is occurring despite predictions just a few years ago that global warming would cause wetter, milder winters


You think this is a good thing?

I can see why you didn't include a link in your post, the truth isn't as pleasant as your selective quotes make out.

http://www.dailym...ain.html

So here's one of my own.

"Pastureland will turn to dusty scrub, lakes could silt up because of soil erosion, and ponds could be filled in because of droughts."

leetennant
5 / 5 (2) Mar 04, 2018
We are indeed completely F * ked when otherwise reasonable people ( I guess that's debatable ) believe total falsehoods.


I mean, are you suggesting the Arctic is in on the conspiracy now? Like, it's temperature this winter is not significantly above the mean because it's just *pretending*? How is it fooling people? Putting the thermometer in a hot water bottle?

You know this conspiracy is wide-ranging when even the poles are in on it.
TrollBane
not rated yet Mar 04, 2018
Ojorf, I can't be sure what Soozebum's incentive is, but the phrase 'filthy lucre' comes to mind.
snoosebaum
not rated yet Mar 04, 2018
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2018
oh look ! an actual scientist and AGW falls apart;;

https://judithcur...warming/
DocSavage
not rated yet Mar 05, 2018
These comments demonstrate the deleterious effects of centuries of inbreeding and the excess consumption of inexpertly distilled corn spirits.
SteveS
5 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2018
oh look ! an actual scientist and AGW falls apart;;

https://judithcur...warming/


OMG a molecular biologist has written an essay on a contrarian blog. Thousands of published climate scientists are going to be gutted.

You know the only reason I don't believe that your a paid to post troll is that the quality of your trolling is so low you would have been sacked years ago.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2018
Oh no, it's warm.....GloBull Warming!
Oh no, it's cold.....GloBull Warming!
Oh no, it's dry.....GloBull Warming!
Oh no, it's wet.....GloBull Warming!

The AGW Cult and their Pathological...sci...er...BULLSHIT
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2018
yup, as predicted , PRIVATE CLUB MEMBERS ONLY please ! when reporting climate science.

and don't get booted from the club ;

https://judithcur...tion-76/
leetennant
5 / 5 (5) Mar 05, 2018
yup, as predicted , PRIVATE CLUB MEMBERS ONLY please ! when reporting climate science.

and don't get booted from the club ;

https://judithcur...tion-76/


He says quoting a blog from somebody who isn't a climate scientist and who is married to a man directly funded by the Heartland Institute. This is the Heartland Institute who actually advertises themselves as a company that will use media to distort and question science so as to stop corporate regulation. They are literally paid by companies to run media campaigns of scientific misinformation to stop, delay or water down legislation that will regulate their activities. That's their mission statement.

Their other big client is tobacco. Their other campaign is questioning second hand smoke research.

And you think that they are more trustworthy than somebody who's spent 20 years studying the science behind an issue?
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2018
so Judith curry isn't a climate scientist ? i guess she isn't now ,, Judith Curry 'was' a climate scientist till she commited heresy
leetennant
5 / 5 (4) Mar 05, 2018
Judith Curry was never and has never been a climate scientist. Her qualifications are in geography and geology and she has done some work on hurricanes. She can't just claim to be a climate scientist when she's never done research into the area. She's a classic denier - she thinks because she studied some science that she can comment on areas outside her area of expertise. Nobody should preference her opinion over actual science.
snoosebaum
not rated yet Mar 05, 2018
https://en.wikipe...th_Curry ,, thats a nit u want to pick ? ? lol
leetennant
5 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2018
https://en.wikipe...th_Curry ,, thats a nit u want to pick ? ? lol


Between someone who's spent the last 20 - 30 years of their life studying the climate system and has produced hundreds of papers of peer-reviewed science on the subject - and somebody who didn't but writes a blog?

Yeah, that's a fucking nit I want to fucking pick.

Take a look at SourceWatch for a start
https://www.sourc...th_Curry
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2018
ooooww , sourcewatch , is that like CNN or rational wiki or snopes ?

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