Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Sorry, Santa: North Pole Temps Could Climb 50 Degrees Above Normal

Popular

By Andrea Germanos

Santa will likely be feeling toasty as he does his final checks on the naughty-or-nice list because temperatures at the North Pole on Thursday are forecast to be as much as 50 F above normal.

Temperatures are expected to climb to near the freezing point of 32 F, computer models show.

Zachary Labe, a doctoral student researching the Arctic at the University of California-Irvine, wrote on Twitter that the "persistence and magnitude of above average Arctic temperatures continues to remain quite impressive."

The Washington Post also noted: "For the second year in a row in late December and for the second time in as many months, temperatures in the high Arctic will be freakishly high compared to normal."

Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli explained that the current "warming is being caused by a strong storm near Greenland pumping warm air north ahead of the storm center." Mashable's science editor, Andrew Freedman, added: "Record low levels of sea ice in the Arctic are also contributing to the record high temperatures, along with a weakened polar vortex that has pulled the most frigid air out of the Arctic and redistributed it into North America and Eurasia."

Indeed, last month Arctic sea ice extent hit a record low and the ice experienced a "nearly unprecedented" retreat that "coincided with a period of remarkable warmth across the region, with air temperatures 30 F–35 F above normal," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

In its latest Arctic Report Card, NOAA said last week that the average air temperatures for the region were "unprecedented" and that "Arctic temperatures continue to increase at double the rate of the global temperature increase."

"Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year," added Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA's Arctic Research Program.

Meanwhile, Santa's reindeer aren't doing so well either.

A new study finds that reindeer in Svalbard, an archipelago of Norway in the Arctic Ocean, are shrinking as a result of warming temperatures.

Winter snows may now fall as rain, leaving a sheet of ice that blocks the plants the reindeer would normally be able to access by brushing off snow. That means the reindeer may starve or give birth to stunted carves, who in turn may produce stunted calves.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Earth's atmosphere. NASA

By Jeremy Deaton

You may have heard about the hole in the ozone layer, which hovers over Antarctica. It has shrunk over time thanks to policies that curbed the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. In the nearly 40 years that NASA has kept track, it has never been smaller. That's the good news.

Read More Show Less
Garden interns learn plant and weed identification at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Cheyenne River Youth Project / Facebook

By Stephanie Woodard

Many Americans are now experiencing an erratic food supply for the first time. Among COVID-19's disruptions are bare supermarket shelves and items available yesterday but nowhere to be found today. As you seek ways to replace them, you can look to Native gardens for ideas and inspiration.

Read More Show Less
Although considered safe overall, aloe vera does carry the risk of making some skin rashes worse. serezniy / Getty Images

By Kristeen Cherney

Skin inflammation, which includes swelling and redness, occurs as an immune system reaction. While redness and swelling can develop for a variety of reasons, rashes and burns are perhaps the most common symptoms. More severe skin inflammation can require medications, but sometimes mild rashes may be aided with home remedies like aloe vera.

Read More Show Less
There are plenty of things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint to make a less harmful impact on the environment. ipopba / Getty Images

By Katie Lambert and Sarah Gleim

The United Nations suggests that climate change is not just the defining issue of our time, but we are also at a defining moment in history. Weather patterns are changing and will threaten food production, and sea levels are rising and could cause catastrophic flooding across the globe. Countries must make drastic actions to avoid a future with irreversible damage to major ecosystems and planetary climate.

Read More Show Less
Petri Oeschger / Moment / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Sleep is one of the pillars of optimal health.

Read More Show Less

Junjira Konsang / Pixabay

By Matt Casale

For many Americans across the country, staying home to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) means adapting to long-term telework for the first time. We're doing a lot more video conferencing and working out all the kinks that come along with it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Looking south from New York City's Central Park. Ajay Suresh / Wikipedia / CC BY 4.0

By Richard leBrasseur

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered humans' relationship with natural landscapes in ways that may be long-lasting. One of its most direct effects on people's daily lives is reduced access to public parks.

Read More Show Less